WARRACKNABEAL’S iconic Ladies Rest Rooms celebrated their 90th birthday in style on Friday August 10. The birthday celebrates the day the rooms were officially opened in 1928.
Yarriambiack Shire Council CEO, Jessie Holmes, and Mayor, Graeme Massey, along with Woodbine CEO, Bernie O’Connor, joined a large group at the rooms to mark the
occasion in style.
Rest Rooms president, Val Wardle, greeted all guests and took a moment to honour the women who started the organisation.
“The Committee wants to recognise and thank the ladies who went before us.”
“We are able to celebrate our 90th birthday because of their dedication,” she said.
Val also paid a special thanks to Fiona Hewitt for making and decorating the stunning birthday cake. Along with Val, Jessie Holmes cut the cake which everybody had a chance to enjoy when the formalities finished.
In honour of the occasion with the help of a shire grant and Wheatlands generosity, the ladies commissioned a history of the rest rooms and this was launched during the celebrations.
Mayor, Graeme Massey, launched the book which he wrote. “It is a great honour as
Mayor being asked to launch the book, so now I can praise the author,” he quipped.
“Special recognition is owed to the ladies who 92 years ago got together at the Del Monti buiding and decided they wanted rooms where they could bring their children and babies as there were no other places apart from hotels where they could look after themselves.”
“Public conveniences didn’t exist in this town at all,” he said.
“Would like to thank the forerunners of the committee plus everyone since who had the foresight to take photos and keep minute books, look after memorabilia and preserve the
building in the state it is today; the building is dedicated to them,” Mayor Massey said.
“A special thanks to Bree Eastick at Northwest Press. She did all the design work, without Bree the book wouldn’t have been completed as well as it is,”
“I congratulate Andrew Ward for allowing Bree to put the time and effort in; she’s done a tremendous job,” Mr Massey said.
“In 1926 at a public meeting of Borung Shire the idea of the Rest Rooms was born with 20 ladies elected from each nearby town.”
“The building cost the ladies £680 to build with furnishing as additional which they paid off in six years,” he said.
“The original membership fee was 7s for a year.”
“Membership peaked at 354 in 1952,” Mr Massey said.
He noted the Rest Rooms also rented out prams for 20¢ a time and also ran a library.
“I have great pleasure in launching the book and thanking the author,” he said.
“I enjoyed doing it,” he finished.
Following the launch all present took part in an absolutely marvellous afternoon tea which was provided by the committee members.