THE response was so overwhelming that the venue had to be changed when a public meeting was called in 1914 to form a Bathurst Branch of the Red Cross.
And even then, the “seating accommodation was taxed to the utmost”, according to a history of the branch put together in 1974.
Fast forward to 2018, however, and the branch is in need of new members – and the new ideas and new energy they bring – as the executive tries to avoid the “absolute last resort”: the closure of the branch.
“So much care and so much love and effort has been put in [to the branch over the years] that I feel as though you would be letting them down if we folded,” president Vivien Cogswell said.
Ms Cogswell, treasurer Fay Connors and committee member Margaret Miller say the branch was never strictly a women’s organisation, but has become one over the years.
They say a lot of women who might once have been members of the branch are busy with their grandchildren these days or enjoy travelling and don’t want to be tied down.
But with only four members attending a recent meeting of the branch, Ms Cogswell, Ms Connors and Ms Miller are appealing for new blood.
Not only do members get the satisfaction of raising money for a well-respected aid and community service organisation, they say, but there are also social benefits.
“It's also an outlet for people for friendship,” Ms Connors said.
Meetings are held each month at the moment, but the branch is willing to look at holding meetings every second month.
As well, new members would not have to feel obliged to attend every meeting, they say.
The branch holds three fundraisers a year: a fashion parade (in conjunction with the Red Cross Shop, which is separate to the branch), the Red Cross Big Bake and raffles.
Those interested in joining are asked to contact president Vivien Cogswell on 6332 4229.