The Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital (RBWH) Foundation has been putting out the call for all women who have given birth at the Hospital to register for inclusion on a special Honour Board which is being produced to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Women’s Hospital.
Eight months after the search began, the RBWH Foundation received its 13,000th Royal Mum registration. But while this is a huge milestone for the project, there are still thousands of mums that need to be found; especially given over 490,000 babies have been born at the hospital since 1938!
“The response to date has been overwhelming, and we are particularly humbled by the stories that have been shared with us,” said Karen Gallagher, Acting General Manager of the RBWH Foundation.
“So much has happened over the last 70 years, and it is interesting that for each significant milestone in the State’s history, there were mums who remember those dates for other, more personal, reasons. Our Mums have given birth during World War II and the Vietnam War; they have delivered during the electricity strikes in the 1980’s; some came by boat to the Hospital during the 1974 floods; one mother went into labour on the Story Bridge as the roads were blocked for the 1956 Olympic Torch Relay; another mother remembers Sir John Kerr sacking the Whitlam Government just after she gave birth; and one mother even remembers being given a spoon to commemorate the birth of her baby at the time of the Queen’s Coronation in 1954.” Ms Gallagher said.
Not only will these Royal Mums be permanently recognized on the Hospital’s Honour Board, but many of these stories will also be included in a book to be released next year, in conjunction with Studio Impressions Photography.
Apart from the interesting anecdotes, there are number of other fascinating statistics to come out of the first 13,000 registrations. Some of these include:
- Accounted for so far are 14,476 girls, 13,704 boys, 2131 premmie babies, 431 sets of twins, 19 sets of triplets, 5 sets of quads (2 sets from the same mother!) and one set of quintuplets
- The most common Royal Mum first names are Margaret, Patricia and Judith/Judy, with the top three surnames names being Smith, Jones and Johnson/Johnston/Johnstone
- The oldest living Royal Mum is 102 years and currently living at Manly West
- The Royal Mum who has had the most children at the Royal gave birth to 17 kids. She now lives in Cairns and also has 50 grandchildren, 86 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren
- The tiniest surviving baby born was 450gms in 1991 at 26 weeks
- The biggest baby born was 14lbs in 1946
- The oldest mother to give birth for the first time was aged 44, and that was in the 1940’s
- So far they’ve accounted for 81 children who were born in 1938 (the year the Women’s Hospital opened)
So if you’re a Royal Mum or know someone who is, make sure you register and become part of history. Registrations can be made at www.rbwhfoundation.com.au or by calling the RBWH Foundation on 1300 363 786.
Registrations are ongoing, and once erected, the Honour Board will be regularly updated. However, if you wish to be included in the first edition of the board, and coffee table book, you must register before 13 February 2009.