A sketch of the development of The Society for the Protection of Child Life, Cape Town (from May, l908 to December, 1932) (Compiled from the Annual Reports, by Lilian Stewart, ~ formerly Assistant Secretary and Treasurer of the society.) Preliminary Stages: Year 1895 Act, 1924, - Cape Colony â€“ Destitute Childrenâ€˜s Relief Act, makes provision for maintenance of destitute children by the Government. Year 1907 Infant life Protection Act Provides for removal of children by magistrates from undesirable surroundings, registration of "Protected Infants" (i.e. European children under 7 years of age, placed in the care of non-re1atives); but Magistrates were not empowered to authorise maintenance from Government funds. They could appoint voluntary visitors and inspectors (Police, Local Authorities, Societies or individuals) to assist them in carrying out the provisions of the Act; but they had no organized Society to appeal to, and most of the inspecting was done by the police, who were very often duped by the guardians of helpless children. Mrs. J. Beaumont Rawbone of Cape Town (a very able and public-spirited worker), as a result of many years of privately conducted charitable work, secured the co-operation of some friends, who provided funds and an office, for the purpose of securing records of cases with facts and figures to prove the need for a body of public-spirited men and women to deal with deserted, neglected, destitute, and ill-treated children at the Cape. A young girl, Miss May Edwards (her secretary), was her assistant in the clerical part of the work. In time, Mrs. Rawbone got around her a small and earnest Committee for consultation and advice. A monthly account of work done, and appeals for clothing, etc. were inserted in the Press. Year 1908 Mrs. Beaumont Rawbone and her committee enlisted the support of the Governer (Sir Walter Hely-Hutchinson) and Lady Hely-Hutchinson, - who 2
presided at a Public Meeting called by the Mayor (Sir Frederick Smith) in the City Hall, on the 30th April 1908; and the result was the formation of the Cape Town Society for the Protection of Child Life, with the following objects:(l) To prevent cruelty to children. (2) To see that the Act for the better protection of children is carried out. (3) To encourage legislation in the direction of Juvenile Courts and Reformatories for Children. (4) To take measures for the instruction of mothers in the care of infants and children, by lectures, visits, and in other ways. (5) To take any step which would have for its object the improvement of the child, mentally, morally, and physically. No distinction was to be made as regards race, colour or creed. A Committee was appointed, with Rev. J.J.McC1ure as Chairman; Mrs. Beaumont Rawbone as Honorary secretary; and Dr. Jasper Anderson(the Municipal Medical Officer of Health) as Honorary Treasurer. Years 1908/1909 Sir Frederick Smith provided an office, rent free, in Mercantile Building, Hout Street; and Mrs. Rawbone attended for a couple of hours on Tuesday and Thursday mornings to interview "cases". The first Committee Meeting was held on 14th May, 1908. The financial year was fixed to end on 30th June in each year. A Constitution was drawn up. Messrs. Van der Byl & de Villiers were appointed Honorary Attorneys to assist the Society with legal advice when necessary. At the beginning of 1909 there were in the Cape Colony 749 protected infants, - of which 516 were in the cape Peninsula. With the assistance of Advocate Greer a Bill to amend the 1907 Act was prepared, and was passed by the 1909 session of the Cape Parliament. The main points dealt with were:(1) Punishment of cruelty to children or young persons (2) Definition of neglect (3) Begging (4) Cleansing of verminous children (5) Inspection of health of children 3
A point not dealt with in either 1907 or this 1909 Act is that of coloured people adopting and bringing up white children, a practice largely indulged in by the ―Malays‖, - the victims generally being ―unwanted‖ illegitimate children of European mothers. Very often these children were given to coloured people with a lump sum of money. Years 1909 – 1910 At the beginning of 1910 a trained nurse (Mrs. Pirie)was engaged to investigate cases in their home and give advice, and was in the office for an hour or so every morning; she also helped with clerical work. A Day Nursery and an Emergency Home for European children were opened in temporary premises in Hatfield Street, Gardens, Cape Town. At first the children were placed in the charge of Mrs. Dooley, who had four children of her own; and Mrs. Beaumont Rawbone visited nearly every day. The children were rescue and emergency cases. Afterwards Nurse Pirie supervised. Money was collected from parents, and administered by the Society for/ the children placed with foster-mothers. The Cape Town municipality appointed a Lady Inspectress, who visited all houses where a birth had occurred (except among the better classes) and where infants had died, or where cases of puerperal fever occurred. The chief problems before the Society were the numbers of children deserted by one or both parents; the care and adoption of European children by coloured people; dealing with unruly children — for whom there were no suitable Institutions; no suitable permanent shelter for chronic crippled and afflicted children. At the second Annual meeting (July 1910), presided over by Sir N.F de Waal (Provincial Administrator, Cape), it was decided that the Society should ask that the Magistrates be allowed to approach the Society for voluntary visitors and to recommend suitable and reliable fostermothers. Citizens should be educated as to the serious state of affairs. The Press was giving every assistance in making known the work of the Society, and in asking for help with funds, clothing, gifts, voluntary workers, etc. the Administrator of the newly formed Cape Provincial Administration announced that an annual grant of £50 would be made by the Provincial Council. At the last session of the Cape Parliament the Government had recognised the principle of the State responsibility by placing a small grant to the Society on the Estimates. 4
Mrs. Beaumont Rawbone was asked to undertake the organising of the Pageant in connection with the Union Celebrations in 1910, and therefore had to give up the duties of Honorary Secretary of the Society; and she was elected Honorary Organizing Secretary. Mrs. F.P. Oliver was elected Honorary Secretary, and Dr. Jasper Anderson (Medical) Officer of Health of Cape Town. Year 1910 – 1911 From September, 1910, the Lady Investigator was engaged for full time. A Ladies‗ Sub-committee was appointed to manage the Emergency Home, which was now at 18 Military Road, Tamboers Kloof, opened on 1st October 1910, — with six children, - supervised by Mrs. Pirie and visited by voluntary medical advisers. . A Committee of Ladies was formed to visit mothers and fostermothers and give advice on the care of infants. The Society worked in cooperation with Magistrates and other officials; and with organisations such as the Hospitals, Free Dispensary, Prisoners‘ Aid society, Cape Peninsula Charity Organisation, Relief of Distress Department of the Administrator's Office, Orphanages, etc. Year 1911 – 1912 Mrs. Oliver resigned in March, 1912, for health reasons, and Mrs. Stern took her place as honorary Secretary. A Municipal Grant of £50 per annum was made. Mrs. Fowler was appointed Matron of the Emergency Home, with a Day Nurse and a Night Nurse. The average number of children (from infants up to 6 years of age) in residence was 12. A Government Industrial School for Boys was opened at George. Dr. Jasper Anderson acted as Chairman of Committee. The Cape Town 7 Suburban Clothing Guild provided clothing, toys, etc for the Home. Subscriptions and donations totalled about £100; and proceeds of entertainments, etc - £84. Year 1912 – 1913 After four years‘ service Mrs. Pirie resigned. From August, 1912, the Union Government gave rent-free offices at 59 Parliament Street; thereafter the Society shared offices in Parker‘s Building, Burg street, in the Old town House, Green market Square. The services of the secretary of the Charity Organisation (Mr. Mills) and the Investigator (Mrs. Dykes)was also shared. This arrangement prevented overlapping of work. Office hours were on Tuesday and Thursday from 9.30 to 12 in the 5
morning, when the Hon. Secretary was present to interview cases and direct investigations; other days from 9.30 to 10.30 a.m when the Investigator was in attendance. Miss Mabel C. Elliott was now Honorary Secretary; Sir Frederick Smith, Chairman; and Dr. Jasper Anderson, Hon. Treasurer. Monthly meetings of the General Committee were held in the Library of the City Hall. Grants were made by the Provincial Administration (£100), Cape Town Municipality (£100), Woodstock Municipality (£10), Claremont Municipality (£5), Oudtshoorn Municipality (£5).
Year 1913 - 1914 The ―Childrens Charter‖: In October, 1913, the Children‘s Protection Act came into force, — passed by the Union Government. It was prepared by Advocate Greer at the instance of the S. P. G.L., and the Children's Aid Society of Johannesburg. It dealt with children up to 16 years of age. A Case and Investigation Sub-committee was formed, of about 12 ladies, who were authorized (in writing, by the Magistrate) to visit and report on "protected infants". The question of suitable foster-mothers was very difficult. The mortality among boarded-out children in the Peninsula was 50 per cent. The Society pleaded for funds to establish an Infants‘ Hostel for treatment of infants suffering from malnutrition and unhealthy surroundings. The Provincial Administration, when approached re maintenance of neglected and destitute children placed by order of the Magistrate in Industrial Homes and Certified Institutions, promised to assist when the Society‘s recommendations were approved, -- no provision having been made in the Acts of 1907 and 1909 for maintenance. Paarl asked the Society to send speakers, and as a result they formed the Child Life Society.An Infant Consultation bureau was opened in Corporation Street, one afternoon a week, in a room lent by the Municipality, with their Nurse, Mrs. Davis, in attendance. It was under the auspices of the S.P.C.L. Dr. Lilian Robinson and other voluntary workers 6
assisted, and the General Purposes and Investigation Committee visited the infants in their homes when necessary. A Milk Fund was started, to give milk to underfed babies, - either free or at a very small cost to the guardians; Mrs. Notcutt was the Hon. Secretary of this Fund. Simple medicines and cod-liver oil were supplied by the Municipality. The Emergency Home was well filled, and the health of the children good; four adoptions took place. Questions now being discussed and referred to the authorities were:- Medical Inspection of Schools, and Feeble~Minded Children. Grants from the Cape Town Corporation and Provincial Administration were £100 each. Employment was found for several children. Three boys were sent to the Industrial School. Year 1914 - 1915 Viscountess Buxton (wife of the Governor—General) now Patroness. Offices were moved to Parker's Buildings, Burg Street, and shared with the C.P. Charity Organisation. The Emergency Home was filled, average number of children in residence, 17. Mrs. Fowler resigned, and Mrs. Sayers was appointed Matron. An Infants‗ Hostel was opened at Wynberg in November, 1914, and a Home Committee appointed; a matron and a night nurse appointed, and two probationers. Seven babies in residence. A pamphlet was drawn up, giving the objects and work of the Society; 3000 copies were distributed. Large numbers of cases arose due to breadwinners joining the Forces, and the majority of these were passed on to the Governer-General‘s Fund. Grants were received from the Cape Town Corporation (£120), Mayors Fund (£100), Eaton Trust (£100); and considerable sums were collected from relatives of childrend for their maintenance, besides from the Miners‘ Pthisis Board and the Table Bay Relief Fund (for the dependants of men lost in a fishing-boat disaster.) Year 1915 - 1916 Offices were removed to Juta‘s Chambers, Chancery Lane, St. George‘s Street; and were no longer shared with the Charity Organisation. Mrs. Hume Lindsay was appointed Lady investigator. This was a very busy year. Viscountess Buxton showed great interest in the work and urged its extension throughout South Africa. ―At her suggestion, a ―Children‘s Week‖ was organised in order to create a wider public interest, and to raise funds for a Children‘s Home – to which a small Infirmary for children 7
should be attached. To inaugurate the week a public meeting, at which her Excellency presided, was held in the City Hall during the first week of April 1916.
