Fifty years is a long time spent fundraising, but that’s exactly from the Blackheath & District Barnardos Helpers Guild is about to celebrate.

On February 20, 1968, the inaugural meeting of the guild took place under the guidance of Mr R.K. Deveraux and Miss Peta Gurdon from Barnardos Australia. The meeting was attended by Mrs B. Frame, Mrs J. Hodgkinson, Mrs B. Whaites, Mrs P. Snowden, Mrs M. Gillmore and Miss B. Whaites and it was agreed the guild would commence from March 1, 1968.

On March 1, 2018, the guild celebrates its 50th anniversary. Members have been raising funds for Barnardos Australia for 50 years by raffles, street stalls, coffee mornings and bus trips.

The guild also endeavours to hold four raffles each year (one each quarter). Fundraising efforts over the years have resulted in Barnardos receiving more than $87,000. 

It meets on the first Wednesday of each month from February to December, with meetings alternating between The Carrington Hotel at Katoomba and the Blackheath Golf Club at 11.15am.

The March meeting will be the exception, to be held on Thursday, March 1, the date of the 50th anniversary at the Blackheath Golf Club at 11.00am. The guild is expecting representatives from Barnardos Australia to attend.

The current committee officers are: Mrs Bonnie Colton (patron), Mrs Joyce Wallace (president), Mrs Wendy Heffernan (vice-president), Mrs Barbara Henderson (secretary), Miss Elizabeth Holt (minutes secretary) and Miss Val Moorhead (treasurer).

During its 50 years, there have been 10 presidents, 12 secretaries, six treasurers and 17 vice-presidents. Current membership stands at 14 and new members are welcome. Please contact Joyce on 4782 3470 or Barbara on 4782 1796 for further details.

The guild would like to thank all of our past and present members for their fundraising efforts and the community for their generous support in our endeavours.

(This article was first published in the Blue Mountains Gazette.)