---Welcome!

 

GFS is a Not for Profit Organisation made up of people belonging to a Christian community locally, nationally and globally.

 

We seek to provide or support ministries to children, youth, families and adults in a safe and accepting environment where Christ’s love is evident.
 
We have been part of the West Australian Community for over 130 years and have engaged with many children and adults during this time. Last year GFS celebrates a wonderful milestone of 130 years of ministry to women, girls, men and boys in Perth. Since 1888 friendship, support and a listening ear have been part of the GFS DNA as we’ve sought to live out the GFS motto to “Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Gal 6:2
 
On the 1st January 1875, Mary Elizabeth Townsend established the Girls’ Friendly Society in England (now you know why our former premises at 240 Adelaide Terrace were called Townsend Lodge. Come and pay us a visit, we have some really interesting memorabilia in the office along with a welcoming smile and cuppa). GFS was a pioneer women’s organisation, the first of its kind in the world. The members saw a need to befriend, mentor and support many of the younger women who were leaving their rural homes and communities to find work in the cities.
 
Here in Perth GFS welcomed migrant girls to the city by providing them with accommodation as they settled in and found employment. In time we branched out to provide Townsend Fellowship, children’s groups, Holiday Clubs, Camps, Mainly Music groups, Mother & Daughter High Teas; and more recently Dads N Lads BBQs, Pamper A Nanna, the Advent Festival, our group for 15-35 year olds GFS Next Gen and our newest initiative “Blessed to be a Blessing Dinner”.
 

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Our organisation partners with other community organisations to help others outside of our own community.     MORE
 
 
 
 
 

 

We have many programs, resources and games that we can help you to get your own children’s ministry group established.     MORE   
 
 

 

Dating back to the beginnings of GFS, women’s ministry has been a vital part of our ministry to this day.  We have a lot to offer why not see what could suit you.     MORE   
 

 

Youth

 

If you wish to become a part of our NextGen GFS group this this is the place for you.  Come along and be part of the team, become a member or just attend one of the events they run.    MORE   
 
 
 
 
 
GFS Outside Perth
GFS is not just in Perth! We are part of a National and Global organisation and always are happy to welcome new members.     MORE   
 
 
 
 
Who Let The Dads Out?
GFS is proud to be working with Who Let the Dads Out? in the UK to offer help and resources to get your WLTDO? group here in WA off and running.     MORE   
 
 
 

---Upcoming Events

 

GFS Women’s Group 

2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month (except school holidays)
7.30-9.30pm
0438 270 364 for more information 
 
 

 

 

Perth Holiday Club

October school holidays
Tuesday 29th September – Friday 2nd October
9.30am – 4.00pm
0438 270 364 for more information or register here
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

Country Holiday Club 

Friday 9th & Saturday 10th October
0438 270 364 for more information 
 
 
 

GFS Perth Calendar

Check out what is happening in GFS Perth by looking at our calendar below
 
 
 
 

 

 

--- From The Blog

 

Monday Memories – Caravan Part 12

“From 1926-1943 a “little house on wheels’, as the children called it, travelled through the outback of Western Australia, bringing friendship, comfort and the message of the Gospel to the settlers, and a special ministry to their children.” Quote from A Century of Challenge by Jean Seymour.

Using the same program as we do in Perth we have in the past taken our Holiday Clubs “on the road!”. We have visited Katanning, Bunbury, Bruce Rock, Wongan Hills and Esperance.

Our first “country” holiday program was held in 2013 in the July school holidays and we visited Bruce Rock and then Wongan Hills.  Little did we know that this would begin a wonderful time of connecting with children (and adults) in the rural centres on a yearly basis for some of them.  In the past few years we have just visited Wongan Hills and Esperance with other centres not having people to help us out in the town.

We look forward to continuing this again this year in the October holidays in Wongan Hills.
 
Gallery

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Monday Memories – Sporting Activities Part 2

GFS BASKETBALL

Seniors

The first senior GFS team was entered in the West Australian Basketball Association competition in 1955. The team played at South Belmont, Doubleview Primary School, Leederville and Redcliffe State Schools. The main ground was Langley Park, but games were also played at Perth Boys’ and Girdleston Girls’ School each Saturday. Girls in the teams were coached by Mr Laurie Heil, who was a CEBS Leader at St Mary’s, South Perth, and they trained on the Mends Street tennis courts at South Perth. Following are details of the teams taking part:

1956         1 senior team           1 junior team

1957         1 senior team           2 junior teams

1958         1 senior team           4 junior teams

1959         1 senior team           4 junior teams

1960         2 senior teams         4 junior teams

1961         1 senior team             1 junior team

1962         1 senior team playing at the Matthews Centre, Wembley for the first time.
(By then most of the girls were playing in High School teams and that was the last year the girls participated as GFS members at the Matthews Centre.)

