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There is nothin' like a Dame


Our members celebrate the WWI songstress Dame Nellie Melba and her support for Red Cross.

Wednesday March 29, 2017

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Dame Nellie was the first President of the Lilydale branch, which is still going strong today. That would be like having a world superstar like Adele as the President of a local branch.#

One hundred years ago the world's biggest star was Melbourne's own Dame Nellie Melba, and she was belting out tunes to raise money for Red Cross to support the war effort.

To celebrate Dame Nellie's support for the organisation, Red Cross members hosted a luncheon at Melba's estate, Coombe. 130 guests were treated to a tour of the grounds and helped raise over $2000.

Today Red Cross members carry on the legacy of Melba and the women she served with who started the organisation in Australia following the outbreak of WWI.

Jennifer Seabrook from the Hoddles Creek Red Cross Branch says it would have been a huge coup for Red Cross to have someone of Melba's standing throw herself behind the cause.

"Dame Nellie was a self-confessed terrible knitter and sewer, so while many women were knitting socks for soldiers she sang in concert halls raising 100,000 pounds over the course of the war. That was an incredible amount of money at the time.

"Dame Nellie was the first President of the Lilydale branch, which is still going strong today. That would be like having a world superstar like Adele as the President of a local branch. It's hard to believe! "

Today Red Cross members are active in Melbourne's east either as trained emergency services volunteers, organising fundraising events or brightening up nursing home residents with a regular visit.

Membership is a great way to get to know other people in your community and get involved.

Join today!