Lodge marks 40 years

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News - BY LOTTE REITER

That Dun­munkle Lodge was built ‘by the com­mu­nity for the com­mu­nity’ is a long-last­ing mantra that Minyip will cel­e­brate at the fa­cil­ity’s 40th an­niver­sary event.

The aged-care provider will host a free bar­be­cue lunch and open day from 11am to 3pm on Oc­to­ber 6.

Gath­er­ing for­mer and cur­rent staff, board mem­bers and fam­i­lies as­so­ci­ated with the lodge, the event will com­mem­o­rate Dun­munkle’s en­dur­ing com­mu­nity con­nec­tion and ‘amaz­ing’ his­tory.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Pe­ter Bal­lagh said the fa­cil­ity’s pros­per­ity was due to be­ing built, staffed and pre­dom­i­nantly lived in by res­i­dents of Minyip and sur­round­ing ar­eas.

“It’s the com­mu­nity sup­port and the com­mu­nity staff – they live here, and most of the res­i­dents we care for are from the area, so we have that con­nec­tion,” he said.

“Staff know the fam­i­lies, or they’ve grown up with some­one in a res­i­dent’s fam­ily.

“There’s a real com­mu­nity base of sup­port that has been there since 1967.

“It’s quite an amaz­ing story re­ally when you sit down and an­a­lyse how it all came about for a small com­mu­nity with only 500 res­i­dents, and how they ac­tu­ally got this project up and run­ning.”

Mr Bal­lagh said the first men­tion of a pos­si­ble aged-care fa­cil­ity in Minyip oc­curred in 1967 at a Minyip and Dis­trict Hospi­tal an­nual meet­ing, af­ter which a com­mit­tee formed.

A decade later, the com­mit­tee – hav­ing since reg­is­tered as the Minyip and Dis­trict El­derly Peo­ple’s So­ci­ety – re­ceived a $557,268 gov­ern­ment grant to put to­wards the cost of the build.

“And with the help of var­i­ous trust funds, ser­vice clubs and the wider com­mu­nity, the con­struc­tion com­menced,” he said.

“The build­ing was of­fi­cially opened on Sun­day, Au­gust 26, 1979.

“They had one staff mem­ber then and now we have 68, so there’s been a lot of staff go through the fa­cil­ity dur­ing those years.

“This day is to ac­knowl­edge all those peo­ple and the con­tri­bu­tions they have made.”

Lots to cel­e­brate

Dun­munkle Lodge will also have cause for cel­e­bra­tion af­ter Minyip-mur­toa’s Wim­mera Foot­ball League grand-fi­nal suc­cess on Satur­day.

Mr Bal­lagh said many res­i­dents had fol­lowed the club through­out the year and at­tended matches.

“We have a num­ber of res­i­dents that love the footy and net­ball,” he said.

“Frank Pick­er­ing is a long-time grounds­man at Mur­toa and has made a sub­stan­tial con­tri­bu­tion to the im­proved ground and fa­cil­i­ties at Mur­toa over many years.

“Tom Woods is a 200-plus game player for Minyip, played in the 1953-54 se­nior pre­mier­ships and also coached the un­der-16s.

“Betty Barry played net­ball for Minyip in her hey­day, and Bob Dickie played in three Watchem-corack pre­mier­ships.

“Many have been in­volved in dec­o­rat­ing Dun­munkle Lodge with bal­loons and stream­ers.

“It’s all about keep­ing our res­i­dents in­volved in the com­mu­nity.”

Mr Bal­lagh said the lodge’s an­niver­sary event would fea­ture Lead­ing Aged Ser­vices Aus­tralia state man­ager Sharyn Mcil­wain as guest speaker, with in­for­ma­tion about Dun­munkle Lodge’s his­tory, in­clud­ing orig­i­nal board re­ports, on dis­play.

“We re­ally en­cour­age any ex-staff, board and com­mu­nity mem­bers who have been as­so­ci­ated with Dun­munkle Lodge dur­ing its 40-year jour­ney to come back and help cel­e­brate 40 years,” he said.

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