The Margaret Reid Orthopaedic Hospital for Crippled Children opened in 1937 at St Ives. It was a disability institution, a convalescent hospital and offered outpatients services. It the only specialist orthopaedic children's hospital in Australia and took children from all over the country and Pacific nations. It closed in 1981.
Margaret Reid Orthopaedic Hospital for Crippled Children was opened in 1937, after Andrew Reid gave the home to the Society for Crippled Children in honour of his late wife Margaret. The Matron addressed the Society for Crippled Children the following year:
"I am a representative of your dream home come true for the crippled children of New South Wales," said Miss Cora MacNeil, the matron of the Margaret Reid Home for Crippled Children at the annual meeting of the New South Wales Society for Crippled Children at Farmer's yesterday.
"We feel that in the home we now have a framework on which to build our work. The children range from kindergarten to school age and we hope later to get more voluntary workers interested in individual children."
At the opening of a school on site the following year by the Education Minister, Mr Drummond, The Sydney Morning Herald reported the progress the school was making with children:
There was a touching scene when Pattie Fisher, aged 11 years, one of the children in the home, who could not walk, read, or write a year ago, came forward and welcomed Mr Drummond in a commendable speech.
The hospital offered specialised surgery, physiotherapy and occupational therapy, particularly during the polio epidemic, which peaked in the 1950s. New buildings were added at this time. Sir Edmund Hillary visited the hospital in 1959 and Hopalong Cassidy visited in 1954. In 1960 a new indoor heated swimming pool with a wheelchair ramp was added to the site.
The hospital closed in 1981 which was, ironically, the International Year of Disabled Persons. The Society for Crippled Children planned to disperse the children to general wards in other hospitals and build a convalescent unit for adolescents on the same site.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Care of Crippled Children: Margaret Reid Home', The Sydney Morning Herald, 19 August 1939, http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/17602782; Government Schools of New South Wales from 1848: Special Education 1866-2004, New South Wales Department of Education and Communities, 2013, https://web.archive.org/web/20170218113507/http://www.governmentschools.det.nsw.edu.au/special_education.shtm; 'Crippled children are losers', The Sydney Morning Herald, 15 June 1981, https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1301&dat=19810618&id=MoZWAAAAIBAJ&sjid=n-YDAAAAIBAJ&pg=2728,5555104&hl=en; 'Our History', in Northcott, http://web.archive.org/web/20160304071209/https://www.northcott.com.au/our-history.
Prepared by: Naomi Parry
Created: 26 July 2013, Last modified: 19 March 2015