A Voice for Mothers: The Plunket Society and Infant Welfare by Linda Bryder

By Linda Bryder

Masking the historical past of the Plunket Society from 1907 to the current day, this publication is prepared round 3 dominant topics that give a contribution either to overseas historiography and to the social heritage of latest Zealand. those issues are the combined economic climate of welfare, maternal and child overall healthiness, and motherhood and parenting. mentioned intimately is how jointly those 3 strands shape a massive contribution to New Zealand's social heritage. specifically, the general public function of ladies as welfare companies, maternal and baby healthiness provision, and parenting roles and practices are tested. An in-depth learn of the voluntary welfare method, this booklet should be of curiosity to welfare historians, women's reviews historians, social historians of medication, and executive coverage makers.

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16 Delegates at the 1914 conference discussed the ‘best means by which members of the Committees could get into personal touch with the mothers and babies’. 21 The women themselves were to dispense advice if no Plunket nurse were available. e. ’22 Where nurses were employed, committee members oversaw their work. The Auckland branch honorary secretary, who was not herself a nurse, wrote in 1915, ‘Of course our nurses always write full accounts of their work which they bring to me for perusal, and I then ask them to explain any unusual case which I see there.

Plunket’s roll call of prominent citizens certainly meant chances to extend networks. An ‘At Home’ in relation to Plunket’s Dominion Conference in Wellington in 1914 ‘afforded the opportunity to many fine women, working in a common cause, to make one another’s acquaintance’. The local press report noted that Lady Liverpool was the guest of honour and that the Prime Minister’s wife, Christina Massey, was also present. 9 It enabled them to extend their activities beyond the confines of the private sphere and to lead more purposeful lives.

Ltd. His daughter-in-law Simone Nathan was also involved with Auckland Plunket for many years. Kate McCosh Clark, the widow of James McCosh Clark who had served as Mayor of Auckland from 1880 to 1883, succeeded Emily Nathan as president in 1909. 109 In Christchurch the new society’s first major fund-raiser was a garden fete held in October 1907 at Elmwood, the home of lawyer and politician, Robert Heaton Rhodes and his wife Jessie. The Rhodes were well known for philanthropic efforts around Christchurch: in 1896 they had helped Nurse Sybilla Maude set up the first district nursing scheme in New Zealand.

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