On 3 June 1905, 118 years ago, an article in WA’s Western Mail newspaper declared the children’s league of ‘Silver Links’ would be named ‘The Silver Chain’, with the goal to raise money to buy Christmas gifts for vulnerable and sick children in Western Australia.
Children from all over WA and as far as Queensland paid a one shilling membership fee to join. At the time WA had the highest infant mortality rate in the country.
It was Muriel Chase who took action, writing at the time as Aunt Mary for the Western Mail. Muriel’s tireless efforts started ‘Silver Links’. Tomorrow, it will be 118 years since Silver Links became Silver Chain, and this is the origin of the Silverchain name our national organisation shares today.
By 1907, enough money was raised to employ Silverchain’s first district nurse, Sister S.L Copley, to make house calls and care for sick children.
By 1916, the Silverchain Nursing League expanded from caring for children to working with older people in a cottage home in Perth. This remains a core focus for Silverchain and our care teams today; the delivery of best care to every person, every time.
When Muriel began ‘The Silver Chain’, she declared the motto would be ‘Little, but great’. She wrote in her column that it does not matter how little your offering is to the great cause of charity; the spirit which prompts us to contribute makes the action great and makes our characters great too.
From little things, big things grow. In 2011, Silverchain merged with the Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS) in South Australia, and we expanded to Australia’s east coast. With our combined heritage, we have cared for many generations of Australians for nearly 130 years.