Lodge marks 40 years
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.