Auxiliary's day of celebration

POPPIES today and popping champagne corks is on tomorrow’s agenda for Coffs Harbour RSL Women’s Auxiliary.

The members of the auxiliary are selling poppies for Remembrance Day today, as well as attending the 11am service at the Cenotaph, but tomorrow they will gather at the C.ex Coffs Harbour for a luncheon to celebrate their 75th anniversary.

The organisation began at a meeting in August 1935 to form a Ladies Auxiliary in support of the Coffs Harbour branch of the Returned Soldiers League.

Its first recorded fundraiser was on Remembrance Day 1935 when members sold poppies and buttons as well as many other items from a street stall.

Yesterday the current members were once again busy selling poppies, badges and pens.

One member who has seen her fair share of those 75 years is the Auxiliary’s longest-serving member, life member Wilga Donn-Patterson, who has clocked up more than 60 years of service.

Mrs Donn-Patterson joined the Upper Orara branch of the Women’s Auxiliary 1948 and was a member of that branch until 1968.

“Then there was a bit of a lapse – Coffs Harbour would not accept me for a while, because they wanted Upper Orara to re-form.”

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