50th anniversary of the Salk Polio Vaccine at the Wilson Home - 2nd November 2006
On a sparkling Spring day, November 2nd 2006, the 50th anniversary of the Salk Polio Vaccine was celebrated at the beautiful Wilson Home in Takapuna. Ninety polio survivors, spouses and family gathered to give thanks at a chapel service for the anniversary of this vaccine .... this historic vaccine which was discovered too late to benefit any of them.

Almost forgotten by most New Zealanders, the now aging adults got polio as children before the vaccine arrived here in 1956. These survivors are still sprinkled thoughout society and carry within them the memories and the physical ravages of polio.

Yet in a strange irony they enjoyed a day of story-telling and reminiscing about their struggles in the very home where they had been rehabilitated so long ago.

On the disc:
  • 1. Polio - 50 years on   7m  (watch this video here)
  • 2. Chapel Service   39m
  • 3. Polio Stories from the Wilson Home  1h 39m
  • 4. The Wilson Home grounds   5m
The Wilson Home Trust
The Wilson Home Trust was established in 1937 when Mr & Mrs W R Wilson gifted their family home, and 13 acres of magnificent coastal gardens at Takapuna, for the express benefit of children with disabilities.

The 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.

Some 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.

The Wilson home still operates today, meeting the special needs of hundreds of special children, but fortunately none with Polio.

More about the Wilson Home here...

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Polio – 50 Years On
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Scenes from the 50th Anniversary celebration at the Wilson Home   
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