4. Alfred Carson (1859-1944), journalist and aged care advocate
Born in Middle Swan, Alfred Carson was one of nine children. He was educated at Guildford School and after graduation became a teacher at Perth Boys’ School and Geraldton School where he was appointed Headmaster at the age of 19 years.
Later he gave up teaching in favour of journalism. In 1884 he married Eva Massingham and they had five children. In 1895 Alfred Carson became leader writer on the Daily News, later joining The West Australian as cable editor. In 1897 he became editor of The Western Mail. In 1918 he represented the press of Western Australia on a Commonwealth delegation of twelve journalists who visited the Western Front.
In 1923 he unsuccessfully contested the Perth seat for Federal Parliament. Alfred Carson’s legacy was the important commitment he made to the establishment of district and bush nursing and geriatric care through the Silver Chain nursing service. He was amongst the first members of the Infant Health Association; Chairman of the McNess Housing Trust; member of the council of the Flying Doctor Service; and an executive of the Australian Red Cross. He was also a Justice of the Peace and Magistrate of an earlier Children’s Court bench.
Alfred Carson was Chairman of the Silver Chain for over 30 years. In 1944 he was awarded an Order of the British Empire for his lifetime of charitable and community work. His ambition for the provision of a nursing home for the indigent aged and chronically ill was not achieved in his lifetime, but in 1946, two years after his death, such a hospital was opened and named in his honour.