THE Rose Lodge Opportunity ‘Op’ Shop is this year celebrating its 60th birthday.

The op shop, which is staffed by volunteers and a hard-working committee, has raised many hundreds of thousands of dollars over its six decades in operation.

Without the work of the volunteers over the past 60 years, the op shop could not have continued, and Rose Lodge would not be the wonderful home it is today, with all monies raised at the op shop returned to Rose Lodge at 225 Graham St, Wonthaggi.

So, where did it all begin?

On April 27, 1961, a public meeting was held in the Wonthaggi Town Hall supper room to show interest in establishing an aged care facility in Wonthaggi.

The late madam mayor Jean Dennis addressed the meeting.

Twenty-seven community members attended the meeting, and 16 were elected to form a provisional committee.

The first meeting of the provisional committee was held at the Wonthaggi Hospital on Thursday, June 1, 1961. At this meeting, the late Mesdames Jean

Dennis and Stella Mc’Inroy advised this meeting they were going to open an op shop and hoped to raise funds towards Wonthaggi’s first aged care facility.

On Monday, September 4, 1961, the opportunity shop opened in a small shop in McBride Avenue.

The shop was owned by the late Wally and Vi Taberner, and the shop was given rent free for one month to see how things progressed.

During the first two days of trading, 18 pounds was taken and up to 3000 pounds was raised to June 1965.

There were many long hours put in by volunteers – washing, ironing and making goods saleable. All garments were washed and ironed in the homes of the volunteers.

The op shop remained at the original site for several years.

As business grew, the shop became too small.

The shop moved to several other sites in the business area and finally moved into its current premises in McBride Avenue.

This freehold is now owned by the Wonthaggi and District Elderly Citizens Homes Incorporated (Rose Lodge).