100 years of Red Cross working for Beechworth

Bernard Gaffney and Julia Smith unveil a new garden for the Red Cross centenary. Picture: INDIGO COUNCIL

Bernard Gaffney and Julia Smith unveil a new garden for the Red Cross centenary. Picture: INDIGO COUNCIL

THREE roses were planted yesterday to pay homage to Red Cross members who served in the Beechworth branch over three generations.

The centenary of the Australian Red Cross coincided with the anniversary of the Beechworth branch which was inaugurated as Beechworth Patriotic Women’s League in 1914.

The Indigo Shire Council provided the Red Cross branch with a plot in its Town Hall Garden for the roses and plaque marking the centenary.

Mayor Bernard Gaffney said it was important to recognise the contribution made by not just the Red Cross but also the members of the Beechworth branch.

“They are loyal to the people of Beechworth,” he said.

“With crisis around the world we wonder what we would do without the Red Cross.”

When World War I began, Lady Helen Munro Ferguson, wife of the then governor-general, called on mayors in Victoria to encourage women in their communities to form a group and become a branch of the Red Cross to create comfort parcels for the state’s soldiers.

Red Cross Beechworth branch chairman Julia Smith said the organisation worked tirelessly to raise funds for people facing disaster.

The Beechworth branch was one of 24 in Victoria celebrating a centenary.

“That’s not a big number,” Ms Smith said.

Ms Smith said the Beechworth branch had already raised $20,000 this year through its catering program.

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