Century of care
Red Cross volunteers have stayed strong through 100 years
I hope that we as an organisation can continue as successfully in this district as we have been here for the last 100 years. Helen Guppy Bundaberg district zone representative
ONE hundred years ago the Australian Red Cross was formed in response to the outbreak of the First World War.
Soon after, many local branches were established throughout the country, including the Childers branch.
Throughout the decades the charitable organisation has remained at the forefront of people helping people, and Childers was no exception.
The branch’s achievements over the past 100 years were recognised last week at its annual general meeting.
Past and present members came together with local councillors and organisations to celebrate, reminisce and share stories of the branch’s valuable contributions and humanitarian work since its humble beginnings in 1914.
The local branch’s continuous service was officially recognised with a certificate of honour, presented by Bundaberg district zone representative Helen Guppy.
Ms Guppy spoke about the long and honourable history of the Red Cross.
“Red Cross is a great Australian story. I think many of you here today would have a Red Cross story to tell,” she said.
“It might be a time that you donated blood or received a blood donation, it might be a time you found something unique at a Red Cross show, it might be a time you volunteered during a disaster or indeed cried on the shoulder of a Red Cross volunteer when you were faced with disaster.
“It might be the stories of your loved ones who supported Red Cross during past wars or you might have had parents or grandparents who, like me, were members.
“I hope that we as an organisation can continue as successfully in this district as we have been here for the past 100 years.”
Childers branch president Patricia Fuller spoke proudly of the service and voluntary work the branch undertook to support soldiers and their families, including the preparation of care packages.
“Those women spent (time), in the years of the First World War, working so hard,” Mrs Fuller said.
“They used to knit scarves, cardigans, shirts, and socks. They were going to the men in the trenches,” she said.
“Every Australian soldier and prisoner of war received a parcel every two weeks during the First World War.”
At the meeting, long-term member and branch secretary Anna Bonanno was recognised for her 40 years of service within the organisation, and office bearers were presented their badges.
“It’s a great achievement. It just shows that she’s got a lot of compassion and strong humanitarian values,” Mrs Fuller said.
RED CROSS: Early members of the Childers junior branch gather for a photograph at a fundraising stall. This photograph is believed to have been taken around 1951.
SERVICE HONOUR: Red Cross Australia's Bundaberg district zone representative Helen Guppy presented a certificate to Childers branch president Patricia Fuller to recognise 100 years of operation.
BELOW: A Red Cross Anzac Day march, about 1950.
RIGHT: A Red Cross Stall in Churchill St, near Childers Butchery, about 1949.
Childers branch president Patricia Fuller proudly speaks about the branch's long history.