Fundraising from the past

Many of Wodonga’s amenities resulted from the financial and physical generosity of its inhabitants.

In 1919 Rose Murphy, daughter of John Woodland, and who succeeded him as Secretary of the Shire was raising funds for a rotunda.  She commissioned a painting on canvas of the reserve (later to be Woodland Grove). This was placed on a table and the public were invited to cover the canvas with coins. All up expenses for the rotunda and beautification of the site came to £196 of which £40 was provided by Council.

Fundraising for Wodonga Hospital went on for eight years before it opened in 1954. A very popular event was the annual Queen Competition where competitors organised various activities including boxing contests, baby shows, a mock wedding dance, euchre parties and street stalls. In 1951 the competition raised £5518, with £1936 coming from the winning candidate.

Egg appeals were also an annual event with the eggs going to the hospital.  School classes competed for the greatest number of eggs collected. The tallies for each school would be reported in the local press. It is hard to imagine these days sending children to school carrying raw eggs.

Popular fund raisers were bottle drives.  In 1949 Wodonga Band Committee did a “trial drive” and collected £2 worth of newspapers, countless bottles and bags, and only went a mile.  They would have seven trucks on the road the following Sunday. Over 6000 bottles were collected.

A lot of funds for Wodonga swimming pool in Stanley Street came from the Committee joining Albury in the Floral Festival.  Thousands of paper flowers were made with help from Ariel Street school children and there was a fund raising Floral Festival Queen competition adding to the money raised. Digging holes, making bricks, laying tiles was all carried out by voluntary labour.

In 1963 Wodonga Apex conducted a charity paper drive. A total of 23 tons of newspapers was collected from households. The proceeds would have been distributed to worthy organisations and causes. In 1969 they collected 12 tons of newspapers with the proceeds going to a new intensive care ward at Wodonga Hospital.