Red Cross branch wound up

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Tinwald Memorial Hall committee president John Harris receives a first aid kit for the hall from Tinwald Red Cross Branch members Pat O'Brien (president), Audrey Bruce (treasurer) and Brenda Whittaker (secretary) as a parting gift.

The Tinwald Red Cross Branch has wound up after 57 years of helping people in the community and overseas.

Disaster risk management, first aid courses and education, Meals on Wheels deliveries, migration programmes, restoring family links and fundraising opportunities have been the organisation’s focus in recent years.

Tinwald branch president Pat O’Brien said it was a sad occasion but with no members able to be office bearers to keep the branch afloat, the decision was made to close.

Many of the members were aged over 70, with three aged in their 90s.

It’s been an emotional time for the last remaining 13 members of the branch.

“It’s sad we’re no longer in the community (as a branch),” she said.

However many members would continue as individual members with Red Cross.

Those that could, would be on hand to help as required, she said.

The annual general meeting, held in July 2021, was paused with no nominations for the role of president, secretary or treasurer. The loss of cheques and the move to online banking did not help.

In February a motion was passed that the Tinwald Branch New Zealand Red Cross give notice to close the branch.

The branch officially closed on March 18; coincidentally the same day as when it started in 1965.

Members acknowledged the closure with a “lovely high tea” bringing out the China teacups and saucers for an afternoon tea with cake and other tasty delights.

“It’s been a wonderful journey,” Mrs O’Brien said.

A final act of members was the donation of a Red Cross first aid kit to Tinwald Memorial Hall committee president John Harris for use in the hall.

They also donated two lightweight tables in memory of founding member, the late-Moira Mackenzie.

While the branch had closed, members planned to catch up socially.

“We’ll keep in contact,” Mrs O’Brien said.