Since the conference of 1970 “The Olive Sands Memorial Lecture” has been an annual event at each Physio First Conference. It was instituted after her death in 1969 to be presented by a Chartered Physiotherapist as a permanent reminder of the work of Miss Sands, and other founders of the Organisation.
As there will be many members who will not be aware of her dedication to the Organisation and to the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, a short resumé of her work has been included.
Miss Sands trained under Mrs Guthrie Smith at St Mary’s Hospital Swedish Institute. Before her resignation due to ill-health in 1964 she had been a member of Council for 22 years. Before this her service to the Society went back to 1938 when she was appointed Regional Organiser first for Wiltshire and then for the whole of the South West Region. She was so successful in this work – which was entirely voluntary – that three more Regional Organisers were subsequently appointed and the Ministry of Health agreed to supply sufficient funds to provide her with part-time help. In 1940 Miss Sands became the first Honorary Secretary of the Wiltshire branch and the South West local board.
From 1946 to 1950 she was a member of the headquarters staff in the position of branches organiser. During her period as member of council she served on many committees, but her main interest was finance, journal and public relations – she was a member of both these committees for many years, latterly a much-valued Vice-Chairman of both. Other offices she held at various times included Honorary Secretary, Chairman and also President of the Organisation of Chartered Physiotherapists in Private Practice and Chairman of the London branch, Chairman of the Metropolitan Private Practitioners Association, Vice-President of the London branch and Vice-President of St Mary’s old students’ association.
Miss Sands also found time to write two books, “Massage of the Head, Face and Neck” and “Physiotherapy in Fractures and Injuries to Joints”.
Miss Sands devoted a tremendous amount of her time and energies towards furtherance of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists in Britain and it is hoped that the memorial lectures will always be a reminder of her dedication and a source of inspiration to us.