At the request of Mr. Paul Cluver, Mayor of Stellenbosch, copies of the speeches were sent to the Municipal Associations in the Union for distribution. Much informative matter was published in the Press throughout South Africa. The Capetown Corporation increased its annual grant to £200, besides promising a grant of £200 for rent of offices, and a school for Mothers, Infants Consultation Bureau and Milk Depot — under the control of the Medical Officer for Health; In March, 1916, an Infants Consultation Bureau was opened in St. Luke's Hall, Salt River, one afternoon a week; Mrs. Lindsay was in charge. The Emergency Home was well filled (average 17 children). In April an infant admitted to the Wynberg Infants‗ Hostel introduced enteric, and three babies died. The children were moved to the Nurses‘ old quarters at the Wynberg Cottage Hospital in June, — until the new Children's Home should be ready. "Children's Week" brought in £3127:8:ll, which was to be used for the purchase and alteration of the Bellvliet property at Observatory Road. The Eaton Trust had promised an annual grant of £400 for the upkeep of a small Infirmary in the Home. Educative work was done in many directions, and the Society approached the authorities on various matters, such as the preventing of young girls (under 16) taking part in street Collections; the necessity for early notification of Births; Medical Inspection of Schools; Begging and Street Trading by Children; Vagrancy; Censorship of Bioscope Films; Infant Mortality; the need for more Hospital Accommodation for Children; the need for Industrial Schools (European and Coloured). Two reports were prepared and were published in the Press; the other (at the request of the local Committee of the National Council of Women) with reforms – legal, municipal and administrative – most urgently needed. The Honorary Secretary (Miss Elliott) placed herself by correspondence in personal touch with leaders in Social work of all descriptions in many parts of the world; and later developments in the Society‘s work were largely due to the information and advice, and friendships secured by her in this way. Many talks to mothers, and demonstrations, were given by the members of the Society. 8
A local Committee of lady visitors was formed at Maitland. During this year an Assistant Secretary was appointed (first, Miss Bailey ~ who afterwards became Secretary of the Juvenile Affairs Board),(second, Miss Rogaly from the Children's Aid Society, for a short time.) Chairman Sir Frederick Smith; Hon. Treasurer, Mr. E.W. McL.Thomas. During the first year of the War, Viscountess Buxton had brought to the notice of the Committee the necessity for women Patrols owing to the needs arising from war conditions; and the Deputy Commissioner of Police had appointed two women to work with the police. Year 1916 - 1917 Chairman, - Mr. J. C. Gibson, (Sir Frederick Smith resigned owing to ill health); Vice-Chairman, Mr. H. F. East (Chairman of the Eaton Trust)The Staff assisting Miss Elliott consisted of:- Miss Lilian Stewart, Assistant Secretary and Bookkeeper; Mrs. Maud Hume Lindsay, Lady Investigator; Miss Marjorie Place, voluntary office worker; Miss Belle Marks, typist (part-time), who was also secretary to Mrs. Beaumont Rawbone. A very busy and important year, as the first Child Welfare Conference (Organizing Secretary, Mrs. Annie McMurray) was held on 28th, 29th and 30th March, 1917, in the University Buildings, Queen Victoria Street, under the joint auspices of the S.P.C.L and the Children‘s Aid Society. Two hundred and fifty delegates were appointed to attend, - from School Boards, Municipalities and Municipal Associations, Teachers‘ Associations, Government Departments, Orphanages and Homes, Industrial Schools, Mother‘s Unions, National council of Women, Women‘s Christian Temperance Union, Y.W.C.A and Y.M.C.A, existing Child Life Societies, Churches, and a large number of Societies and Associations directly connected with public social work and philanthropy. Twenty-nine papers and addresses, contributed by experienced authorities, both Overseas and in the Union, were printed and distributed. A large number of resolutions was passed, dealing with many aspects of Child Welfare, and were subsequently referred to the appropriate quarter; and a full Report was published in pamphlet form. A Standing Committee was appointed to deal with the National aspect of Child Welfare, and to arrange for future Conferences.
After discussion with the Society, the Capetown Corporation decided to provide quarters for a Maternity and Child Welfare Centre under the supervision of the M. 0. H., and with a specially appointed medical officer for Child Welfare in charge; with a grant of ÂŁ1100; the Society supplying voluntary workers; and in coâ€”operatiou with the District Nursing Association of the Cape Hospital Board. Besides dried milk for infants, food to be supplied to needy expectant mothers. Where fresh milk was prescribed it would be supplied from the Society's Milk Fund. An Infants Consultation Bureau was also opened at Wynberg. In (May) 1917 the "Lady Buxton Home" at Observatory was opened, and the Emergency Home and Wynberg Infants Hostel were closed. Four wards or dormitories were equipped by private donors, as memorials. Accommodation for 38 European children up to 6 years of age, besides 12 cots for sick infants suffering from malnutrition and non-infectious ailments, for whom no accommodation existed in the hospitals. Cases of convalescent children and their mothers were taken in at the Eaton-and MecGregor Convalescent Homes, Plumstead. The Provincial Administration set aside a small sum to start a scheme of Medical Inspection of Schools in one urban and one rural centre; Dr. Bremer was appointed as Medical inspector (of Schools). The Department of Justice gave consideration to the re-arrangements of the work to the Courts, so far as children were concerned; and the Society pressed for the setting aside of one magistrate in Cape Town for dealing with all cases involving children. Early notification of Births to be dealt with during the next session of Parliament.Institutions for Children and Industrial Schools were overcrowded, and the Society decided to recommend to the Government that destitute children or those removed from their relatives should be placed in suitable private families and visited by Child Welfare Societies, as was now being done in other countries. The resports of the Soietyâ€˜s voluntary Workers were proving of great assistance to the Magistrates, Police, the Probation Officer, and kindred Societies. This year Annual report contains a statement of the Objects of the Society, and also the 22 Resolutions passed by the Child Welfare Conference. 10
"Children's Day" (including the first S.P.C.L. Street Collection) brought in £921:4:S. A Baby Show was held this year. The Revised Constitution was adopted by the meeting held on 12th December, 1917,(for the period 1916/1917). Year 1917 - 1918. The second Annual Child Welfare Conference was held at Johannesburg at the end of May, 1918, - presided over by Viscountess Buxton, The most important resolutions passed wers: 1. The Union Government to be asked to subsidise Local Authorities, who would institute a system of District Nurses and Midwives to give free services to needy expectant mothers. 2. The Union Government should pass a law that only Certified Midwives and Nurses be permitted to practise in the Union, - and all Nurses to be registered. 3. Adequate Government provision to be made for care, education And training of the feeble-minded. Delegates should form Associations in their Districts for the study and care of the feebleminded; and they should send in reports to the next C.W. Conference. 4. That ―Mother and Child Pensions‖ should be introduced, - on the lines of those existing in America and Australia, to obviate having to remove destitute children from relatives and placing them in Institutions. 5. Children‘s Courts should be established in the large centres. 6. School Clinics should be established in the large centres. A Baby Week Campaign was held in Cape Town in the same week as the conference in Johannesburg. Lectures on many subjects were given; an Exhibition in the City Hall; talks and demostrations to mothers on nursing and cooking; and a street Procession. Dr. Dunston, Medical Officer in charge of the Mental Disorders Act for the Union, gave two public addresses under the auspices of the S.P.C.L. The Cape Society for the Care of the Feeble-Minded opened a small Home for the certified cases of feeble-minded girls, and another institution was certified to take in six cases. Many cases were reported. A whole-time Medical Inspector of Schools was appointed, the Provincial Council providing funds for necessary development of the work.Strong deputations approached Government on important requirements, and much good resulted. 11
The administration of the Children's Protection Act was transferred from the Department of Justice to that of Education. The new Factories Bill provided that no female should work in a factory during the period commencing four weeks before confinement and ending eight weeks after confinement; and provision was made for payment of maintenance to necessitous expectant mothers. The City Council arranged to retain the three Women Patrols for at least another six months, for preventive work among women and children, the Police authorities having decided that their services were no longer required after the termination of the war. New Infant Consultation Bureaux were opened at Mowbray, Claremontand Maitland; and European women were taking increased advantage of advice. Lactogen (Australian preparation of dried nilk) much used by the Bureaux. Each of the Bureeux under the charge of a Municipal Health Visitor. The Lady Buxton Home served 51 children, the largest number in the home at one time being 40. Several Children were adopted into private families; groups of young women and girls were taking interest in a special Cot and providing clothing and maintenance money for the inmate. The Office work had greatly increased, including interviewing, correspondence, and keeping of records. A Male Inspector was appointed to assist Mrs. Lindsay. Much literature was prepared and published, and distributed in the Union, and also sent in response to requests from Australia, New Zealand and the United States. After the 1917 Conference, requests from Port Elizabeth, Grahamstown, East London and Kimberley, for representatives from Capetown to visit them with a view to arousing public interest in Child Welfare, resulted in Mrs. Lindsay visiting those centres and addressing public meetings. Local Societies were formed, running Infant Consultation Bureaux. Bloemfontein was also visited and started a Bureau, but there was not time to visit other places. After the 1918 Conference Capetown representatives Wynberg Branch of the S.P.C.L. established an Office in Wynberg Town Hall, and received an annual grant from the Wynberg Municipality. Year 1918 - 1919. The Influenza Epidemic of October, 1918, and the illness of many of the voluntary workers and staff disorganized the work for some time; and, with 12
the end of the Great War and the re-entry of many men into Civilian Life, many fresh problems arose. Children orphaned during the Epidemic had to be provided for. Many were adopted by relatives or strangers, and others were placed in Institutions or with foster-mothers, — the Union Government contributing to their maintenance. This was practically the beginning of "Children's Pensions", - monthly maintenance grants under magistrate‘s committal Orders, collected from Government and administered by the Child Welfare Societies, who report monthly to the Magistrates. As a result of a very representative deputation (headed by the Mayor), the Administrator (Sir N. F. de Waal) secured the passing of the Poor Relief and charitable Institutions Ordinance, under which it is possible for a Society or Institution to become registered and be entitled to a subsidy of £l for every £1 collected from the public. This Ordinance makes provision for a local Board of Aid, to assist necessitous families. Dr. Bremer, owing to ill-health, had to resign his post of Medical Inspector of Schools; and Dr. C.L. Leipoldt was lent by the Transvaal Education Department to organise the system of Medical Inspection of Schools in the Cape Province. Much active work took place in connection with Mentally Defective Children; and Dr. Dunston gave the Society every assistance in their efforts to deal with this class of children, - some of whom were placed with special foster-mothers, and others in the Mental Hospital at Valkenberg. Children‘s Court Cases. – Every Monday afternoon the Magistrate in his private room dealt with cases brought before him by the Society or the Probation Officer, - the latter and the Society‘s Investigator being present.An additional Inspector (woman) was appointed. Mrs. Lindsay was appointed by the Magistrate as inspector of premises licensed for public entertainments and the performance of children in public. It was found that the work of the Infants Consultation Bureaux was largely nullified by the overcrowding and insanitary conditions of the houses and streets where the very poor classes were being shamefully rackrented. Infant Mortality rate was about 10 white and 20 coloured babies in every thousand. The Municipality's Housing Scheme for its employees, and Mr. Stuttaford's Garden City (Pinelands) would not touch these classes.
