Red Cross CentenaryPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Sandra Brown
Plaques on granite obelisk commemorate the centenary of the foundation of International Red Cross in 1959 and the centenary of the foundation of the Castlemaine Branch of the Australian Red Cross in 2014. At the side of the obelisk is a centenary Red Rose planted on the 17th August 2014 to commemorate the Castlemaine centenary. 

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is an international humanitarian movement with approximately 97 million volunteers, members and staff worldwide which was founded to protect human life and health, to ensure respect for all human beings, and to prevent and alleviate human suffering.

In June 1859, the Swiss businessman Jean-Henri Dunant traveled to Italy to meet French emperor Napoléon III with the intention of discussing difficulties in conducting business in Algeria, at that time occupied by France. When he arrived in the small town of Solferino on the evening of June 24, he toured the field of the Battle of Solferino, an engagement in the Austro-Sardinian War. In a single day, about 40,000 soldiers on both sides died or were left wounded on the field. Jean-Henri Dunant was shocked by the terrible aftermath of the battle, the suffering of the wounded soldiers, and the near-total lack of medical attendance and basic care. He completely abandoned the original intent of his trip and for several days he devoted himself to helping with the treatment and care for the wounded. He succeeded in organizing an overwhelming level of relief assistance by motivating the local villagers to aid without discrimination.

The Australian organisation was established in 1914, nine days after the starting of World War One, by Lady Helen Munro Ferguson, when she formed a branch of the British Red Cross, which is a branch of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Lady Helen wrote to the mayors of every shire and municipality in Australia asking them to initiate a local branch. Typically, a letter was published in the local newspaper and a meeting called. 


Address:Mostyn Street, RSL, Castlemaine, 3450
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.065905
Long: 144.217721
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Culture


Front Inscription

Plaque 1 : 

1859 - 1959

Plaque 2 :

       RED CROSS
           1914 -2014

Plaque 3: 

17TH AUGUST 2014

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
Proudly sponsored by UBC Web Design