Mandurah Save the Children celebrate 55th anniversary

Mandurah Save the Children celebrate 55th anniversary
Mandurah Save the Children celebrate 55th anniversary

The late Elsie Bassett-Scarfe was a foundation member, along with resident Helen Chapman and former resident Erica Becker, who established the branch in 1961.

Mrs Becker turned 100 last year.

Mrs Bassett-Scarfe’s daughters Robin Brown and Laurel James have been involved with Save the Children for almost 30 years. Both are volunteers at Save the Children’s bookshop.

Mrs Brown’s son Andrew volunteers at the shop one day a week and grandson Jasper (4) is about to become a member.

In the beginning, Ms Chapman had worked for Save the Children as a nurse.

After moving to Mandurah, she teamed up with Mrs Becker and Mrs Bassett-Scarfe, canvassed local businesses and formed a sub-branch on March 27, 1961.

At the first meeting, instead of a cuppa eight Save the Children silver teaspoons and a collection of saucers were sold for the grand total of 10 shillings and six pence.

At another meeting, clean bottle tops and foil were collected to raise money and one Good Friday, members donated one penny for every inch of their waistlines.

Fundraising has been constant throughout the years with proceeds used in Australia and overseas – wherever children are in need.

Youngsters have also helped out;– in 1966, 35 children were junior members of the branch and, along with Girl Guides and Save the Children members, served on stalls and dished up morning and afternoon teas.

Many hundreds of stalls, fashion parades, luncheons and musical evenings have been held over the years and the main fundraiser now is the Save the Children bookshop in the Smart Street Mall.

The Mandurah branch celebrates its 55th anniversary with a luncheon at Café Coast, Wannanup, on Saturday. Tickets cost $35 from the bookshop in the Smart Street Mall.