Child Welfare Societies were formed at Graaff Reinet, Pietermaritzburg, and Heilbron. A Public Health Bill was considered at the Health Congress in Bloemfontein in September, 1918, and was passed at the l9l9 Session of Parliament. It provides that from lst July, 1919, there shall be a Ministry of Public Health. The Lady Buxton Home had an average of 40 children in residence. In August the new Matron (Miss Bainbridge) and Sister Smith took over. Owing to the difficulty in obtaining trained nurses during the War, the Infirmary was not opened to outside patients till the October, 1918, Influenza Epidemic. The largest number in the Infirmary at one time was 22. During the eight and a half months since it opened 96 children had passed through it; 13 of these died, but the cases were hopeless when admitted. Year 1919 - 1920 The Society continued to be a centre for information on many aspects of Child Welfare work generally; and requestd for literature and Adresses came in from all sides from many bodies and individuals interested in the subject, from all parts of the country. New Child Welfare Societies applied to the S.P.C.L. office for advice and information. Several ne Societies were formed, notably at King Williams Town, Queenstown, Oudtshoorn, Fort Beaufort and Ladysmith (Natal). The third Annual Child Welfare Conference was held in Durban in September, 1919. Mrs. McMurray continued to be organizing Secretary; and during the period when she was not actively engaged in that work, she was engaged to assist in the S.P.C.L. Office, chiefly to assist Miss Elliott in propaganda work. Miss Elliott (Hon. Secretary) was on six months leave of absence, in England, from April, 1920. Mrs. Lindsay returned to England in July, 1919, and Miss M. McLoughlin was appointed Head Inspector. A full-time record keeper was engaged in August, 1919; and the rest of the paid staff consisted of the Assistant Secretary, a boohkeeper, shorthand-typiste, a messenger girl, and an assistant inspector. Much valuable assistance in the office was given by voluntary workers, as well as on committees and in visiting cases. Her Excellency, Viscountees Buxton, had now left South Africa; and her great personal assistance in the broader aspects of Child Welfare in the Union would be greatly missed. 14
The Twelfth Annual Report gives a list of the main classes of work done by the Society, and gives instances of typical cases, as well as a full statistical summary for the year. On 15th October, 1919, the Society was registered under the Poor Relief and Charitable Institutions Ordinance, so that it can receive a subsidy of l0/- from the Provincial Administration and lO/- from the Capetown Municipality for each £1 collected from the public; and the fixed grants therefore cease. Year 1919 – 1920: The Department of Pub1ic Health, under the Minister of the Interior and for Public Health, now in being; and Miss Elliott had been appointed a member of the Council of public Health. The public Health Act made compulsory the early notification of births, - a reform which had for years been urged by the S.P.C.L. Under the auspices of the Society, judge Henry Neil, from Chicago, toured the Union in the interests of a ―Mother and Child Pension Scheme‖. The whole-time School medical Officers for the Cape Education Department were appointed, as from 1st January, 1920; and with the help of the school nurses much valuable work was being done. Much work was done as regards Mentally Defective Children, and a ward was opened at Valkenberg for idiot and epileptic Children. The Union Government had also made other provision at Frankenwald (Transvaal) and at temp (O.F.S.). Dr. Dunston continued to hold periodical clinics at the S.P.C.L. office; and many cases were suitably dealt with, but adequate institutional care was still a crying need. The Society made constant representations for whole-time Probation officers (men and women); and Mr. J. de Kock had been appointed wholetime Probation officer. The Women Patrols were disbanded on 31st December, 1919, as the Department of Justice was unfortunately unable to give them a recognized official status.An Inspector of Children, and an Inspector of Institutions were appointed by Government, but many more are required. The Monday afternoon consultations with the magistrate (Mr. van Rooyen) continued to be very useful in dealing with cases affecting children. There was a large increase in the number of children "committed" to the Society with maintenance, or to private individuals without maintenance. The Society continued to urge the Government to establish "Places 15
of Safety", for children who would otherwise be sent to the Police cells. Their Excellencies, the Governor—General and Viscountess Buxton, had arranged to endow the Denis Buxton Memorial Ward for Children at the Woodstock Hospital in memory of their only son killed in the War. The first Cape Times Fresh Air Camps were organized by the Society and held in the grounds of the Kalk Bay Public School in December, 1919, and January, 1920, — supervised by Dr. Leipoldt and Mrs.Harry Elliott. Mrs. Kirkman and Mrs. Hugh Lloyd worked hard, reporting on housing conditions, and assisted largely in the establishment and development of the ―Dry Docks School‖ for Coloured children in the Sheppard Street Mission Hall. The ―Dry Docks‖ area on the slopes of Devil‘s Peak has long been considered as a breeding-ground for criminals, but a great improvement has been noticed since the school was opened, as the children are disciplined and kept occupied instead of running wild. The average number of children in the Lady Buxton Home was 44, and 12 in the Infirmary. Much difficulty was experienced in securing assistance in the home, and the building had been found not to be altogether suitable. The Corporation had offered a grant of land off Kloof Road, to build cottage home for children; and the Observatory property was being sold to the Y.M.C.A as a hostel for apprentices. Until the new Homes were built, temporary accommodation would be found for a few children. Dr. Lilian Robinson resigned her appointment at the Infants Consultation Bureaux in September, 1919, and Dr. Beth Russell took her place; but later Dr. Mary van Ingen was appointed whole-time Medical Officer. The increase in cost of living has affected the finances of the Society in every direction, - in rents, salaries, cost of provisions and domestic articles for the Home, etc. Much assistance had been given by the newly formed League of Remembrance and Help. Year 1920: At the Annual Meeting for the period let July,l9l9 to 30 June, 1920, it was decided to alter the financial year, to run from lst January to 31st December in each year, in order to coincide with the financial year of the Municipality and the Provincial Administration; and a special "Annual Meeting" was called for the purpose of submitting the financial statement for the period lst July to 31st December, 1920. Year 1921: 16
The offices were moved to an old Dutch house in Dorp Street, called "The Homestead", opposite the Municipal Health Office, as the premises included sufficient accommodation for the housing of about twenty children (European and Coloured) in a "Place of Safety", where neglected, deserted, or destitute children, or young delinquents could be placed pending arrangements for their disposal. An ex-sergeant of Police and his wife were placed in charge, and as caretakers of the building. The Annual Report for 1921 covered the work of 18 months. Miss Stewart resigned her post as Secretary, and Miss Marjorie Quin arrived in January 1921 from England to take her place. The most important event affecting Child Welfare work in South Africa during this period, was the passing of the Amendment Act (26 of 1921) to the Children‘s Protection Act (25 of 1913); and one of the chief provisions therein is for the committal of young children with maintenance grants, under certain conditions, to the care of their mothers or other relatives, or to a Child Welfare Society – which is responsible for placing the children with suitable guardians. 298 children were thus committed, under this Society‘s supervision, - their maintenenace being collected from the Government and administered by the Society. This provision has ensured the keeping together of many homes, where otherwise mothers would have had to go out to work. The fouth Child Welfare Conference was held in September, 1920, Council for Mental Hygiene, and for the Care of the Feeble—minded. For nearly five years the Society had held clinics for the testing of feebleminded and mentally deficient children (under Drs. Dunston, Willis,and Kooy); and in July, 1921, the Cape Province Society for Mental Hygiene took over this work, in a room in the Society's offices. In July, the Alexandra Hospital at Maitland (with 750 beds) was opened by Government for Feeble—minded and Mentally Deficient persons. A specially trained teacher was engaged to open a school for the children in the Institution. Mr. van Rooyen having been transferred, Mr. Harmer took over the ―Children's Court" work; and the magistrate at Wynberg also worked in close co-operation with the S.P.C.L. office at Wynberg. The children of the "Lady Buxton Home" lived for two months at Kalk Bay under canvas after the sale of the property at Observatory in July, 1920; and were then removed to a block of the Alexandra Hospital until November, 1921, when it was required by the hospital authorities. They were then moved to Capetown to "Buckingham Lodge" in Inmount Street. Under the "Hostels Act" (No. 46 of 1920) a Hostel for Coloured 17
Juvenile Delinquents was established at Retreat, with accommodation for 25 boys between 8 and 14 years of age, - under a separate Board of Management, but the S.P.C.L. acted as Treasurer. The Society continued to act on the same lines as in previous years, and the work had steadily increased. Fresh Air Camps were again run at Kalk Bay in 1920 and 1921; and Girl Guides and Boy Scouts acted as helpers; Christmas Treats were provided for the Society‘s ―Protected Children‖; many thousands of garments were distributed from the ―Clothing Cupboard‖/ The Infants Consultation Bureaux were now run by the Health Department of the Municipality, with assistance from S.P.C.L. voluntary workers; and the better class of mother was beginning to attend more largely. In all the work of the Society an enormous amount of assistance was given by its many voluntary workers and committee members. New developments were: the feeding of necessitous school-children; the publication of the first quarterly number of a magazine ―Child Welfare‖ (edited by Miss McLoughlin); formation of a ―Moral Education SubCommittee,for children at the Normal College and the De Villiers Street Public School; and a Hostel for Working Mothers (unmarried) and their babies was shortly to be opened by a Committee of Ladies, organised by Mrs. Rolt, the wife of the Dean of Capetown. New Societies were started at Calsdon, Hermanus, Aliwal North. Year 1922: Chairman, Mr. H. F. East; Vice—Chairman, Mr. L.C.Serrurier; Hon. Treasurer, Mr. H.F.East; Hon.Secretary, Miss M.C.Elliott. The Fifth Child Welfare Conference was held at Fort Elizabeth in October, 1922. Many resolutions of previous years were reaffirmed. Resolutions were passed urging the co-ordination of the various Government Departments dealing with children; the licensing of Fostermothers; the Raising of the Age of Juvenility to 18 years; the provision of homes or institutions for the reception of neglected and destitute coloured children; provision of Playgrounds; Meals for necessitous Schoolchildren;School Dental Clinics; Hostels for Juvenile workers. The Place of Safety had housed l06 children, for varying periods, and had been of great use to the Society and the Probation Officer, etc. The children of the "Lady Buxton Home" were housed in portion of a large building in ―district Six‖ lent by the Eastern Cable Company;- the other part being used by the Hospital Board as a Maternity Home. The 18
Misses Bream and Johnston were appointed Joint Matron and Head Nurse, and there were 22 children in residence. Mr. H.F. East had very generously donated a large piece of ground at Claremont for the new Home, and the construction of an administrative block had begun, as well as one wing for 25 ―Emergency‖ cases of children under 7 years of age, and one Hospital block for 12 sick babies. A Dental Clinic for School-Children was being organised by four Associations (Cape Province Municipal Association, Trained Nurses Association, Dental Association, and the S.P.C.L.); to be held at the S.P.C.L. offices, for treating European children drawn from schools in the poorer districts. £200 had been given for the equipment, by the public for working expenses. Dentists and nurses would give their services free. – the Society providing rent-free rooms and the services of members of the staff or voluntary workers for no safeguard against parents claiming the children in later years; but now numbers of previous adoptions had been legalised on application being made to Magistrates. A ―Case Committee‖ of ladies with long experience in dealing with ―cases‖ was formed to consult once a week with the Society‘s officials. The General Purposes Sub-Committee, Lady Buxton Home Committee of Management, Wynberg Committee, Moral Education Committee, Dental Clinic Committee, place of Safety Committee, Fresh Air Camps Committee. The reports of all these, and any other special committees, together with the Medical Officer of Health‘s Report on the infants Consultation Bureaux, were submitted to the monthly meetings of the General Committee. In the 1923 Annual Report (pages 12 and 13) a very full and interesting statistical summary is given of some of the bodies working with the Society. For some years the Honorary Secretary (Miss Mable Elliott) had been in correspondence with Dr. Truby King of New Zealand (a leading exponenet of ―Mothercraft‖ methods, and new Director of Child Welfare in New Zealand), and in 1919 it had been hoped that he would visit, (under the auspices of the S.P.C.L. and in co-operation with the Trained Nurses Association) of Miss Paterson, Trained Nurse and Midwife who had been specially trained with regard to the Expectant Mother and the Feeding of the Infants on the natural lines adopted with such great success in New Zealand by Dr. Truby King. Miss Paterson addressed public meetings, and spoke to Mothers, Nurses, and Schools and to Nurses at the Hospitals. She also helped many mothers as regards the feeding of their infants, and aroused general interest in what can be done by preventative work with regard to the health of mothers and babies. 19
Dr. Jasper Anderson retired in April, 1923, and was succeeded by Dr. T. Shadick Higgins as Medical Officer for health for the Capetown Municipality. The general financial depression has had its effect on the society‘s finances; and the reduction of the Government‘s maintenance grants for committed children, and the limitation of the Annual Subsidy had seriously affected the Society‘s power to deal effectively with the many problems connected with the work. On strong representations from the Capetown Society to the Magistrate, a whole-time official was appointed to attend to cases involving payment of maintenance as ordered by the Court. The Official was first stationed at Wale Street Police Station; and was afterwards given an office in the Magistrate‘s Court Buildings in Caledon Square. Nearly £300 per month was being collected in this way from fathers, and paid to the children‘s custodians, whereas formerly the fathers simply neglected to pay. Owing largely to the initiative of Miss Quin, a Central Committee for Girls‘ Clubs had been appointed; and several clubs were being run (independently of the Society) in Capetown and the suburbs, for both European and Non-European girls. Year 1924: The sixth Child Welfare Conference for the Union was held in the City Hall, Capetown, from the 25th to 28th March, 1924. Two of the immediate results of the Conference were:a) The formation of a National Council for Child Welfare, which is a body of 83 members, representative of all Child Welfare Societies in the Union, Government Departments, and other bodies interested in Social Welfare, - including municipalities and the nursing and medical professions. b) The decision to open Mothercraft Training Centres, where a special course could be given in the care of the mother and the feeding of infants. The first meeting of the National Council for Child Welfare was held at Bloemfontein in May, 1924, when the Council‘s Constitution was drawn up, etc. Mrs. McMurray was appointed Secretary. The Executive held three meetings during the year, and the President of the Council (H.R.H Princess Alice) had made an appeal for funds for the National Work. The Lady Buxton Home (Emergency section) had dealt with 83 children during this year. Miss Bream and Miss Johnston returned to England in May, and Miss McLaren was appointed Matron for the time being. In 20
conjunction with the Emergency Home, a Mothercraft Training Centre and Dietetic Hospital course for nurses and midwives in the care of mothers and the feeding of infants; and the training of Nursery Nurses. A cottage to accommodate the trainees was being built, and a Matron and Sister trained and experienced in New Zealand had been selected by Dr. Sir Frederick Truby King (Director of Child Welfare in New Zealand). Representatives of the Society gave evidence before the Union Education Commission and the Public Hospitals Enquiry Committee. In the evidence given before the latter, emphasis was laid on the need for better and more adequate provision for maternity cases and the training of midwives; and to the great need for more cot accommodation for sick children; for facilities for dental treatment for necessitous children, and for treatment of crippled children. The establishment by the Capetown Publicity Association of a Wireless Studio had provided opportunity for the broadcasting of talks on many subjects connected with Child Welfare; and the Press had continued to assist the Society by publishing its reports and other matters dealt with by the Society. In April, 1924, by consent of the Magistrate and the Municipal health Department, the visiting of ―Protected infants‖ was taken over by the Health Visitors, who – as regular and trained workers – would be able more adequately to keep the little ones under supervision, as they were constantly in and out of the houses. Overlapping of work had been taking place; but now the Society‘s voluntary workers could devote more attention to older children and to other sections of the work. A Part-time Voluntary Woman Probation Officer (Miss Greenlees) had been appointed by the Department of Justice. The ―Non-Support‖ offices at the Capetown and Wynberg Magistrate‘s Offices had been most successful in collecting maintenance from fathers who had failed to support their children, and the mothers and children had benefitted greatly. During 1924 the Capetown Office collected and paid out over £6056:- Further, by the enforcement of reciprocal maintenance orders, support could be claimed from fathers who had gone to other countries to avoid their responsibilities, - if the law of that country also dealt with The Department of the Interior, in consultation with the Union Department of Education, had decided that maintenance might be claimed from the Department of the Interior for children of certified and feebleminded mothers, at the rate of £3 per month for a European and £2 for a 21
colours infant, up to the age of 7 years, at which age – if they tested as mentally normal- they would be transferred to the control of the Education Department and be dealt with under the Children‘s Protection Act. The Child Welfare Societies would undertake supervision and disbursement of such grants. The Dental and Mental Clinics had proved exceedingly useful. A special Committee had given much time to the question of the preservation of Open spaces in Urban Centres; and it was urged that locally certain open spaces should be reserved in perpetuity as Playgrounds, and others created by the clearance of old buildings. The Capetown Municipality had reserved and equipped two playgrounds for children. The usual activities of the Society continued to increase; and, on the initiative of Miss Quin, a small fund known as ―The Invalid Children‘s Aid Fund‖ had been strated, for children needing special nourishment, spectacles, surgical appliances, or medicines. Owning to the numbers of crippled children requiringcare and treatment, a Home for Crippled children was greatly needed. The Society had lost a very valuable worker, by the death of Miss Quin in November 1924, - after nearly four years of very active, useful and selfless service, - during which time her personality and beauty of character had endeared her to all her fellow-workers and to those for whose welfare she had worked so unceasingly. The death of Dr. Jasper Anderson, one of the founders of the Society, also took place this year. Year 1925: The death of Mrs. McMurray in August, 1925, after many months of suffering, removed one of the earliest and most valuable workers for Child Welfare on national lines; and she would be greatly missed. Her enthusiasm, and knowledge of Child Welfare in its broader aspects, were of very great value; and the developments in connection with the Child Welfare Conferences and the South African National Council for Child Welfare were largely due to her. ―Her regrettable illness and subsequent death, coming within a year of the ―formation of the Council‖, naturally acted as a brake to the forward movement, but was only a temporary setback.‖ At the Annual Meeting of the National Council for Child Welfare (N.C.C.W.) at Bloemfontein in August, it was resolved that two specialised Welfare Workers should be appointed, - the one an organising Secretary to work at the Council‘s headquarters, and the other a Travelling Lecturer.
Through an appeal organised by Mrs. Mcmurray early in the year, and signed by H.R.H. Princess Alice Countess of Athlone, and circulated throughout the Union, the sum of £2176:9:6 was raised for the permanent funds of the N.C.C.W. The main objects of the Council are propaganda and education in the interests of Child Welfare generally. Correspondance with Societies, the quarterly issue of the ―Child Welfare Magazine‖ (which was started in 1921 by Miss McLoughlin) – taken over from the Capetown S.P.C.L, the distribution of pamphlets, the raising of funds by an appeal to Municipalities, and negotiations with Government Departments concerning Child Welafre work, constituted some of the work carried on by the Acting Secretary under the direction of the Chairman. The total number of affiliated Societies (Child Welfare was now 43. Early in the year 1925 it was found necessary to house the Society‘s officials and records in better premises, and suitable offices were found at 29 Buitenkant Street. This move was made partly because the dividing of the Place of Safety for Children (Coloured from Europeans) was very necessary. The Coloured children were placed in charge of a reliable foster-mother, and the Europeans with one of the Society‘s Inspectors (Mrs. Prentice), both of whom had large houses. Several children received in the Place of Safety were tested at the Mental Clinic, and some who would otherwise have become ―recidivists‖ had been dealt with as mentally defective so that the State was being saved the trouble and expense of frequent prosecutions and imprisonment of those who were not mentally normal. In October, 1925, Miss Elliott sailed for India on a much needed holiday, and has since resigned her position as Honorary Secretary, - to the great regret of her colleagues and the many friends of the Society whose interest she had been chiefly instrumental in enlisting. "During her twelve years of devoted work in the cause of Child Welfare, over thirty Societies were formed throughout South Africa to deal with the problems of Child life; the Lady Buxton Home for Emergency cases was opened, and eventually found a permanent and beautiful site in Newlands Road, Claremont. The latest activity grafted on to the original Emergency Home is the Mothercraft Training Centre, to the organising of which Miss Elliott gave several strenuous work. The opening of Infant Consultation Bureaux, now given over entirely to the Municipal Health Department; the organisation of the Fresh Air Camp, the founding of the Dental Clinic, and the Child Welfare Magazine, are a few of the many activities which have 23
filled these fruitful years of zealous works. Such unremitting toil is already bearing fruit, but the whole result of Miss Elliott's life work willnot be seen for some time to come." "It is impossible to thank all who have contributed some form of service during the year, but a special vote of thanks is due to the voluntary workers both at the Capetown and the Wynberg Offices for the devoted application they have given to many branches of worth, some of which though necessary are most uninteresting. It is only by means of such extra help that the mass of work can be cleared up in the allotted time. The donors of gifts to the clothes cupboard, both individuals and work parties, deserve our gratitude, and special mention must be made of the Capetown and Suburban Clothing Guild. Constant and willing help with advice on knotty problems has been given by the Society‘s legal advisers, by Magistrates, police Officers, Probation Officers, and Doctors. Without such co-operation it would be impossible to deal with many branches of the work. The following have assisted with cases:- The Capetown and Wynberg Board of Aid, the Ladies‘ Benevolent Society, the Fairhaven Work Party, the Prisoners‘ Aid Association, Salvation Army, All Saints‘ Sisters, Sisters of Bethany, St. George‘ Orphanage, St. John‘s Hostel, Kindersendinghuis, St. Peter‘s Home (Grahamstown), Holy Cross (Parow), industrial Schools (George, Heidelberg, Paarl, Standerton, Tempe), Nazareth House, Home of Good Sheppherd (Johannesburg), Sisters of the Holy Cross (Irene), and others. Many individuals and bodies helped by giving donations or subscriptions, by raising funds by special entertainments and dances, and by organising and taking part in a very successful Street Collection. Several business firms made special terms for activities connected with the Society. Mrs. Lester was kindly acting as Honorary Secretary until the return of Mrs, Tippett,(from England), who had been appointed to fill Miss Elliott's place. After Miss Quin‗s death in November, 1924, Miss M. McLoughlin took over the duties of Secretary, and had under her four Inspectors (Miss May, Miss Dreyer, Miss Hofmeyr and Mrs. Prentice) Miss A. J. Tawke had been appointed secretary of the Wynberg Office, and was assisted by members of Committee and nine Voluntary Visitors to Protected Infants and Committed children in the Wynberg Magisterial area. 24
The Mothercraft Training Centre and Dietetic Hospital for Infants, under the charge of Miss A. Mitchell, assisted by Miss Bowron, — both Plunkett Nurses from New Zealand, — was opened on lst June, 1925, for the reception of students and patients; and was formally opened on llth July by H.R.H. Princess Alice. Dr. Malan (Minister of Health) spoke on the urgent need for educating both mothers and nurses in the care and feeding of the normal child. The Dietetic Hospital was housed in the "Mabel Elliott Wing" of the Lady Buxton Home, having accommodation for 15 infants suffering from dietetic disorders. A few mothers having difficulty with breast-feeding were also taken in in this section. As regards trainees, the General Trained Nurses‘ course lasts 4 months, and Midwifery Trained Nurses 6 months; and when they have completed their course of training and passed the examination, they obtain their certificates as ―Athlone Nurses.‖ The ―Good Hope Nurses‖ 9Nuresery Nurses) take a year‘s course in the care of children (six months in the Emergency Home and six months in the Infants‘ Dietetic Hospital), and must be European girls of good character who have passed the 5th standard. Many mothers attended for advice, and correspondence with many others throughout the Union took place. A large number of medical men and other visitors called at the Institution. The Home was visited daily by one of the Honorary Medical Advisors, and the Trainees attended classes held by the Lecturers and the Matron. Patrols of Girl guides, and other bodies of girls and young women, visited to help with the sewing, etc. and were given demonstrations in the care and handling of infants. There was an average of 10 to 14 children in the Emergency Home, which was now housed in the "League of Remembrance & Help Wing Mis McLaren was in charge of this section, but left in April, and Sister Luden took her place and worked under Miss Mitchell, the Matron of the Home. The Union Government contributed £1000, and the Capetown Municipality £100, towards the first year of the Centre, which is looked upon as being under the auspices of the Union Education Department and the National Council for Child Welfare, — though the management thereof 25
is one of the activities of the Society for the Protection of Child Life, Capetown. Other donations to the Mothercraft Centre totalled £715 odd, towards the cost of equipment and alteration to the buildings; but a debt of £600 remained to be worked off by donations or colections. All the other branches of the Society's activities continued to increase, and the preventive side of the work was steadily gaining in importance. The Fresh Air Camps had proved so beneficial that it was hoped to have permanent buildings at the seaside, where children needing a holiday could be sent to the Camp at once instead of having to wait until December; and the Capetown Municipality had already granted a site at Muizenberg for permanent buildings. In July, 1925, the ―Sanatorium‖ at Plumstead was bought by Lady Michaelis for adaptation as a Hospital for Crippled Children (Europeans), and would be opened in 1926. The ―Mountain Hostel‖ at Retreat, for Coloured Deliquent Boys, had fully justified its existence, and great advances had been made in developing the land. The Union Education Department, after consultation with a Special Committee, had decided to purchase a suitable property as a Farm training School for Coloured Boys who are not delinquents but need special training and discipline. The Cape Province Society for Mental Hygiene had done valuable work at the Clinics at the S.P.C.L. offices. The mentally deficient Coloured child was still unprovided for as regards special accommodation and education. A Health Week was held in 1925, organised by a Special Committee. The Monthly Meetings of the S.P.C.L, were held in the City Hall Library or the Council Chamber, and special committee meetings had been held in rooms at the City Hall, lent by the City Council. Chairman and Hon. Treasurer. — Mr. H. F. East. Vice-Chairman, - Mr. Justice Brooms. Year 1926: Mrs. Tippett, on her return from England, had taken over the duties of Honorary Secretary. During her association with the society, since 1920, 26
she had given a great deal of time to voluntary work for the society and, before that, she had worked for the Johannesburg Children‗s Aid Society for many years. In June, owing to ill-health, Miss McLoughlin was obliged to give up work; and Mrs. A. Duncan became General Secretary. Miss Wilkinson (later Mrs. Dumsday) was appointed Office Interviewer. Mrs. Notcutt, who had initiated the Milk Fund in 1909, was obliged to resign through ill-health; and Miss Wathes took her place. "The principle on which the Society has worked is first to find out "a need, meet it if possible even if only in a small way, and then get suitable bodies to be responsible for the furtherance of such work in order that it may benefit the greatest number.‖ The following were some of the activities which largely owed their inception to the Society‘s initiative:infant Welfare Centres; Dental Clinics; Mental Hygiene Clinics; Children‘s Courts and Magistrates; Probation Officers; Places of Safety; certain Homes and Hostels; Play Centres; Children‘s Reading Room at the Capetown Public Library; Playgrounds and Open Spaces; Fresh Air Camp organistaion; Mothercraft Training Centre and Diatetic Hospital for Infants; the starting of several kindred Societies. For many years all social workers in Capetown had felt that many of the questions arising as to Juvenile Delinquency, ill-health and immortality, were largely due to the lack of proper housing for the poor. A more active campaign in this connection should be prosecuted. Canon Lavis had always been a leading worker in this direction. During 1926 the Non-Support Office at the Capetown Magistrate‘s Office had collected and paid out approximately £13,000 to the guardians of children. A large part of the routine office work was taken up with the care and supervision of hundreds of "Committed Children" as well as those for whom trust funds were administered; monthly visits were paid to these children by the Inspectors, in addition to their regular work of visiting cases of poverty, neglect, cruelty, etc., that occurred daily. Approximately £8,400 was administered in the maintenance of children during the year. During all the past years, since 1908, the Society had carried through and supervised the adoption of destitute children; and the magistrates referred to the Society all applications for adoption.