Alison Elliott (nee Waller (dec)) played a key role in the GFS senior basketball. She was captain of the first team and competed in that section for five years. She was also coach of the GFS team that competed in the Society’s Interstate Netball Carnival in 1973.

Juniors

Although GFS members from 15 years were able to play in the WA Basketball Association, there was no competition for the Sub-Juniors, 10-12 years of age, so GFS started its own and this continued with outstanding success for many years at the Anglican Sporting Association ground in Mt Lawley and other venues. The opening of the first season at ASA took place on 5 May 1962 with a colourful march past of over 100 girls in brightly coloured uniforms from the 15 GFS branches competing, with another branch joining in later. Miss Glenys Pickford (nee Waller) and Vivienne Waller and Rowena Clairs played a big part in the organising of this competition.

In the second year of the competition there were 17 GFS teams playing at the ASA grounds and eight teams at Fremantle. Approximately 200 GFS members took an active part each Saturday. In 1964 the CEGS were invited to share in the competition and in that year there were 23 GFS teams and five CEGS teams taking part at three centres.

In 1965 a change was made and instead of the inter-branch basketball matches a series of Lightning Carnivals were arranged during the winter at the ASA grounds. A separate competition was organised by Miss Ellaine Wright, a GFS leader at Millen (East Victoria Park) branch, with some CEGS teams playing in that competition. Lightning Carnivals were continued at the Matthews Netball Centre at Floreat Park when it opened. In 1972 there was a special inter-branch netball competition at Matthews Centre, when 16 teams took part and a squad of 20 girls was selected to train for the GFS Interstate Netball Carnival to be held in Adelaide in May 1973. 10 girls from the group were chosen in early 1973 for the team. The CEGS were also invited to take part and they had a junior and senior team and four leaders attending the carnival.


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Monday Memories – Past Chairperson’s Part 2

Carrying on from our post on the 11th of May, following are some more Chairmen that have lead GFS here in Perth:

  • Miss Marian Creeper (1958-1960)

Miss Creeper was a member of GFS from the time she was a Junior and had already made a big contribution to the Society as a leader before she became President. She had the capacity to inspire people with her own vision and during her term of office GFS reached great heights, both in membership and achievements.

  • Miss Margaret Bunday (1961)

Miss Bunday was Chairman of GFS for one year before she took up a teaching appointment in England. She had been a GFS leader for some years and brought many skills to her role as Chairman. The Society continued to grow and develop under her leadership.

  • Mrs Merle Davis (1962-1970)
Mrs Davis played a very important part in the life of GFS during the nine years she was Chairman. There was great outreach by the Society in that period, particularly in regard to the Mission work of the Church, which received tremendous support from the GFS branches through her encouragement. Mrs Davis took a keen interest in the work of the Lodge, with which she was very much involved, as she was with every area of the Society. She used her considerable literary skills for the benefit of GFS and was Commonwealth Literature Secretary for many years. She also edited the Society’s Australia-wide magazine, ‘Cooee-Link’ , and prepared much of the material for the ‘GFS Lone Post’ for correspondence members in WA. While she was Chairman she introduced a comprehensive newsletter, with which she kept everyone in touch with what was happening in the Society.

 

Unfortunately I don’t have any photos at the moment to add to this, but hopefully I will be able to find some in our archives.  Please feel free if you have any photos of these ladies to add it to the comments or maybe you have a memory to share with others. 

