THE Uncle Bob’s Club holds a special place in the hearts of many Victorians.

It has a long and proud history of raising funds for the benefit of children with medical and special needs, in particular the Royal Children’s Hospital.

In 2021, the club will celebrate its 80th birthday – a great milestone.

The club itself was formed in 1941, when the world was still at war, by a small group of friends in Melbourne who wanted to raise funds to support the Royal Children’s Hospital – then based in Mt Eliza. The membership fee was a shilling a week and a ‘bob’, which gave the club its name.

Since 1948, the club has been formally associated with the Good Friday Appeal and since the 1950s the club has expanded into country Victoria.

It is a terrific story that has been repeated many times over and the Wonthaggi chapter began back in late 1982 with a meeting of family and friends who had been so impressed with the care and support they had received, they decided to raise funds to support the work done at the Royal Children’s Hospital and around the state. They were united in passion and had fun working hard to raise valuable funds in a great variety of ways and well supported by the generous community.

Across Victoria, the UBC has contributed over $18 million in its 80 years existence, a proud figure.

Over the past 38 years, more than $700,000 has been raised for the Royal Children’s Hospital – a remarkable figure for Wonthaggi and district. Bass Coast Health (formerly the Wonthaggi and District Hospital) has also benefited, receiving funds for equipment for its children’s section over the years and more is planned.

The Wonthaggi Uncle Bob’s Club members and friends have worked hard along the way and had a lot of fun raising these valuable funds through countless raffles at Easter and Christmas and weekly at the pub, through debutante balls (held four of these one year), theatre nights and the door-knock appeal on Good Friday. They have received wonderful support and encouragement from the local CFA Brigades, schools, clubs, families and businesses.

The Wonthaggi Uncle Bob’s Club continues to host the Good Friday Appeal with a handful of members and volunteer friends who are keen to support the wonderful work done at the Royal Children’s Hospital.

It has become more and more difficult to conduct the door-knock appeal, to cover the town and district and continue the proud tradition of the area’s tremendous support for the Royal Children’s Hospital. Last year, because of COVID-19, the door-knock appeal was cancelled, but the Good Friday Appeal was supported through a number of donations and the tins in businesses in the area.

This year, as we are still moving out of the COVID restrictions and apprehension across the community, there will not be a door-knock collection. However, the club is still very keen to support the Good Friday Appeal and the wonderful work done at the Royal Children’s Hospital.

The Uncle Bob’s Club Appeal Centre will operate from 36 Turner Street, North Wonthaggi, where donations can be dropped off or you can contact John Duscher, the appeal manager, on 0488 026 435.

“Your wonderful support is appreciated,” John said.