The Needs of a Small Child
It was a small child of 10, with a need of a leg brace, that began over 85 years of BCWI’s support for the BC Children’s Hospital since 1923. Othoa Scott had contracted spinal tuberculoses. Her step mother Edith Scott knew Othoa, called Polly by friends and family, would need special care.
WI Renowned for Their Influence
She turned to the BCWI because the WI was known as being very influential and succeeded at whatever they supported. Mrs V MacLachlan, the secretary to the WI Advisory Board, took Edith Scott’s cause to the Central Park Women’s Institute in Burnaby. By supporting Edith’s plight they recognized the necessity for a specialized facility to care for young children such as Polly.
Building a Hospital
In 1923 the Women’s Institutes Hospital Association for Cripple Children was formed. The association began the task of raising funds for an orthopaedic hospital with specialized facilities for children. As daunting as this project may have been, the women could see an additional need for a facility for children that required prolonged treatment. This facility would be a place where recovering children could enjoy fresh air and sunshine. In 1927, with overwhelming support and donations from branches throughout the province, The Women’s Institute Home for the Prevention and Cure of Crippled Children opened its doors to the children of the province. The solarium, built at Mill Bay on Vancouver Island was later named The Queen Alexandra Solarium. The following year The Cripple Children’s Hospital (known today as the British Columbia Children’s Hospital) opened in a large renovated home in Point Grey.
Continue To Fund Raise
Branches throughout the province continue to fund raise for charity events with money going to support the purchase of kid friendly medical equipment as well as child health education and research.
To learn more about what BCWI does leave a comment or take a look at our About page.
If you enjoyed this article, get email updates (it's free).