Part of the world’s largest humanitarian movement, Red Cross has been woven into the fabric of Australian life for 100 years – whether it’s their immediate response to natural disasters, the blood service, or everyday work to help vulnerable people.
Torquay’s first Red Cross was formed in 1939 and was known as the Torquay Patriotic Fund. The Executive Committee consisted of Mrs. Humphreys as President and Mrs. Effie Rice as First Secretary. The following year the group was divided into three separate funds – Red Cross, Comforts Fund and Local Soldiers’ Patriotic Fund.
In December 1945 the Comforts Fund and Local Soldiers’ Patriotic Fund were disbanded. The remaining Red Cross group became the Torquay Branch of Red Cross with President, Mrs. Hosford and Secretary, Mrs. Bessie Fitzpatrick. The Branch lapsed for a while before starting up again on 18th February 1951 with President A.L. Dean, Secretary, Miss Patricia Dean and Treasurer, Miss Larkins.
Holding office until 1959, Mr. Dean and Miss Larkins were followed by Mrs. A.L. Rossell as President and Mrs. J. Newell as Secretary.
To mark the Centenary of the International Red Cross (started in 1863) Mrs. Rossell planted a red gum tree near the Public Hall. Red Cross began as the Australian Branch of the British Red Cross Society on 13 August 1914 at Government House, Melbourne, nine days after the outbreak of World War I.
A Junior Red Cross was formed in 1969.
Pescott, J (1985) South Barwon 1857-1985