The Red Cross Home, at Margate Beach, Redcliffe opened around 1945. It was run by the Australian Red Cross and operated as a convalescent home for children from the Mater and Brisbane Hospitals. It also provided emergency care for children while their mothers were in hospital. The home closed in 1975.
The Red Cross Home operated between the years 1945 and 1975. It was located on Margate Parade, directly opposite Margate Beach at Redcliffe.
In 1945, the Courier Mail reported on the Red Cross's plans to look after children while former prisoners of war holidayed with their wives. Thirty beds for children at the Margate Home were made available for this program in October 1945. The paper reported that one ex-servicemen had so far taken up the Red Cross offer and planned to have a 'second honeymoon' with his wife while their 2 children stayed at Margate Home.
A newspaper article from November 1953 states that 'The Home was originally the Junior Red Cross Home, but recently was taken over by the Aid to Mothers section'.
An annual report from 1960 described the Aid to Mothers section of the Red Cross. In addition to running the Children's Home at Margate, this section employed 17 full time 'emergency housekeepers, a band of competent motherly women' who helped care for families whose mothers were unwell or hospitalised.
An average of 30 - 40 children between the ages of 2 and 11 years were cared for each week at the Home. In 1960, the Red Cross reported that 375 children from 154 families were admitted that year. A majority were children of ex-servicemen. The Home consisted of three dormitories (toddlers, boys and girls) and a cottage at the back that accommodated older boys. A fee of £2 per week was charged for a child's keep.
The Staff consisted of the home Superintendent, trained nurses, domestics workers and Red Cross children's attendants. Some children were sent to the Home from hospital to recover from illness, while others were placed in the Home to be cared for while their guardians were unwell.
Children from the Sandgate Maternal and Child Welfare Home were transferred to the Margate home if their recuperation extended beyond 3 weeks. This practice continued up to the closure of the Red Cross Home at Margate in 1975.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Red Cross child care plan begun', Courier Mail, 30 October 1945, p. 6, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article50279063; 'So many children', Sunday Mail, This article describes the Red Cross Home at Margate and includes pictures of children living at the Home., 15 November 1953, p. 14, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article100177362; Australian Red Cross Society, Queensland Division, annual report, 1960.
Prepared by: Lee Butterworth
Created: 28 November 2014, Last modified: 2 December 2014