Wanneroo Regional Museum display pays tribute to six decades of St John Ambulance volunteers

Ambulance vehicle presentation at Wanneroo Park on December 14, 1972. Pictures: Wanneroo Regional Museum.
Ambulance vehicle presentation at Wanneroo Park on December 14, 1972. Pictures: Wanneroo Regional Museum.

AN exhibition paying homage to ambulance volunteers will open at Wanneroo Regional Museum this weekend.

The ‘In the Service of Humanity: 60 Years of St John Ambulance in Wanneroo’ exhibition, on display from September 22 to November 24, tells the history and growth of the volunteer-based organisation.

The service was established in Wanneroo in November 1957 and soon became a crucial community resource.

It started with 16 members trained in first aid and Bill Mowatt was the first adult division superintendent.

In the mid-1960s, when the ambulance service still had to come from Osborne Park or central Perth, population growth prompted the Wanneroo volunteers to fundraise for their own vehicle.

Ambulance vehicle presentation at Wanneroo Park on December 14, 1972. Pictures: Wanneroo Regional Museum.

With money raised through by running cake stalls and door knocking along with grants from the Lotteries Commission and the Wanneroo Road Board, Mr Mowatt and his volunteers were able to buy their first Dodge ambulance in 1972.

The ambulance stationed at the Shire depot was staffed 24 hours a day and serviced all of the Shire of Wanneroo, as well as Lancelin and Moore River.

The display will include artefacts, uniforms and historical extracts, as well as a range of activities aimed at younger visitors to tie in with the school holidays from September 22 to October 6.

Ambulance vehicle presentation at Wanneroo Park on December 14, 1972. Pictures: Wanneroo Regional Museum.

The museum will have first-aid theme activities for visitors to dress up as a doctor and tend to patients in a play surgery; find treasures of the past in a museum clue hunt; or craft a skeleton puppet to take home.

There will also be visits from the St John 000 Heroes between 10.30am and 12.30pm on September 26 and October 3, with bandaging demonstrations, puzzle boards, 000 Hero book readings and colouring in.

THE ESSENTIALS

What: 60 Years of St John Ambulance in Wanneroo

Where: Wanneroo Regional Museum, Rocca Way

When: September 22 to November 24

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday: 10am to 4pm

Thursday: 10am to 5pm

Saturday: noon to 4pm