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Outreach Part 1

The history of GFS in Western Australia brings to life the members’ role in caring and serving within the Anglican Church and the community.  It is no t possible to list all the areas of concern where branches have seen a need and made a real effort to be involved, because it was often done quietly and without publicity. The support took the form of fund raising, the making of gifts and regular visits (including carol singing at Christmas and other entertainment). Branches often developed a special and long lasting link with a home or hospital in their parish and a warm relationship grew up between the girls and those they befriended. Amongst some of those helped have been:

  • St Bartholomew’s, East Perth
  • St George’s Hospital, Mt Lawley
  • Moline House
  • James Brown House
  • Anglicare
  • Daisy House (a branch of Anglicare in Girrawheen)
  • Scarborough Hostel for Mentally Retarded Children
  • Rowethorpe
    (Disclaimer: The names/terms above where the names/terms used back in 1988 and may not be currently used)
ST BARTHOLOMEW’S, EAST PERTH
Many branches supported St Bart’s, but one that developed a particularly strong link with it was St Aidan’s , Scarborough. The girls enthusiastically washed cars and held cake stalls over many years to raise funds for the home. A group of leaders and senior GFSers always visited it the Sunday before Christmas and attended the Holy Communion Service in the chapel with the men before handing over the gifts members had made for them (including jam, cordial and cakes) and boxes of food . The residents of St Bart’s were always very moved by the visits and the personal ‘handing over’ of gifts.
 
 

‘OPERATION NAPPY’ FOR ANGLICARE

After hearing that Anglicare had an urgent need for napkins and baby clothes, this was made a special project during 1986. GFS members and leaders held fund raising functions and sent regular parcels to Anglicare throughout the year. For the first time they had nappies always ‘on the shelf’ and the baby clothes filled an urgent need for many mothers-to-be in desperate circumstances. Some $800 was raised and the estimated value of the gifts to Anglicare was set at $1,000 – due to many items being mad  and the discounts obtained from bulk buying.
 
 
Miss Jan McNamara – Chairman of the GFS Branch Committee of the time, with Ms Billy Parker, Anglicare social worker.

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Celebrations 100 Years Part 1

GFS CELEBRATES 100 YEARS IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Planning for the 1988 Centenary year of GFS in Western Australia began in  1985.  The first decision made was that a history should be written covering the 100 years and research was commenced by Mrs Jean Seymour in January 1986.

A Centenary Committee was formed in June 1986, with Mrs Joan Matthews as Chairman.  Those who worked with her to plan for the Centenary were Mrs Ruth Walker (Secretary), Miss Jan McNamara (Treasurer), Mesdames Alison Elliott, Brenda Ballingall and Jean Seymour, The Society owes a great deal to them for the work they did in the following two and a half years to make the Centenary celebrations so outstanding, The committee was assisted by member s of the Branch Committee in arrangements for the camp and picnic.

The decision about the events to be held was an important one and planning so far ahead was not an easy task.  It was decided that the main functions would be a Centenary camp, a dinner, a service in St George’s Cathedral and a picnic and fellowship day.

CENTENARY CAMP: 5-10 APRIL 1988

This was a seaside camp, held at the Ern Halliday Centre at Hillarys.  There were 102 girls present, plus thirty leaders and cadet leaders.  The programme included a wide range of activities to appeal to the different age groups and some of them were combined.  One of the features of the camp was the preparation of a Roger Jones musical ‘Greater than Gold’, which told the story of Mary Jones and her bible. A special visitor at the camp was Mrs Ruth Reid, the wife of the Governor, who was Patron of the Society and she cut the large birthday cake with its 100 candles.
 

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Monday Memories – Leader Training Part 2

Deaconess Joyce Polson made an outstanding contribution to GFS Leader Training over the years from 1966-1972, both in her role as Diocesan Youth Officer and later as GFS Leader Training Officer. The training of Junior Leaders was being emphasised at this time and she had special skills in relating to these teenagers. This was a time of great development for the Society, both in numbers of branches and increase in membership and she was able to show by her training methods what a valuable asset the Junior Leaders were. In 1967 she had 35 Trainee Leaders at a weekend at Pt Peron and 23 of these were under the age of 19 years.

Deaconess Polson ‘decentralised’ her leadership training sessions and this made it easier for Leaders in outlying developing areas, who could not always attend the courses held in Perth. She very successfully combined the training of Junior and Senior Leaders in the same sessions and each age group gained from the other being present. 40 Junior Leaders attended the last training weekend that she organised for them.


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Want To Become a Member?

 
There are lots of ways to be involved with GFS in Perth.  Head to the link below
to see how you can get involved today!
 
 
 
 

Verse of the Day

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” — Ephesians 4:29 Listen to chapter . Powered by BibleGateway.com.