In no case nowadays was legal adoption agreed to until after a probationary period of six months. No child of a certified feeble-minded mother might be recommended for adoption until the child reached 7 years of age and was certified by a Mental specialist as being of normal intelligence. The Wynberg Office was moved to Rifkin's Buildings, Main Street, Wynberg, and was open every morning except Saturday and Sunday. Correspondence was attended to at the Capetown Office, but on two days of the week a member of the Capetown staff attended at Wynberg; otherwise, the interviewing was done by voluntary workers. Thirteen voluntary workers shared the work of visiting Protected Infants and Committed Children monthly in the Wynberg area. After many years of devoted service as a Voluntary Visitor, Madame Aune had been appointed Inspector of Outlying Areas, at a small salary, and used her own car to cover a very wide area, largely on the sandy Cape Flats. The Society had always protested against child offenders being placed in the Police cells pending enquiry or trail; and, as a consequence of longcontinued representations to the Government authorities, and discussions early in the year with the Secretaries for Justice and Education; permission was given to the Society to establish ―Places of Detention‖, both for European and Coloured children; and an additional grant for the Place of Safety was to be made by Government. The European Place of Safety at Willow Lodge, Wesley Street, Capetown, was certified under section 53 of the Children‘s Protection Act; and in June a new Place of Safety and Detention for Coloured Children was opened at 37 and 39 York Street, Woodstock, and put under the care of an exserviceman and his wife. Separate rooms were put aside for the Detention children, children (juvenile offenders) sent in by the magistrates and Probation Officer; the Place of Safety children are mostly children against whom some crime has been committed, or who have been found uncared for or deserted, and these are generally sent in by the Society or the Police. The period of stay varies from a few hours to a few weeks, — during which time the necessary arrangements for disposal are being made. Lady Buxton Home. — Of eight "Athlcne Nurses" certified in 1926, one had received a Health Visitor's post, and five special Hospital appointments. The five "Good Hope― Nursery Nurses who had obtained their certificates had all obtained suitable posts, as there was a constant demand from all parts of the Union. 28
The foundation of Mothercraft is the prevention of disease by sound ante-natal advice, and teaching in the correct feeding, nurture and training of infants. The teaching at the Mothercraft Training Centre is given to mothers by the staff of the Institution, who are specially trained in the work, and deals with normal infants only. Sick infants are referred to medical care. The Infants‗ Dietetic Hospital Terms a valuable asset to the Medical School of the University of Capetown, — the Medical Professors bringing their students for clinical lectures. Sister Bowron returned to New Zealand in March, and her place was taken by Sister Esterhuyse, one of the first Athlone Nurses trained at the M.T. Centre. Another trainee, MissTomlin, was now Sister-in-Charge of the Energency Home. The Centre acted as distributor for the ―plunkett Emulsion‖ obtained from New Zealand; and was in correspondence with mothers throughout the Union and adjoining territories. During the year, 1063 mothers attended at the Wednesday and Saturday clinics. Mrs. Horwood (City Councillor and member of the Hospital Board), a member of the Trained Nurses‘ Association, was Honorary Secretary of the Committee of Management of the Mothercraft training Centre, on which there were also other ex-nurses, several medical doctors, and experienced mothers and families. Monthly reports were sent by the Committee to the National Council for Child Welfare; and matters of policy were submitted to the N.C.C.W. for approval. The Child Welfare Congress was held at Pretoria in October, and a report on the Mothercraft Training Centre was read by Councillor Mrs. Horwood. Other papers contributed were:' "The Training of Social Workers", by Professor F. Clark of the Capetown University; and ―Poor Relief and Child Welfare", by Dr. T. Shadick Higgins (M.O.H. Capetown:) Some of the most important resolutions passed wereRaising of the age of the Protected Infant; Provision for the Registration of Foster-Mothers; Amendments for the Adoption Act; Raising of the Age of Consent; Provision of Remand Homes for Juvenile Delinquents; Appointment of Additional Medical Inspectors of Schools. At the April meeting of the Executive of the N.C.C.W, Mrs. Tippett was appointed Vice-Chair in place of Miss Elliott (resigned); and it was decided that "Our Children's Day― should be held annually on lst November throughout the Union, in aid of the funds of the N.C.C.W., and as a means of propaganda re Child Welfare. 29
Late in the year a warm welcome was extended to Sir Robert Parr, _ 0.B.E., Director of the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children (England), who paid a short visit to Capetown; and he spoke to a wellattended Public Meeting. In the early years of the Society Sir Robert Parr was of the greatest assistance to the S.P.C.L., as the Honorary secretary (Miss Elliott) was in frequent correspondence with him regarding the methods of furthering the cause of Child Welfare. Sir Frederick Smith, a foundation worker of the S.P.C.L, passed away during 1926; and also Dean Rolt, who had been a valued worker during the period of his stay in Capetown. The Fresh Air camps were held on the new site at Muizenbeg, where a large shed had been erected as was used for meals. Tents and marquees were still used for sleeping accommodation. During the year members of the Dental conference visited the Dental Clinic and inspected the work. Mrs. Adamson had acted as Supervisor and Honorary Secretary of the Clinic. The Society was asked to give evidence before Committees appointed by Government to enquire into Old Age Pensions and National Insurance, and into the establishment of Hostels for rural children in town industries. In November, 1926, a Training School for Coloured Boys (the first in the Union) was opened by Government at Kromme Rhee in the Stellenbosch Valley, for about 60 boys, to receive schooling and be instructed in farm work. Year 1927: After filling the post of Honorary Secretary for a year, Mrs. Tippett was unable to continue, and her place was taken by Miss Doris Syfret. The work at Wynberg had greatly increased, and a permanent secretary would have to be appointed. One of the Society's difficult problems was how to deal with the enormous area now covered by the work, - cases having to be visited in practically the whole of the Peninsula and the Cape Flats. The inspectors visiting some of the more isolated parts were often in real personal danger from criminal characters. The Society had gradually been eliminating the more incompetent Foster-Mothers, and now had on its registers about 32 European and 35 Non-European women to whom it could entrust children to be brought up in a fairly normal home life. Some of these women would take in not only 30
an illegitimate baby but its young mother as well, and the mother was enabled to support herself and child by going out to work during the day and having the baby with her at night. In many cases this arrangement had been the salvation of the young mother. Abandoned children had become an increasingly difficult problem. Many children (mostly non-European) had been found left in streets, parks, on stairways, stoeps, in railway trains or stations, etc., and were usually taken to the Place of Safety till they could be placed with a foster-mother. In a few instances the Police were able to trace the mother, but usually Government maintenance had to be obtained. Adoptions granted during the year numbered 31. Where possible, enquiries were always made into the family history of the child and its parents; and references were required from responsible persons as to the good character of the adopting parents. Parents were not encouraged to hand over their responsibilities too readily; but in many cases it was most important that a child should be removed from very undesirable custody and environment and placed with those who were caring and responsible parents. The Places of Safety and Detention were open day and night for the reception of children sent there under the order of the Police or the Magistrates; and they served a purpose met by no other place or institution. Since the inception of the Places of Detention, many country magistrates had also been thankful to make use of them; and juvenile offenders had been saved from criminal contacts pending their examination by the Magistrates and Probation Officer, and during the period when arrangements were being made for their disposal. The help and advice of the Society was frequently sought by Principals of Schools and Institutions, Doctors, Clergy, and various official bodies; "The increase of this and other social work in South Africa means the need for an increase in the numbers of trained social workers, and it is hoped that the time is not far distant when a course of training for social workers will be made possible at the University." For some years, since 1920 and 1921, the Society had been aiming at such a scheme; and in 1921 Professor Clarke of the Capetown University had formulated a course which would enable students to take a diploma for Social service. This would provide not only for the theoretical course, but also for the practical 31
side of the training with the various Organisations dealing with Social problems; but by 1924 it was found that, owing to lack of funds and facilities, it had not been found possible to begin this special course. On invitation of various centres in Southern Rhodesia, for a representative of the S.P.C.L. to give addresses on Child Welfare, Mrs. Horwood toured Southern Rhodesia; and a Child Welfare Society was formed at Salisbury. In October the General Secretary visited Ceres and spoke at a public Meeting, after which a Society was formed there. As a rule, however, the National Council for Child Welfare now dealt with applications for advice re the formation of new Societies in the Union. Since the establishment of the N.C.C.W. in 1924, any legislation required in connection with Child Welfare work was recommended through the Council, which was now the organ recognised by the Government. All Child Welfare Societies were affiliated to the Council and has the power to make recommendations to the Council, and they contributed financially to its support and work. The 5.P.C.L. was represented on two deputations to the Administrator, arranged by the Juvenile Affairs Board:1) concerning the stricter supervision of Cinema Films for children; 2) with regard to the feeding of necessitous school-children. As a result, an Association has new been formed to deal with the whole question of No. 2.A deputation arranged by the Dental Clinic Committee waited on the Health Committee of the Municipality to urge the need for Clinics for Dental treatment of School-children. In December an effort was made to bring the views of the Society before the Port Elizabeth Conference on Education, and the following resolution was submitted to the Cape Provincial Administrator:"That children between the ages of 6 and 7 be eligible, not only for "attendance at school, but for the earning of the grant." On 2nd August, 1927, thanks to the South African Society of Massage and Medical Gymnastics, a Massage and Physical Exercise Clinic for European children was opened at the S.P.C.L. offices. It was open daily, and the South African Society of Trained Masseuses gave voluntary services. Dr. Simpson Wells (who has given unstinted voluntary help since the Society was first founded) attended once a month to pass patients for admission. The aims of the Clinic were for the treating of:1) Rickety and undeveloped babies and young children; 32
2) To give prophylactic treatment in cases of incipient flat-foot, knockknees, and other deformities; 3) To treat suck cases, if the deformity had become fixed, and so prevent an increase of the deformity, and generally to strengthen the child; 4) Post-operation cases were further exercise and treatment was required and to supervise the wearing of surgical boots and splints in such cases; 5) Cases of infantile paralysis, and to prevent deformities occurring; 6) To treat school-children who were suffering from postural scoliosis and flat-foot, etc. and also general under-development. Educational exercise classes were held for the last-named children – the more severe cases being given individual attention. A special appeal was made for funds to start the Clinic, and £100 was raised. Through the work of Rev. A. D. Blaxall, and their Committee, a residential School for Non—European Blind Children was opened at Athlone; and several of the Society's wards were admitted. In July, the Elsie‗s Child Welfare Society was unable to continue work, and handed over the money collected to the S.P.C.L., with a request that the Society would make itself responsible for Child Welfare work in that district. An office was opened one day a week for interviews, and an Infant Consultation Bureau, — as Elsie's River is outside the Capetown Municipal area. As great poverty was found to exist there, a Soup Kitchen was opened daily for two months during the cold weather. Now that Wynberg had come within the Capetown Municipality, the Infant Consultation Bureau there had been taken over by the City Health Dept. but the gratitude of the Society was due to Mrs. Lasbrey for having kept the Bureau open. Fresh Air Camps, - two for girls and two for boys, were held on the new site at Muizenberg offered by the City Council, - last year's site having proved too windy. Previous to the School Children‗s Camps, a Babies‗ Camp for children under school age was held at the Tramway Company‘s camping ground at Camps Bay. Forty small children under the charge of an Inspector of the Society and a Lady Buxton Home Mothercraft-trained Nurse were in camp for ten days; and assistance was given by many voluntary workers. 33
Several Christmans Trees and Treats were organised for various section of the children under the Society‘s care, - as had been done for many years past. The Eaton Trust gave a special donation for Christmas gifts, and forty very poor families (European and Coloured) were provided with parcels of Christmas groceries. As in former years, a generous donation was received from the Hospital Children‘s Christmas Toy Fund (Originated by Mr. Fairbairn of the Houses of Parliament, and others.) Thousands of garments (new and second-hand) for distribution were received during the year from individuals, schools, the Capetown & Suburban Clothing Guild, Camps Bay Sewing Guild, Congregational Church Women‘s Association, Unitarian Women‘s League, members of Toc Emma, etc., etc. The Little patients at the Alexandra Hospital had kept the Clothing Cupboard supplied. Child Welfare, the Matron (Miss Mitchell) spent a month at the Children's Memorial Hospital, Johannesburg, studying‗conditions and methods prevailing in the Transvaal. The number of interested visitors to the Lady Buxton Home and Mothercraft Training Centre during the year was 2,146, and included classes of Domestic Science students from the Technical College. In the course of training instituted for Health Visitors and School Nurses, six demonstrations and lectures on Mothercraft were included, and these were given by the matron 7 of the Mothercraft Training Centre. In the Dietetic Hospital three main classes of babies were dealt with, viz:— Premature babies, Breast-fed babies with their mothers, and Artificially-fed babies. The last-named constituted the majority of cases, suffering from malnutrition, indigestion, diarrhoea, vomiting, etc., due to improper or unsuitable feeding. No baby suffering from acute condition was admitted; nor frankly surgical cases, unless in need of dietetic treatment. This little hospital, therefore, was filling a real need in providing skilled nursing and~treatment for cases for which no provision was made in ordinary hospitals. The accommodation was being taxed to the utmost, and medical men were making full use of the institution. They might either attend their own baby patients, or hand over the case to the care of one of the Honorary Medical Staff. Facilities were available, without admission to the hospital, for the weighing and test-feeding of babies.
