Press Release – The Wilson Home Trust
THE WILSON HOME TRUST URGES SWIFT REGISTRATION FOR MEMORABLE WEEKEND One of New Zealand’s most loved and respected organisations for people with disabilities is urging those who shared its past to register now for its 75th anniversary Jubilee …
For release: 27 February 2012
Jubillee Celebrations Draw Near for Much-Loved Organisation
THE WILSON HOME TRUST URGES SWIFT REGISTRATION FOR MEMORABLE WEEKEND
One of New Zealand’s most loved and respected organisations for people with disabilities is urging those who shared its past to register now for its 75th anniversary Jubilee celebrations in late April.
“We were amongst the pioneers of helping people to overcome the challenges of disability, a job we’re still performing today. And so, our Jubilee promises to be both a memorable occasion in its own right and an opportunity for sharing often precious memories from times past,” says The Wilson Home Trust’s Director, Russell Ness.
“All over New Zealand and beyond, there are those who have benefited from our work. And there will also be large numbers of staff members, volunteers and donors, without whom our 75 years of achievement would have been impossible.
“Many of our old friends have already been in touch but we’d like to welcome everyone who’s been associated with The Wilson Home Trust down the years, to our celebrations, at and around our facility on Auckland’s North Shore on the weekend of April 20th to 22nd.
“To make sure you’re included, please register now, by visiting our Jubilee website at www.jubilee.wilsonhometrust.org.nz . We don’t want anyone to miss out on the celebrations. So please don’t delay,” he says, adding that registrations close at the end of March.
The weekend is to start off with a Friday Night Party and reunion at The Wilson Home Trust’s historic headquarters at 1, St Leonard’s Road, Belmont.
On Saturday 21st April, there will be a series of memory sharing sessions at the Belmont site, bringing together people who recall the organisation at various stages of its history.
Also scheduled for the Saturday will be guided tours of the site’s 13 acres of magnificently scenic coastal gardens, as well as entertainments galore, provided by, amongst others, the celebrated Kumeu Brass, the acclaimed Devonport Folk Club Ukulele Band, a jazz band and singer and accordion playing sensation, Tracey Collins.
A special Jubilee dinner on the Saturday Evening is to be followed by a non-denominational Service of Thanksgiving on the Sunday morning and then by Devonshire Teas and more garden tours.
The Wilson Home Trust was established in 1937, when Mr and Mrs W. R. Wilson gifted their family home and gardens, for the expressed benefit of children with disabilities.
For many years, the Trust’s chief focus was on providing residential care, at the Wilson Home itself, whilst the children received treatment and schooling.
Those who benefited from their time at the home included the legendary racing car driver and designer, the late Bruce McLaren, as well as Mick Brown, who became New Zealand’s first Principal Youth Court Judge and who will be playing a role in the April celebrations.
By the 1990s, changing attitudes increasingly favoured children with disabilities living in their own homes, attending local schools and participating as fully as possible in the community. Reflecting this trend, The Wilson Home Trust became active in facilitating a wide range of educational, social and health services across the Auckland region and beyond.
In 2010, the Trust moved its administration into a lovingly-restored nineteenth century cottage, on the Belmont site. The cottage also provides a venue for community activities and a welcoming environment for both people with disabilities and their family members.