MEMBERS of the Stawell Red Cross branch attended a special rose planting ceremony at Central Park last Wednesday.
The rose planting was organised to coincide with the Red Cross centenary celebrations.
Australian Red Cross commissioned the development of a special Red Cross Rose to commemorate the centenary of the establishment of Red Cross in Australia.
Northern Grampians Shire Mayor, Cr Kevin Erwin, was on hand to assist the Red Cross members to plant the rose in the rose garden at Central Park.
Following a welcome by Stawell Red Garters president Geraldine Monaghan, those in attendance, many current members of Red Cross and others who had served in the past, shared stories of their experiences during fires, floods and other emergencies.
They told of delivering sandwiches to firefighters and other emergency crews and of volunteering their time to assist victims with leaking roofs during heavy rainfall.
A special guest at the ceremony was Gwen Boison, who reminisced about the time she spent the best part of an evening sweeping the floors of the Stawell Hospital after it flooded, only to find her own house had flooded when she arrived home.
Most members in attendance had also spent countless hours at the Stawell Blood Bank and were saddened by its closure.
Cr Erwin said he was delighted to be a part of the rose planting ceremony, which was conducted 100 years to the day since the Red Cross was established in Australia at Government House in Melbourne.
A metal Red Cross centenary plaque has also been placed on a rock next to the commemorative rose in the garden bed at Central Park.
Red Garters president, Geraldine Monaghan, said individual roses, along with beds of three Red Cross roses, were being planted throughout Australia for the celebrations.
"This rose will not only be a reminder of the wonderful work carried out by Red Cross to help people in vulnerable situations, but also of the incredible generosity of the Stawell community who have supported the Red Cross for so many generations," Mrs Monaghan said.