Outbreaks of poliomyelitis were common up until the 1950's when vaccine became available. The cause was not known and management was difficult - paralysis in varying degrees was the usual outcome. Public concern was high especially concerning children. One of the most significant Australians to suffer from this disease, was Alan Marshall (1902 -1984) who was born in Noorat, 15 kilometres from Mortlake. He wrote an account of his boyhood after he was struck down by the disease, in the internationally acclaimed 'I can jump puddles' (1955).
Rectangular piece of calico
Inscriptions & markings
'Shire of Mortlake. INFANTILE PARALYSIS. 1. Parents or Guardians of all children aged eighteen and under coming into the Shire of Mortlake from the Metropolitan or any other area affected with Infantile Paralysis, MUST REGISTER such children immediately either personally or by post at the Shire Hall, Mortlake. 2. Parents or Guardians of such "registered" children are requested to keep them away from all public gatherings and from all contact with other children for a period of Twenty-one days, and in the event of any illness to consult a Doctor immediately. 3. Residents of the Shire with children living in the house are requested in their own interests, not to take into their homes, or allow their children to have contact with, any "registered" child. 4. The following particulars are required upon registration:- Name, Age, Sex, Local Address, Metropolitan School, Grade, Metropolitan Address, Date of Leaving Metropolitan or affected area. Registration forms may be obtained at the Shire Hall, Mortlake, and at all Post Offices within the Shire. By Order, N.TURNBULL, Shire Secretary. MORTLAKE, 14/81937. '