The Blood that Binds us – Mr Reid and the WCBS

By Craig Hicks

Mr Reid is a blood donor. He is also in a particularly distinguished league of blood donors who have donated 200 or more units of blood. I know this because I recently delivered his 200th donation gift to him. Although it was another task during a busy day, our conversation was anything but ordinary. It turns out that Mr Reid is profoundly connected to our organisation in more ways than one.

Two tragic incidents, his dad passing away in a car accident and his mom contracting TB, meant that Mr Reid and his sister ended up in a childcare home at a young age. It was a difficult childhood, but one that Mr Reid believes forged his selfless and altruistic nature.

Before his National Service, Mr Reid found employment at Old Mutual, where he gave his first unit of blood at the age of 17. He fondly recalls the ‘Horlicks Bottle’ they used as the blood container and the brass badge with the pelican logo he received for his donation. When his National Service came around, he also donated a few times but stopped after a misunderstanding about having childhood Jaundice and not being eligible.

Mr Reid started a blood donation clinic at his next place of work, the National Mutual of Australasia in the CBD, which continued for around 6 or 7 years. He promoted this clinic both internally and externally to the point that they had to find a bigger venue for all the donors. The clinic was so popular that most of the companies in the surrounding area started attending too. As fate would have it, it was during a conversation with a nursing sister at this blood clinic that made Mr Reid realise he can actually continue donating blood and set him back on his path to reaching his 200 units many years later.

Later on, he started another very successful blood clinic when he went back to work for Old Mutual. This is where he met Jane Pierce, a WCBS Medical Officer. While having a conversation with her he found out that we were looking to move from the foreshore premises in the CBD and recalls another conversation he had with an Old Mutual colleague about their Pinelands premises coming up for sale. The rest, is history as they say, we have occupied our current Pinelands offices since 1990.

We’d like to thank Mr Reid for his blood donations, his gracious promotion of our cause and for his part in securing our beloved premises – His story and his lifelong commitment to our cause is truly remarkable.


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