Batten family’s long Red Cross tradition

By Southern Riverina News

A recent history piece has come to light regarding the Batten family’s long standing volunteer work with the Berrigan Red Cross.

At the start of WWII Mr George Batten Jnr and Mrs Vera Jane Batten joined the Berrigan Red Cross Branch.

Vera continued to work with the branch as a member until her death in 1998. She received the Service Award in 1988 and the Distinguished Service Award in 1998 and held every office and 1st Patron of the Branch.

She was one of the original members who started the Opportunity Shop in 1968, and it’s still operating to this day.

Mrs Leila Ruth Batten joined the branch in 1972 and worked in the Red Cross Shop. She is still a member today.

Leila held most offices and some a second time. Leila has received the Service Award 1997 and the Distinguished Service Award 2005.

George, Leila’s husband, joined the Red Cross in 1994 and was treasurer for one year.

George used to deliver parcels to the railways in Berrigan and Cobram. He was also the handyman and Red Cross photographer.

George now works on street stalls and attends meetings every month. He has the Long Service Award and Service Award.

Margaret, Leila and George’s daughter, has been a member for 23 years and does the shop volunteer roster each month.

Margaret was presented with the Long Service Award at the 100 year celebrations in 2014.

Margaret’s daughters, Tamara and Rochelle, have been members for 15 years.

Leila and George’s great grandson, Sebastian, is a junior member. He joined in 2012.

Also, Barbara, a niece of Leila and George, is a member and has been awarded the Long Service Award and still works in the shop.

How wonderful that five generations of the Batten family have been involved in the Red Cross Shop.


Congratulations to Noreen Armstrong who turned 100 yesterday.

Noreen celebrated with family and friends last Sunday at Amaroo Hostel.

Her long-time friend, Nell Ryan, who is 103, joined in the celebrations and enjoyed many stories.

Noreen received messages from the Queen, Prime Minister, Governor General, Premier and, of course, our Mayor Matt Hannan who presented her with a framed certificate from Berrigan Shire Council.


A ‘Welcome to Berrigan’ barbecue will be held on Sunday, June 24 at the Berrigan Community Club from noon to 2.30pm.

If you have moved to Berrigan in the past five years and not previously attended the event, you are invited to an informal meet and greet and to hear about the services Berrigan has to offer.

Lunch is provided and drinks are at bar prices. RSVP to Shannon Sandral at Dawmac, phone 58852382 or email This is an initiative of the BDDA Inc.


Community exercises are held every Monday and Wednesday from 10.15 to 10.45am.

If you are an older person looking for some light exercise to keep you fit, come to the Madill Centre.

Exercises are done sitting on a chair so they are not too strenuous, and further more they are free.

For more information contact Beth Trewarne on 58852797.


Berrigan Lions Club would like to remind the community it is still collecting used car, truck and tractor batteries.

The proceeds from the sale of these is put back into community projects.

If you have old batteries to donate contact Neal Gorman on (02)60359430 or Ian Fox 0429852513 and they will arrange pick-up.


Save the date — June 25 — for the Cancer Council High Tea which will be held at the Berrigan Community Club.

This year the committee has decided to have a High Tea instead of the luncheon. More information will follow in the coming weeks.


The Berrigan Swimming Pool Committee is having a fundraiser on Sunday, June 10 in the form of a Fish Out. There will be over 200 rainbow trout to be caught.

The day starts at 11am. Cost is $10 and there will be a barbecue lunch and afternoon tea available.

Tickets are available at Avalook, Books on Chanter, Dawmac and the Caravan Park.


Interested in taking up golf? Every Monday handicap and non-handicap players are welcome to play nine holes. Tee-off is at 9.30am. Cost is $5, all welcome.


Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea is just around the corner and will be held on Friday, June 1 from 9.30am at the CWA Hall. Cost is $8 and there will be a guest speaker from Regional Cancer Support Group. All welcome.


The BDDA will be having its next Breakfast Meeting on Thursday, May 31 between 7.30am and 9.30am.

The breakfast is held at Blue Door and cost is $10. Please pre-order by calling into Blue Door.

This is a forum for any business people to discuss any and all business related matters with like minded people.

RSVP to Cristina on 0429571988.


Sympathy is extended to the Murray family on the passing of Vi last week.

Vi lived a wonderful life and until recently would be often making her way down Chanter St to do her weekly shopping.

Vi was farewelled at the Uniting Church last Friday and was laid to rest at the Berrigan Lawn Cemetery.