Having the Emergency home under the same roof as the Diatetic Hospital, was a serious drawback, as the small children in the Home coming into contact with their parents and visitors were liable to all sorts of infectious diseases. The two sections were incompatible from a housing point of view, though complementary so far as the training of the nurses was concerned; and the Medical Staff were anxious that an effort should be made to separate the two sections. A Mothercraft League had been formed in connection with the Mothercraft Training Centre; and members paying a minimum subscription of 5/- p.a. would receive a copy quarterly of the Child Welfare Magazine, which would contain articles (in both Afrikaans and English) on infant care and feeding, either by letter or personal interview) on any matter connected with the ordinary care and nurture of her child. As a first instalment of the scheme to erect a memorial to Mrs. Mcmurray, e quartz lamp for the treatment of delicate infants had been purchased, and would be suitably inscribed. The complete scheme would include a solarium. In August the new Nurse—Lecturer of the N.C.C.W., having completed her Mothercraft training, spent one month at the office of the S.P.C.L., for a further course of training in social work before taking up her new duties. The National Council and Executive met in Bloemfontein in September, and passed a resolution that the National Council should assume direct financial and other responsibility for the mothercraft Training Centre; and a Sub-Committee was appointed to visit Capetown in 1928 to discuss the position in this respect. Year 1928: In September Mr. H. F. East was obliged to resign his membership, owing to ill—health. During his many years of devoted service he had helped to weather the Society through innumerable difficulties in the course of its many—sided development. In addition to his work as Chairman and Honorary treasurer, he was instrumental in obtaining for the Lady Buston Home an annual grant of £500 from the Eaton trust; and of the late years grants to needy families from the same Trust. The land on which the Lady Buxton Home is built was a gift from him; and in many other ways he gave valuable and generous financial assistance. Sir James Rose-Innes, F.C., K.C.I.G., had taken Mr. East‘s place as chairman; and Mr. Duncan Baxter was now Honorary Treasurer. While the Hon. Secretary was on leave in England for five months, Mrs. Lester assisted as Honorary Secretary. 35
In this year, 1928, the Society attained its twentieth anniversary, been founded on 30th April, 1908. During these years it had been fortunate in securing the services of scores of devoted and interested workers, a list of whom would take up many pages of print. It had also had the co-operation of government Departments and officials, as well as all Associations and institutions working for social welfare. In 1928 an important movement was started in Capetown, in the formation of the "Community Chest"; but the S.P.C.L. was unable to join this co-operative movement for the raising and administration of Social Service funds, in view of the diversity and complexity of its activities and its responsibilities to Government Departments. An experiment was made in collaboration with the Capetown University (through Professor F. Clarke — who had been a valued worker on the S,P.C,L, Committee for many years) in giving a six months‗ course of training in Social Service to students; and the practical work was arranged for by this Society and other public charitable organisations. Owing to the lack of students, it was not possible to arrange for the two years‗ course that had been planned. It was hoped to devote more time in future to After—Care work, which ,though a very important branch of Child Welfare work had hitherto been somewhat neglected in South Africa. The S.P.C.L. office hours were from 9a.m. 5 p.m.; and it was often necessary for some of the staff to work overtime, and the Honorary and General Secretaries were frequently called up by telephone at their homes after office hours and on Sundays and public holidays, to deal with urgent matters. There had been a large number of cases of cruelty and neglect, and many complaints under Act 3 of 1916 (The Girls‘ and Mentally Deficient Women‘s Protection Act). Thanks to the helpful co-operation of the Police, the Society was allowed to take the statements from the children or women in these cases, - which usually concerned girls between the ages of 12 and 16. The Society had also been instrumental in securing convictions against offenders in other serious crimes of immortality and vice, and was very grateful to institutions such as The House of Bethany, Stanhope, and 36
Leliebloem, who were always willing to undertake the responsibility of caring for the child victims. The help of the Magistrates was invaluable in dealing with cases where the breadwinner refused to work or support his family, or where either or both parents were habitual drunkards; but very little permanent good could be done until the law was able either to force the men to work or else to commit them for a prolonged period to a Labour Colony. For many years the Society had been agitating for the establishment of Labour Colonies. In co-operation with the Juvenile Affairs Board, the Society had endeavoured to assist children to remain at school as long as possible, to avoid their being forced on to the labour market too soon. In other cases the young people were encouraged to attend Night School. . The homes of Foster-Mothers were carefully inspected, and classified as to whether they were most suitable for small children or those of school-going age; and the Society owes a great debt of gratitude to many of these women who lavish care and affection on the children in their charge and receive very inadequate monetary allowances. This branch of the work was closely bound up with the Places of Safety, as in many cases the little unfortunates sent there by Magistrates‗ orders were in special need of a happy home life. Places of Safety. —— Owing to the removal of the European children to the cottages at Woodstock, and the consequent overcrowding there, it had been found necessary to look for more suitable premises. A suitable property was bought at Mowbray, but, owing to the opposition of the Mowbray Ratepayers Association to the presence of a Place of Detention in a residential quarter, the Society was reluctantly compelled to re—sell the property. For some time past the Society had been in touch with the ―National Children Adoption Association‖ in England, in regard to adoption cases where both Societies were concerned. In the early part of 1928, Miss Clara Andrew, the Founder and Honorary Director of the N.C.A.A., toured South Africa to speak on the subject of Child Adoption; and a meeting at Capetown was presided over by H.R.H. Princess Alice, who was President of the N.C.A.A. At the close of the tour, several meetings were held at Government House, attended by delegates from other parts of the country, and resolutions were passed, recommending to the South African National Council for Child Welfare that Adoption Committees should be formed within the existing Child Welfare Societies to work in co-operation with 37
each other and with the English N.C.A.A. Pending the decision of the N.C.C.W., an Adoption Committee of the S.P.C.L was formed, and had since dealt with this Society‘s cases of adoptions. The work of the Wynberg office had steadily increased; and Miss Tawke (Case Secreatry at cape town) had now taken charge of the Wynberg Office, with two inspectors for the outside work and voluntary assistance in clerical work. The ground covered by the Wynberg Magisterial area was vast, extending from Simonstown to Observatory and taking in large areas of the Cape Flats. The Capetown Municipality did not include the Cape Flats, and the S.P.C.L. still visited the protected infants and other cases in the large Divisional Council area, and was assisted by several voluntary workers. Lady Buxton Home. -— Early in May, 1928, the Society received the gift of a large house and grounds ("Case Nuova―) adjoining the Lady Buxton Home, donated by the children of the late Mr. and hrs. Struben who)had lived there, — to be known as "The Harry and Mary Struben Memorial Home" This generous gift solved the pressing problem of providing suitable premises for the Mothercraft Training Centre and Dietetic Hospital for Infants apart from the Emergency Home. It was necessary to collect funds for the equipment and furnishing of the new Home; and an appeal for funds, combined with entertainments organised by many sympathisers, had resulted in the collection of £1500. The new premises were occupied in December, and had necessitated increased Nursing and Domestic Staff. The "Athlone" and "Good Hope" certificated nurses were in great demand throughout the Union; and a large number of prospective trainees continued to send in applications for admission. Hospitals and Municipal health Departments were now engaging ―Athlone‖ nurses, and were beginning to send members of their staffs to take the training. Advisory mothercraft Clinics were held at Pinelands and Camps Bay once a month, and either Matron or Sister attended to give advice to mothers. Addresses, lectures, and demonstrations had been given to several bodies of nurses, students, and Women‘s Associations; and the Matron was sent as a delegate to the Trained nurses‘ Congress to read a paper on 38
Mothercraft, and she also attended the Conference of the N.C.C.W at Maritzburg. In Durban she addressed the first Annual Meeting of the Indian Womenâ€˜s Child Welfare Society. Owing to pressure of public work, councillor Mrs. Horwood was obliged to give up the work of Honorary Secretary to the Mothercraft training centre Committee; and Mrs. Wray Brown was elected in her place. A sub-committee of the South African national Council for Child Welfare visited Capetown in January,1928, to discuss the question of the responsibility that the National Council should assume towards the Centre. The National Council had now agreed to pay a grant of ÂŁ500 per annum towards the salaries of the teaching staff, and required monthly reports to be submitted to it. For nearly five years the Dental Clinic had been continued in the hope that the Municipality would open Dental Clinics for children; but the voluntary workers (dentists and nurses) no longer felt that they could continue to carry on work that should be done by Government or Local Authorities; and in September, 1928, the Clinic was closed down and the equipment sold to cover the deficit on the running of the Clinic. The Massage Clinic had treated a large variety of conditions, and the Invalid Children's Aid Fund had supplied surgical appliances and paid for fares. Valuable donations of electrical apparatus, furniture and perpendicular bars and other gymnastic apparatus had been received, as also the loan of apparatus. Special cases were sent from time to time to Dr. Moll and Dr. Kooy at their out-patient department at the Somerset Hospital. An ever-recurrent difficulty in this remedial work was that children attending the Clinic and recommended for operation had often to wait indefinite periods for admission, to Hospital, owing to lack of accommodation; and in many cases postponement rendered ultimate care impossible. Several ladies had assisted by lending their cars for the transport of children to and from the clinic. Children for the Fresh Air Camps were drawn from a wider area than in former years; and Dr. Adele Impey, who kindly visited the Camps regularly, reported that children from outlying areas on the Flats were almost more in need of the benefits provided by the Camps than those from the more congested areas (slums). The very open sites at Muizenberg caused considerable discomfort, on account of the wind and driven sand; and tents and other equipment had had to be replaced, - involving heavy 39
expenditure. 543 children were sent to Muizenberg, in four camps, during the Schools holidays; besides 37 younger children sent to the Baby Camp at Camps Bay for twelve days earlier in December. As in former years, the Camps had many interested visitors, and many gifts in kind were received; and kind friends provided entertainments for the children. Year 1929: The general expansion of the work in every department having grown beyond the scope of the offices in Buitenkant Street, a large old house in it Bree Street was rented from October, 1929, and had the advantage of providing a sufficient number of rooms to house the massage Clinic and the Mental Hygiene Clinic, with accommodation for waiting patients, without encroaching on the rooms used by the Society's own clients and staff. The Honorary secretary's room who large enough to be used for all Committee meetings, so that it was no longer necessary to "borrow" a room elsewhere. Better quarters had also been found for the Places of Safety and Detention in a large house in Wesley Street, Gardens, Capetown. The separate housing of the European and the Non-European children in one building was at last possible, and had meant a great saving of labour and anxiety on the part of those in charge. There was sufficient space both at the back and the front for the children to play, and a certain measure of freedom could be allowed them. For a considerable time it had been found that many children (especially Non-Europeans) who had received orthopaedic treatment at the Outâ€” Patients Clinics of the Hospital were in such lamentable home conditions that they were in almost worse state than before treatment. The Society had to remove some of the worst cases to the care of selected foster-mothers. In December the tragic position of these helpless children was placed before the public through the medium of the â€•Cape Timesâ€–, and sufficient money was subscribed to enable the Society to rent two cottages at the Maitland Garden Village, - where seven little non-Europeans (all bad cases and mostly in plaster-of-paris) were placed in healthy condition, under the care of a European woman. Voluntary workers, as well as members of the staff, visited them almost daily, and two ladies were teaching them lessons and simple crafts on one morning a week.
