The Cleve Friends Auxiliary celebrated its milestone 60th anniversary at its Annual General Meeting on 7 May 2019, held at the Cleve Bowls Club. There were 27 people who attended the birthday celebration and conference. Kaye Steer, the State President, and Jill Kaesler, State Vice President, from Adelaide, represented the Friends of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital. Attendees from the country areas of Ceduna, Tumby Bay and Lock joined in the celebrations.
It was a very special day commencing at 10:30 am with morning tea, followed by, Auxiliary business, guest speakers and a delicious lunch prepared by members. The very special anniversary chocolate mud cake was made by a member who was able to arrange for a unique round decorative topper to be made with the Women’s and Children’s Hospital logo on it. The unique and very special topper can be clearly seen in the enclosed photo and was cleverly made by Whyalla Cake Supplies, in Whyalla Norrie.
Following the AGM the “Eyre Peninsular “newspaper included a tribute article to Cleve Auxiliary’s 60th anniversary in its weekly paper.
The history of the Cleve Auxiliary began on the 3rd June 1959 when a public meeting was held in Cleve to decide if an auxiliary for the then Children’s Hospital would be formed. A person from the Hospital attended the meeting to speak to the group about the Hospital and the role of an auxiliary.
It was moved and agreed that an auxiliary be formed comprising both women and men. A man was elected as President, and 4 ladies filled the positions of Secretary, Treasurer and 2 Vice Presidents. Two people agreed to be patrons, one being a doctor. Over the years the Patrons have usually been local doctors, pharmacists and the Council Mayor.
The membership fee was to be 2 shillings and 6 pence per year.
For many years Auxiliary meetings were held in member’s homes, usually the President’s. AGM’s were held in the Cleve Masonic Hall, Cleve Hotel and St John’s rooms. Usually only 2 meetings were held yearly and the Auxiliary still tends to do the same now, with one meeting held in March or April, and the AGM in September or October. If anything important comes up between meetings, the Secretary emails information to those members who have this facility or Facebook, or hand delivers letters to those who do not.
The Auxiliary has been very lucky that it has rarely had to pay a hiring fee for any venue used for meetings or conferences. On one particular occasion though where a fee was payable, an Auxiliary member generously paid for the hire of the room.
For some members to get to Cleve for a meeting, it is about an hour as many live on family farms working alongside their husbands. This distance and fundraising events, as well as the economic climate over the years, has had an impact on the number of members. As well it is often difficult for younger mums to attend meetings, fitting in with children’s activities in the community and taking a lot of organisation to get there.
Despite this, it is a testament to member’s loyalty in supporting the Women’s and Children’s Hospital that each year since the Auxiliary’s inception, delegates have attended Region 11 conferences all over Eyre Peninsula.
The average membership numbers over the 60 years has been 18. Currently Cleve has 21 members. It is very proud to have 2 members who have been involved for a long time, Val Gale for 55years and Christine Bammann for 50 years, which is amazing. As well there are 4 Life Members awards, Christine Bammann (2000); Joyleen Richardson (2003) and Camielle Bagshaw (2017).
From 2017 to 2018 there were18 people from Cleve, Dark Peak, Arno Bay and Rudall who needed inpatient care at the WCH, with 45 people attending as outpatients. These numbers have been roughly the same each year.
Fundraising activities over the last 60 years have been many and varied. They have included trading tables, varied raffles, an annual collection day in the main street, badge selling, rag collection, lucky square envelopes and sale of pens.
More specifically, in past years some special fundraisers were a Wool Fashion Parade in 1972, a parade of Wedding Gowns in 1973, and a “Patons” wool, and “Fashion & Fabrics” Parade in 1985.
Menopause Information Evenings were held in 1995 and 2006.
In the early 70’s garden parties were quite popular, with donations by members and the Cleve community assisting greatly in selling raffle tickets. In the 60’s, dressed chickens and ducks for meat trays as raffle prizes were very kindly donated by a member. In the 70’s and 80’s one of the joint Cleve Hotel holders generously donated competition prizes of meals for 4 people at the Hotel.. His daughter is still a member of the Cleve Auxiliary
In 2011 a Melbourne Cup Luncheon and Fashion Parade held in a member’s beautiful garden on the farm raised close to $4,000. Another “Progressive Dinner“ in 2012 was also a great success, as well as a Pizza luncheon held at a member’s home in Port Neill in 2014.
In 2004 & 2008 one artistic member donated 2 of her beautiful cross stitch pictures that she was known for, to be raffled. Over the years another member spent hours making lovely quilts to send to the hospital for inpatients to enjoy.
As well, most years Auxiliary members made biscuits to send to Adelaide for the hospital’s lawn fetes. They also sold WCH recipe books, car lottery tickets and other merchandise for the hospital.
In 2018, the major fundraiser for the Cleve Auxiliary’s 60th year was a “Pop-Up-Shop” held in the Cleve main street for 3 weeks. The premises were very kindly donated by Cleve locals, Sid and Kathy Quinn. Members donated goods, set up the shop and served the customers, and then packed up when it finished. It proved to be a huge success with over $2,000 raised for the hospital.
The final fundraiser for the year was a Christmas hamper raffle with Auxiliary members also donating most of the goods. This raised an excellent amount of $585.
It is of note that in addition to its many very successful fundraising endeavours over the years, the Cleve Auxiliary has also made a donation to the Women’s and Children’s Hospital “Good Friday Easter Appeal” every year.
In her AGM report on May 7th 2019, Sharon Weiss, the President of the Cleve Auxiliary said:
- “We are very thankful to live in a community of very generous people and have their support. So many people have donated time, money, prizes and ideas over the past 60 years and quite often these people have not been Auxiliary members.”
A its 60th anniversary the Cleve Auxiliary said that it looked forward to more fundraising, and to celebrating its next milestone in 10 years. They are wished the very best in being able to continue to do so and to celebrating 70 wonderful years.
The Friends of the WCH extends it sincere thanks and congratulations to the Cleve Auxiliary and the Cleve community for its outstanding contributions and support to the previous Children’s Hospital, and the now Women’s and Children’s Hospital over the last 60 years. Many patients and their families have benefited greatly from Cleve’s enthusiasm and dedication to raising $63,923. It is greatly appreciated and applauded!
New members are always welcome to join any one of the Auxiliary group throughout the state, for more details please contact the Friends office on 08 8161 8445
To learn more about the equipment purchased with funds raised please click here.