(You can also watch this video on YouTube here )
The Wilson Home – The Legacy
the sunny weekend of 20th to 22nd of April 2012 the Wilson Home in
Takapuna held it’s 75th Jubilee. Edith Morris was among the 400 who
attended the celebrations. This home for crippled children was opened
in 1937 to care for the first small patients after the polio epidemics
of 1935. Edith spent almost 4 years of her childhood there from 1946 to
Ex-patients, ex-staff, teachers, families and nurses gathered in the
grounds of the Wilson Home to celebrate with tours around the gardens
and buildings. The memory room, which was crowded most of the day, was
filled with albums of old black and white photos, display boards, old
prams and little walkers. We provided a display of photos, the Post
Polio banner and pamphlets.
Former patients spoke of happy memories in spite of often difficult rehabilitation during their time at the Wilson Home.
People with polio came from Kaitaia, Opotiki, Hamilton, Christchurch
and many from the Auckland area. Edith Morris represented polios
nationwide with a short “thank you” presentation at the celebration
dinner on Saturday evening, and again at Sunday’s Chapel service.
The Wilson Home Trust
Wilson Home Trust was established in 1937 when Mr & Mrs W R
gifted their family home, and 13 acres of magnificent coastal gardens
at Takapuna, for the express benefit of children with disabilities.
Wilsons had been inspired about the trends in treating children with
polio and other crippling conditions and disabilities. The wide
verandas were ideal for laying out those with infantile paralysis to
benefit from the sun and sea breezes. During the 1940's, 1950's, and
into the early 1960's, the Wilson Home was indeed a caring home for so
many with polio.
lived there for several months and some for a number of years as their
bodies recovered enough to enter school and society. The polio
vaccines were introduced in the mid 1950's and the polio epidemics
ceased in the early 1960's.
Wilson home still operates today, meeting the special needs of hundreds
of special children, but fortunately none with Polio.
An elegant little book on the 75 years’ history of the Wilson Home was
launched, which included stories from polios, patients with Cerebral
Palsy, bone TB and other conditions.
More about the Wilson Home here...
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