Centenary of the Lilydale Branch of the Australian Red CrossPrint Page Print this page

Photographs supplied by Neil Follett

The plaque commemorates the centenary of the Lilydale Branch of the Australian Red Cross from 1914 to 2014.

The Australian Red Cross was established in 13 August 1914, nine days after the start 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:Castella Street, Lilydale Athenaeum, Lilydale, 3140
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.755838
Long: 145.353519
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Culture
Actual Event Start Date:13-August-1914
Actual Event End Date:13-August-2014


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Wednesday 13th August, 2014
Front Inscription

Centenary of the Lilydale Branch of the Australian Red Cross

On Thursday August 13th, 1914, an enthusiastic meeting was held in the Athenaeum Hall to form a Lilydale branch of the Red Cross Society.  On the same day a meeting was held at Government House Melbourne by the wife of Governor-General, Lady Helen Munro-Ferguson, to form an Australian Branch of the British Red Cross Society, making the Lilydale branch one of the oldest in Australia.

The first commitee of the Lilydale branch including Mrs Syme as Vice-President, Mrs Deschamps as Treasurer, Miss Taylor as Secretary and elected unanimously to the position of President was Madame Nellie Melba, the famous opera singer who lived nearby at Coldstream.   Soon after Melba held the first of her many wartime concerts in this hall as a fund raiser for the Lilydale Red Cross.  She would go on to raise more money for the Red Cross than any other individual during the First World War and would be made a `Dame of the British Empire` for her efforts.

During World War One Lilydale women toiled for the Red Cross in the Athenaeum Hall, raising money, preparing medical supplies and clothing for the soldiers, and also putting together thousands of parcels of small luxuries such as soap, tobacco and fruit cakes for the sick and wounded boys overseas and in hospitals in Australia.

Unveiled August 13th, 2014 by members of the Branch of the Australian Red Cross

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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