Centenary of care

On hand to plant the unique ‘Red Cross Rose’ at Smithton’s Anzac Park are Circular Head Deputy Mayor John Oldaker, Circular Head coordinator for emergency services Lynne Bramich, Red Cross volunteer Helen Schuuring and Red Cross coordinator for transport Elizabeth Deverell. Picture: Bodey Dittloff.

Service. Circular Head Council joined districts from across the state on Thursday to recognise 100 years of support from the Australian Red Cross.

The not-for-profit organisation has specially cultivated and labelled the ‘Red Cross Rose’ to be planted in venues across the country this year, with 29 seedlings of the unique variety distributed to local Tasmanian council areas.

While there is no fixed address for Red Cross in Circular Head, the region still boasts several members in its branch.

Smithton resident Elizabeth Deverell travels to the service’s regional office in Burnie daily for work: “I’ve been involved for years. My mother and grandmother were as well – I took over from them,” she said.

She added the biggest service provided by Red Cross in the region was the patient transport initiative, conveying patients from Circular Head to locations anywhere from Burnie to Hobart for treatment.

The introduction of Red Cross Australia coincided with the beginning of the First World War: hundreds of thousands of volunteers signing up as the first branch opened on August13 , 1914 at Government House, Melbourne.

By World War II, it had become Australia’s largest charitable organisation. From a population of seven million, nearly half a million people were members, most of them women.

In more recent times, Red Cross has been involved in humanitarian issues at home and overseas, with its 100-year celebration spreading the motto of ‘People helping people’.

Deputy Mayor John Oldaker, a former Australian Army private and Vietnam veteran, praised the impact the service has in providing care to Circular Head residents.

“The Red Cross is a wonderful organisation,” he said. “They provide a big support for this community, it’s only fitting that we as a community recognise their contribution.”

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