Rushworth's hospital fundraising memories
Published at: 19 Jul 2019
Former Ladies Auxiliary president Eileen Barlow wrote about fundraising efforts for Waranga Memorial Hospital in her memoirs.
Her daughter Pam Barlow read an extract from the memoirs at the hospital’s farewell afternoon tea on behalf of Eileen, who was unable to attend.
“One day I was reading to her her memoirs and I came across a part on fundraising,” Pam told those in attendance.
“These people who raised the funds … have been great supporters and they’ve had a lot of fun on the way.”
The extract read:
“… we ran a barbecue up in the bush for an Ugly Man competition. This was to raise money to help build the present Waranga Memorial Hospital.
“Jim (Pam’s father) had been on the committee of the old bush nursing hospital and now it was my turn to join the Ladies Auxiliary.
“Marie Stewart also joined, and Derm (Marie’s husband) used to drive us to monthly meetings and sit out in the car until they had finished.
“I was the president of the auxiliary for many years, during which time we had many interesting fundraisers. We always used the money to buy equipment for the hospital.
“One money-raiser which drew a large crowd was a Melbourne Cup Day luncheon on the hospital lawns with a Fashions on the Field competition.
“The local doctor was the bookie for the day and raised quite a lot of money and we got some new members for our committee.
“Another time we had a pyjama parade with the matron and some of the nurses as mannequins.
“The committee all made casseroles and the venue was the Stanhope Hotel with the venue being donated by them for the night.
“The matron knew a Melbourne League footballer who owned a lingerie shop and she was able to get him to provide the nightwear plus a lovely nightgown which he donated for us to raffle. It was a great success.
“A dinner dance was held every year which was catered for by the auxiliary but we also paid others to work that night so we could invite guests.
“One year we held a dinner at the pub and called it ‘Buttons and Bows’ and we decorated the pub with flowers made from buttons and ribbon bows.
“Another dinner at the same hotel was called ‘A Touch of Pink’ and everyone wore something pink.
“I think the hotel provided the drink and the auxiliary the food.
“Every year at Easter, Rushworth had stalls and a parade with the money going to the Mooroopna Hospital.
“I always made fancy dress for the children to enter.
“One year the auxiliary entered a truck in the parade and called it ‘Nursing through the Ages’.
“We had a bed and a patient on the float and I was dressed as Florence Nightingale and carried a lantern.
“The ‘Nurse of the Future’ was dressed in a plastic uniform and carried a lamp that kept sending out spurts of smoke – I don’t know who thought that one up!
“We always had plenty of satisfied ex-patients who donated goods to the auxiliary for our raffles.”
Pam concluded the reading by thanking everyone for their fundraising efforts over the years.
“The people on the auxiliary obviously had great fun as well as working hard, so thank you to all of those people,” she said.