In addition, the Society identified itself with the appeal which was being made to the public by special Committee for funds to erect a Home to be called ―The Princess Alice Home of Recovery‖, which will deal with cases of this type or convalescent child. The deplorable housing conditions and the high rentals charged for the merest hovels were a continued source of anxiety, and in several cases the Society had obtained an increased ―Mother‘s Pension‖ or Committal Grant. When the family refused to attempt to better its conditions, the Education Department was withholding grants, and the Society might remove the children to an Institution. Under a new Act, the Magistrate can prohibit the sale of liquor to a man who is a habitual drunkard, and (if a father of a family who suffer from his fault) he is supervised by the Police and the Society. Should he continue a drunkard he can be brought before the Court and sentenced, with the warning that a second complaint will mean his banishment, without option, to an Inebriate‗s Home. The Society now acts as complainant, instead of the man's wife. Another problem which the society attempts to tackle is the rehabilitation of the families with whom it has to deal. It seeks to get at the cause of the trouble, and by enlisting the help of various agencies, to raise the family to the standard of self—respecting, self-supporting citizens.
It was hoped that offences against girls and children, and cases under Act 3 of 1916 (Girls' and Mentally Deficient Women‗s Protection Act) would be brought under a special branch of the Society, with a specially - trained member of the staff in charge. In august a housing Exhibition was held in CapeTown. Representatives of the Society served on the Organising Committee, and two courts in the main Hall of the Exhibition in the City Hall were allocated to the Society. Exhibits were arranged by the Society and by the Mothercraft Training Centre. In October members of the Society‘s staff gave evidence before the InterDepartmental Committee of Enquiry into the working of the Children‘s 41
Protection Act; and the members of the Committee were specially interested in the working of the foster-mother system as practised by the Society. In November evidence was given before the Inter-Departmental Committee on Mental Defectives, wherein stress was laid on the urgent necessity for a Home for Hon-European feeble-minded children. The Adoption Committee was separate from the other work of the Office, and was under the direction of the Honorary and General Secretaries. Requests for children for adoption had been received from all parts of the Union. During the year 60 adoptions were finally recommended; 92 children were on probation; and 3 adoptions were cancelled. The distribution of clothing from the special Clothes Room was an important part of the work, and had for some years been done by voluntary workers on instructions from the Secretary and Case Secretary, records being kept of all gifts of clothing received and garments issued. The Society requires its foster-children to attend school properly and suitably clad, and there was a constant demand for boysâ€— and girlsâ€— clothing; for better garments for Sunday School; for boots for cold wet weather; for warm coats and macintoshes for children whose homes are far from the schools. These, as well as the constant emergency calls, the clothing for an entire destitute family, the needs of an abandoned baby, the warm clothing for some delicate mother, and the tidy suit for a breadwinner, besides allround-the year needs of all fosterâ€”children, fully strained the capacity of the "Clothing Cupboard". Blankets were also always in demand; and gifts of any kind would always find a suitable recipient. The Massage Clinic (now known as the "Cape Province Remedial Clinic") has continued its work among European children; and in February it was decided to admit non-Europeans as well. Class treatment had also been given to school-children for incorrect posture and breathing. Enormous extension and development of the work were needed in the interests of the physically defective children in the Peninsula, and should be a responsibility of the Municipality. Many interesting cases had been sent to the Clinic, notably several associated with disorders of the nervous system. Fresh air Camps. A new departure had been the holding of the Camps in the Country instead of at the Seaside where wind, sand and sun had caused 42
so much discomfort during the previous two or three years. Mrs. English most kindly lent the Camp Committee a beautiful riverside site, well protected by groves of oak-trees, on her farm ―Lanzerac‖ in the Jonkers Hoek Valley; and Mr. Santhagen of Stellenbosch kindly arranged transport for the children to and from the station, and allowed an enormous quantity of heavy equipment to be stored free on his property during this year. Miss Belcher of the Society‘s staff was again in charge of the girls‘ camps, and Mr. Tonkin , the boys. The Babies‗ Camps were held at Camps Bay; and in January an extra camp was held for boys and girls under eight years. Milk Fund. In July the Municipal Health Department was approached and asked to take over the responsibility of providing from its own funds for the supply of fresh milk to infants attending the Municipal Infants Consultation Bureaux; and in August this was agreed to, - thus freeing a considerable amount of donation money for the Society's own funds. Subscribers to the Milk Fund were asked, and gave, permission for their contributions to be used for the Society's Bureau at Elsie's River, and also to supply milk and extra nourishment for invalid and undernourished children and cripples under its care. In October the triennial Conference of Child Welfare was held in Durban, and the proceedings were divided into three sections:— Public Health, Child Life Protection, § Mental Hygiene. Among other papers read was one by Mrs. Duncan on "Foster-Mothers", and one by the Matron of the Lady Buxton Home on "Mothercraft". Negotiations had been proceeding with the Dutch Child Welfare Council, ‗Die Federale Raad‖, with a view to co-operation, and certain proposals were agreed to by the National Council for Child Welfare to be placed before the Federale Raad by a special sub-Committee. The N.C.C.W. had accepted various resolutions submitted by this Society‘s members of the Executive; including adequate supervision of apprenticed children, the raising of the age of children under the Children‘s Protection Act from 16 to 18, and the raising of the marriageable age of minors. The National Council was requested to take into review the whole subject of Bursaries and Free Training in Mothercraft. The official opening of the Harry and Mary Struben Memorial Home took place in March, 1929, on the occasion of the Annual Fete in the grounds of the Lady Buxton Home. The ceremony was performed by H.R.H. 43
Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, in the presence of a very large gathering. Members of the Struben family and of the late Mr. H.F.East, and many other well-known people interested in the activities of the S.P.C.L. were present. The next need is adequate accommodation for staff and trainees; The shortage of bedrooms made it impossible to take more than a limited number of trainees, and they had not sufficient facilities for quiet study. Appointments now held by Athlone Nurses trained since 1925 were as follows: 5 in the Capetown Mothercraft Training Centre. 11 in Hospital posts. 18 Health Visitors and Child Welfare workers. 2 Matrons of Child Welfare Homes. 16 Private Nursing. 5 Married. Nursery Nurses were also in great demand in the Union and adjoining territories. Several of these nurses had entered schools for general training in teaching. The constant application by medical men for the admission of mother and child to the Centre was evidence of the special benefit to be gained from treatment there. The accommodation for Mothers was unfortunately limited to four beds. The National value of the Mothercraft Centre was evidenced by the numbers of cases which came from great distances. Patients had been admitted from such places as Pretoria, Maclear, Kimberly, Kenhardt. An Advisory Day had now been started at Sea Point. In May, 1929, the Matron went to Canada to the International Congress of Nurses, as a delegate from the South African Trained Nurses‘ Association. Full use of the Lady Buxton Emergency Home had been made. 25 children could be taken in, including 4 infants under one year. 96 children were admitted in 1929, against 52 in 1928. The new electrically equipped laundry had greatly facilitated the work in both Homes, especially during the wet winter months. Nurse Haggart had given her services as masseuse to the Home, and several children had benefitted greatly. Many of the children admitted to the Emergency home were ill-nourished and undersized, due to their home conditions; and the results achieved by the improved conditions were evidence that the routine treatment of regular, 44
well-balanced meals, regular habits, and healthy environment are necessities for the growing child. Mrs. John Graaff kindly furnished the Day Nursery, making it a bright and cheerful room. The family of the late Mrs. Stewart Neave (who was a most generous worker for the Home) dedicated a room at ―Casa Nuova‖ (the Mothercraft building) to her memory; and they had inaugurated an Endowment Fund to which they continue to contribute as they raise funds. Half of the money raised must go to the Wynberg S.P.C.L. funds. It is with regret that the death must be recorded of another very Generous helper of the Society for many years, — Mr. H. F. East, who gave the ground on which the Lady Buxton Home is situated. Year 1930: Great regret was felt at the departure of H.R.H. Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, wife of the Governor—Genaral of the Union, at the close of the latter's term of office. H. R. H. had been a very good friend to all Social Welfare work in South Africa; and during the past six years she had been President of this Society, her sympathy and practical assistance having been invaluable. The Countess of Clarendon, wife of the new Governor-General, had kindly consented to become President. During the year, both the Chairman and the Hon. Treasurer were obliged to resign owing to pressure of other work. Sir James Rose—Innes had been Chairman for three years, and the Society had benefitted greatly by his influence, his wise counsel and balanced judgement. Mr. Duncan Baxter‘s expert knowledge had been most valuable. It was a source of satisfaction that both these gentlemen would remain as members of the Committees. Mr. L. Serrurier was elected Chairman, and Mr. C. Short Honorary Treasurer. Much regret was expressed at the resignation of Miss. L. Stewart (Treasurer), who had been on the staff since November, 1916; Mrs. Dumsay, who had done excellent work as Case Secretary; and Madame Aune (Inspector of Outlying Areas) who had done outstanding work both as voluntary worker and later as staff member. Miss Tawke, who had been busy with the reorganisation of the Wynberg Office, had returned to Capetown Office, and was carrying out the duties of Case Secretary for both offices.
Dr. Geddes, who had acted as Honorary Physician to the Mothercraft Centre and Emergency Home since the Lady Buxton Home was established at Claremont, had left for England. A Committee, on which the Society was represented, in Capetown, for coordinating the work of Charitable Societies; and a Central Registration Bureau was formed for all cases helped by such Societies; and it was hoped that this would prevent overlapping. In 1922 a similar scheme had been tried, and special forms and Index Cards were issued by the Municipal Health Department; but owing to lack of staff to deal with the reports at the Health Department the scheme had lapsed. Meetings of the S. A. National Council for Child Welfare were held at Bloemfontein at the end of September, 1930. Several of the resolutions put forward for discussion concerned proposed amendments and the codifying of the various Acts dealing with Child Welfare; and a SubCommittee was appointed to deal with: - (a) resolutions concerning the Medical Inspection of Schools; and (B) changes in the Constitution of the N. C. C. W. Councillor Mrs. Horwood was elected as a member of the Joint Committee of the N.C.C.W. and the Federals Raad. The tremendous increase of unemployment in Capetown and the surrounding districts had added to the volume and difficulty of the society's work; and, although this is not a relief-giving Society, there had been many tragic cases where immediate relief had to be given pending assistance being obtained from the appropriate quarters. Although there were many children for whom Institution life was the best, there were many children under the care of the Society who were most suitably cared for by good foster-mother. For many years the Society had had in mind the desirability of having its own Foster-Mother cottages, which would not be scattered over too wide an area for effective supervision. The lack of decent housing accommodation in the poorer districts increased the difficulty experienced in finding homes for destitute, abandoned, or neglected children of both European and non-European races. During the year some 2000 garments were distributed; and the Clothes Room was managed by Mrs. John Symes, a voluntary worker. A committee of voluntary workers had been formed to administer the Invalid Childrenâ€˜s Aid Fund, to collect contributions, and to make after46
care visits to ensure that the children helped by the Fund might derive lasting benefit. Mrs. F. St.Leger Searle had taken the place of Miss Wathes (who had left the Cape) as Hon. Treasurer of the Milk Fund. The Remedial Clinic continued to prove most helpful. Several children were sent to the Clinic as a last resource after the parents were told there was little hope of recovery; and after treatment they improved remarkably and could be discharged. There was a steady growth of special classes for mentally backward children in the Peninsula. The "Cape Times" Fresh Air Fund reached a record total (£1595), and it was possible to send many children to the Camps. Besides the Baby Camps Bay, and the four main camps at Jonkers Hoek, two additional camps (for boys and girls} were sent to a house rented at Muizenberg for the purpose. In addition, a sum of £50 was handed to Hrs. paVjS, who was organizing non—European Camps. This enabled her to send an extra 100 children for ten days. In all, 850 children benefited, and special efforts were made to see that children of Unemployed were sent. Lady Buxton Home. The annual Fete in March (organised by the Home Committee and Staff) realised £500; and this large sum had made possible Fly-proofing of the wards and stoep, addition to the Laundry-room, a drying—room and electric equipment of same; alteration and addition to Emergency Home Kitchen, Furniture for Wards and Nurses‘ Home, and a Tennis Court. Electrically-heated water radiators to the bathrooms and wards in the Emergency Home had greatly added to the comfort of the children in the cold weather. Mrs. John Graaff, who had been associated with the Home for five years generously endowed two Cots with a donation of £1000. During 1930 sixteen nurses obtained the Athlone certificate, and the vacancies for trainees for 1931 were fully booked. Eight Nursery Nurses obtained certificates, and the vacancies for 1932 were already booked. It was impossible to meet the demand for these ―Good hope‖ nurses. The accommodation for trainees was so limited that it had been necessary to refuse many applications for training. A Fund had been opened for the erection of a new Hostel for Nurses, and many of the ex-trainees had contributed. In this country, with its large spaces and scattered population, rural nurses were urgently needed with special knowledge of women and children. 47
The total number of visitors to the Mothercraft Centre was 3692. Many people representing Child Welfare Societies throughout the Union had made a point of visiting the Centre, and these visitors were of great assistance in the co-ordination of work for women and children. It was with great sorrow that the death of Miss Mabel Elliott was recorded. For sixteen years she had held the position of Honorary Secretary to the Society, and she was a devoted firend of Child Welfare. Her loss would be felt throughout the Union. Her aims and schemes for the advancement of Child Welfare and Social Welfare were many and varied. The fact that during her lifetime she saw the outcome of her efforts in many ways must have been a joy to her. It is sincerely hoped that the work she established may steadily progress and the welfare of children always be cherished in memory of her. Even to within a week or two of her death Miss Elliott gave the Society the benefit of her wide vision and sound judgement. Largely to her keenness and energy the Lady Buxton Home and Mothercraft Training Centre owed their foundation. Although for some time past she had taken no official part in the actual working of the Centre, her advice was always available. The memory of her great devotion to the cause of the children, and her dauntless enthusiasm will long be cherished by those who had the privilege to work with her. This inspiration extends far beyond our own borders, and not only is this special branch indebted to her, but much Child Welfare work elsewhere, for which lasting gratitude will be felt. The cause of Child welfare had suffered a further great loss through the death of Mr. Willshire Harmer, the Childrenâ€˜s Magistrate at Cape Town, whose advice was at all times at the service of the Society. His sense of Justice was animated by the sympathy and mercy which proceeded from his love of children. The Chairman, Mr. L.C. Serrurier, owing to serious illness, had obliged to resign. From the inception of the Society, Mr. Serrurier had been an active member, and was formerly Honorary Treasurer. His connection with the City Council, as a Councillor and Chairman of the Finance Committee, had been of much assistance in the Societyâ€˜s co-operation with Child Welfare, from which he would also be greatly missed. Mr. E. C. Frost was elected as Acting Chairman. 48
During the year the Honorary Secretary, Miss Syfret, went overseas, and during her absence Mrs. de Vos Malan acted as Honorary Secretary. On Miss Syfret's return in September, she tendered her resignation, which was received with great regret. For four years she had ungrudgingly devoted her time and means to serving the cause of the Society, and had never spared herself in working for the uplift and comfort of friendless and helpless children. The Society deeply appreciated the work she had done, and it—was placed on record its gratitude for her unstinting service. Mrs. A. U. Tippett was elected Honorary secretary in Miss Syfret's place; and Mr. P. E. Potter was elected Honorary Treasurer in place of Mr. Short, who had resigned on account of pressure of business. In September Mrs. Duncan (General secretary) and Miss Tawke (Case Secretary) also tendered their resignations; and the society placed on record much appreciation of the work done by these two hard-working officials during the years of their connection with the Society. Mrs. L. Elexander (a former voluntary worker) was appointed Ceneral Secretary, and Miss Belcher (Inspector of Outlying Areas) was appointed Case and Assistant Secretary. Mrs. E. Thwaits was appointed Secretary of the Wynberg Office. The Society had passed through a very difficult year, and in view of the financial depression it had to review the scope of its work, which had naturally increased but had on the other hand received serious setbacks owing to the reduction by Government of all Grants (Committals and Mother‘s Pensions, Places of Safety and Detention, etc.). Special appeals had had to be made to the public for a Relief of Distress Fund; and special sub-committees had worked so well for the special funds, such as Invalid Children‘s Aid, Milk Fund and Clothing Fund, that the Society had been able to meet some of the demands on these lines. In March, 1931, an Invalid Children‘s Aid Committee was formed under the Chairmanship of the Lady Joan Villiers (Daughter of the GovernorGeneral, the Earl of Clarendon), and had accepted the full responsibility of raising funds and administering same. Lady Trower(who had been the chief stay of this Home since it was opened) offered whatever financial assistance was needed, and she and Mrs. Dumsday were given sole administration. At a special meeting of the Remedial Clinic it was decided, owing 49
to lack of Funds, to close the Clinic as from lst march, 1932, as it was felt that the responsibility for such Clinics lay with the Municipality, whose Welfare Clinics had sent in the majority of cases during 1930 and 1931. During its four and a half years the Clinic, by its voluntary workers, had proved the need for this work, and had had nearly 5000 attendances. Mrs. John Syme, who had been responsible for the "clothing Cupboard" for three years, resigned in October; and the Wynberg branch of the "Octopus Club" had made itself responsible. Gifts of clothing unsuitable for distribution were sold at Rummage sales; many garments were re-made; and knitted garments were sometimes unpicked and re-made. With the funds raised by the Clothing Committee, new garments, blankets, and footwear were purchased, and boots and shoes were repaired for foster-children. The Society had been relieved of all responsibility in connection with the administration of the Fresh Air Fund, - the ―Cape Times‘ having decided to manage it themselves; but the Society continued to recommend the names of children. Meetings of the National Council for Child Welfare were held in Bloemfontein in October; and resolutions sent by this Society were passed regarding:a) The formation of Remedial Clinics throughout the Union, wherever Children‘s Hospitals are not available; b) The appointment and payment by Government of trained Midwives in Rural Areas where they were not already available. Delegated were asked to send in statistics of the effects of curtailed grants, and to get information from Homes, Orphanages, etc., in order that a deputation to the Minister of Education might be supplied with full particulars. The headquarters of the N.C.C.W. would be at Port Elizabeth for the next three years. Full use was made of the facilities available at the Lady Buxton Home and Struben Memorial mothercraft Centre, by the provision of additional accommodation for trainees; and a programme of "refresher" courses should be instituted there. It was desirable that the training of Nursery Nurses should be separated from the Mothercraft Athlone nurses, and that training schools for Nursery Nurses should be established throughout the Union. 50
This year the 90th pupil among the ―Athlone" nurses passed through the Centre, and 17 obtained their certificates during the year. The Nurses kept in touch With the Centre, and many attended the annual Re-union. Eight Nursery Nurses obtained their "Good Hope" certificates. The Committee greatly regretted the resignation of Mrs. Wray—Brown, who as Honorary Secretary of the management Committee, had done such splendid work during the past four years. Among other notable visitors, were Her Excellency, the Countess of Clarendon, Miss Struben, Miss Mackenzie (Organising Secretary of the South African National Council for Child Welfare), and Mrs. Rothman (Organising Secretary of the Afrikaans-Christelike Vroue-vereniging). During the year Dr. Mary Brown Broome, and Dr. Adele Impey, were appointed Honorary Physicians to the Centre; and co-operation with the Municipality had been increased through Dr. Brooms being on the Staff of the City Health Department. The 1930 Annual Report for the Lady Buxton Home and Mothercraft Training Centre had been translated into Afrikaans by Mrs. Jordaan, a member of the Mothercraft League – which now numbered 612 mothers. Many more gifts in kind (largely from patients and ex-patients) had been received by the Homes, and had greatly assisted in the housekeeping section. Numerous gifts of clothing had been useful not only for the inmates of the Homes, but also to fit out destitute children who were leaving the Homes. Year 1932: The work of the Society continued to progress steadily, and was spreading farther and farther over the outlying areas of the Peninsula. The public conscience has been awakened, and the long-continued educative work done by Child Welfare Society and "Broadly speaking, the main object of the society is that every child with whom it comes in contact should be helped to lead a useful life and thus become an asset to the community. Every possible effort is made to preserve the family life in order that parents and children may be kept together, except in cases where it is in the best interests and advantage of children to be removed from unsuitable guardianship and surroundings, and placed with reliable custodians or in Institutions where they are educated and taught trades, etc., to equip them for earning their own living". 51
The General Secretary (Ere. L. Alexander) was obliged to resign on account of ill health, and the Society and staff greatly regretted her loss. Miss M. Belchor was appointed General Secretary in her place, and also continued to act as Case secretary. During the absence on leave of the Hon. secretary, Mrs. Lester acted as hon. secretary. Unfortunately, the serious financial depression meant the curtailment of monetary assistance, especially from Government, and this (coupled with Unemployment) greatly increased the amount of work to be done by the S.P.C.L., and aided to its problems and anxieties. Funds such as Milk Fund, Invalid Children‘s Aid Fund, and Distress Fund had to be drawn upon to provide for children who were literally starving; and much gratitude was due to the donors and workers for these funds. The Elsies river Clinic Fund was also called upon to Provide food for children suffering from malnutrition, as nowhere was the prevailing distress and unemployment felt more than in the ―Outlying Areas". The distribution of clothing was greater than ever before, — some 7000 garments having been issued from Capetown Office and 2670 from Wynberg Office. The number of European children who passed through the Place of Detention was 23, and Place of Saftey 69. Non-European children:- 400 passed through the place of Detention and 69 through the Place of Safety. The charges most common in Delinquency were bag-snatching, stealing and house breaking; the latter being generally worked by gangs. There had been an increase of children begging in the streets, as many quite well-fed children took advantage of the Public‘s readiness to give alms to ―unemployed‖ and their dependants, - and these children spent the money on sweets, cinemas or ice-cream, etc. The Invalid Children‘s Aid Committee had 60 children on their list for regular visiting, and cases were dealt with from Muizenberg to Sea Point, also all over the Cape Flats as far as Parow, Elsies River and Kraaifontein. The members of the committee arranged that any sick child theu heard of or found was seen by a doctor, and that the treatment prescribled was carried out. They arranged for a child‘s entrance to Hospital when necessary, and when it was ready for discharge they arranged for its return home, and continued regular visiting until the child had recovered. Tubercular surgical cases were the most prevalent. By the courtesy of Dr. Moll and Dr. Roux, a member of the staff was present at their Orthopaedic Clinic held weekly at 52
the New Somerset Hospital, and she passed on to the I.C. Aid visitors the instructions re home treatment of children. On the opening of the Princess Alice Home of Recovery (to which Sister Robinson, an â€•Athlone Nurseâ€– had been appointed Matron), seven of the cases in the Maitland Cottage Home were transferred there; but owing to the regulation that no child can be taken there unless declared by the doctors to have a reasonable chance of recovery, three incurables were left at the Maitland Home. As several other cases were pressing for admission, the Committee decided to keep this "temporary" Home of Recovery open for a further period. The Annual Meeting of the National Council for Child Welfare was held in Bloemfontein in June, - when the Council paid a very fine tribute to the late Miss Mabel Elliott. A Memorial to perpetuate her name and work was considered, and it was decided to endeavour to raise the funds to enlarge the accommodation for trainees at the Mothercraft Training Centre. Letters were to be sent to all 5ocieties asking them to collect for this purpose, and to send ell contributions to the N.C.C.W.
The History of Cape Town Child Welfare from year 1908 until 1932... information sourced from Annual Reports