Ballan Red Cross hits centenary milestone

CROSS off another huge milestone for a Ballan community service institution.

Gail Binks ponders the history of Red Cross in Ballan as the organisation celebrates its centenary.
Picture: DYLAN BURNS

Gail Binks ponders the history of Red Cross in Ballan as the organisation celebrates its centenary. Picture: DYLAN BURNS

The Ballan Red Cross celebrated its 100th birthday on Wednesday at the site of the unit’s very first meeting.

More than 120 members, former members and guests celebrated the anniversary at the Ballan Mechanics Institute.

They enjoyed an afternoon high tea, and a history lesson by unit president Anne Eskdale. 

“Today is exactly 100 years to the day of the Ballan Red Cross. On August 20, 1914, the unit met here for the first time at the Ballan Mechanics Institute where we were today,” Ballan Red Cross secretary Leone Fabre said.

“It was always the women who put their hands up because the men were off to war or were working.

“It started with women and that’s the way it has gone on. Men are most welcome.” 

To mark the anniversary, the Moorabool Shire constructed a bench dedicated to the Ballan Red Cross in front of the Mechanics Institute, while there was a display of unit memorabilia collected by member Gail Binks within the building. 

Australian Red Cross celebrated its own centenary at Government House in Melbourne last Wednesday.

It was established on August 14, nine days after the outbreak of World War I, to provide clothing and other items for soldiers on the front line.

Ballan was one of the first units formed and is one of 24 celebrating 100 years this year. 

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has since expanded into humanitarian aid, disaster relief and collecting blood for medical use, with the Ballan unit mostly focused on raising funds which are used by Red Cross nationally for various projects.

The celebration was attended by Member for Ballarat Catherine King, Buninyong Nationals candidate Sonia Smith and Moorabool mayor Paul Tatchell.

gavin.mcgrath@fairfaxmedia.com.au

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop