AUSTRALIAN RED CROSS STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS HAVE SAID GOODBYE TO THEIR CAIRNS BASE OF 50 YEARS. THE RED CROSS SHOP, OFFICES AND ACCOMMODATION CENTRE HAVE LONG BEEN A LOCAL LAND-MARK, ROUND BEHIND THE HOSPITAL, A SHORT WALK TO TOWN.
The Red Cross has been active in FNQ since the days of the First World War. Volunteers raised the funds to buy the house that became the first Red Cross HQ, a bit further down Lake St, in 1961. They remember a lot of cake sales, and some very generous supporters. The current site, across from the Cairns Base Hospital, opened in a couple of years later..
It’s been the Red Cross HQ in FNQ, a training centre, and a magnet for bargain hunters — with the Red Cross shop on-site. And it has an accommodation centre, providing beds for people transiting in and out of Cairns Base Hospital, most of them from remote areas of Cape York Peninsula.
On Friday November 25, staff and volunteers gathered to farewell the Lake St building. It’s to be knocked down, and a new centre will be built there over the next 18 months. It was a day for remembering the past and looking forward to the future.
CLICK THE AUDIO PLAYER TO HEAR STORIES OF LIFE WITH THE RED CROSS IN CAIRNS
Read about the work of The Red Cross at http://www.redcross.org.au/