Monday Memories -Headquarters Part 5

ORANA CLUB
The Orana Club re-opened in September 1948 with Mrs R. H. Moore as Chairman, Miss D. Loukes as Secretary and Mrs R. Lund as House Mother.

It was a club ‘within GFS’. Part of each member’s subscription was paid to the club, which made her a member. Some GFSers attending night school would have a meal at Headquarters first; others entertained friends in the club rooms. One who had a weekly meal there after work was Ruth Walker (nee Wallace dec.), who lived in Como but acted as a ‘freelance’ GFS leader in Mt Hawthorn parish from 1948 to 1953 as there was no leader available at the time. She travelled to the meetings by bus for those five years and enjoyed the shared meal at GFS Headquarters before leaving for the meeting.

The club was also open to those who were not GFS members and there were about 50 of these in the 50s. They were mostly girls living in rooms without cooking facilities, as well as some visitors from other States on working holidays. They looked forward to the fellowship over meals and afterwards in front of the Wonder-Heater in winter or balcony in summer. Mrs Lund , the House Mother, was a very special person who was caring and supportive to all who came to Headquarters and a ‘mother’ to all the girls. There were always at least 30 regular diners each night and there was always a birthday cake from Mrs Lund for the birthday girl. Members and friends regularly brought flowers, fruit and vegetables to Mrs Lund and she spent many hours making jams and chutneys, as well as sewing aprons and other items on a little hand machine, to sell on a trading table at Headquarters for Orana Club projects. The club ran monthly socials to help finance purchases for the club rooms and also held an annual fete.

Orana Club members Jean Emery and Mavis Morris helped Mrs Lund in many ways with the catering arrangements at Headquarters and Dorothy Loukes was always ready to help whenever needed.
 
Mrs Lund retired in 1962 after 13 years as House Mother and was farewelled with regret. The star shaped clock, now at the GFS Office, 240 Adelaide Terrace, Perth was donated by Orana Club members so that Mrs Lund’s efforts on their behalf would always be remembered.
 
For a while after Mrs Lund left, the Orana Club was operated as a lunch club. There were four House Mothers during the next three years, as they were only able to stay for short periods. In 1965 Mrs Helen Kendrick was appointed to the position. She was a bright and cheerful Scot who added her own special dimension to the role of House Mother. She continued the work that Mrs Lund had done and especially enjoyed the Leaders’ Teas and other activities held in the building at the time.
 

Mrs Kendrick

Mrs Kendrick contributed to the Society in other ways. She assisted at the GFS Lodge in Adelaide Terrace on many occasions when an extra staff member was required and was also a popular helper at Diocesan camps. She resigned in 1971 but continued to take a deep interest in GFS.
There were others who had a special role to play in connection with GFS Headquarters and one of these was Mrs Olive Smith (nee Hall), who lived in the building for about four years from 1954 and played a big part in the difficult task of keeping the large Headquarters in such an attractive condition. She continued this role for a number of years after she moved from the building and her plants and other personal touches always gave the building a welcoming air.
 
The Orana Club closed down before the GFS office was moved to Law Chambers as there was no longer the same need for it. However, it had played a very important part in the life of the GFS Headquarters over a long period, including most of the organising of the annual Christmas party for the girls from Swan and Parkerville Children’s Homes, as well as the provision of meals for members on a regular basis.
 
 

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