FRIENDSHIP HOUSE HISTORY (CONTINUED) With the generosity of local and metropolitan firms, donating materials we were able to keep within our budget. John Law then priced furniture required to convert the house into a home and found we needed $3,980.00 to complete the decor. This he applied for from the Lotteries Commission and was duly granted. We then went about purchasing an automatic washing machine, dining room setting, lounge suite, six single beds and mattresses, blankets, linen and all household effects. The Rotaryannes then stepped in to add the finishing touches with curtains, cleaning etc. Prior to the house being completed we had of course, to make arrangements for the official opening. We were fortunate in being able to arrange for the Chairman of the Lotteries Commission, Mr Ken Wetherell to declare Friendship House officially open at a time when our D.G. Bruce Williams and wife Trixie were able to be with us. That date was the 25th August 1976. This was a particularly memorable occasion for our Club in that it heralded the completion of the first stage of our project. The house building committee had completed their task and the job of house management became a reality with a sparkling, brand new, fully furnished house. The original idea was to provide accommodation where a widow and her family from anywhere in our State could travel to Albany and enjoy a week’s holiday absolutely free except for providing food for herself and family. We have not only limited our Friendship House to widows but to anyone who is underprivileged by circumstance. In fact if sufficient year round occupancy cannot be obtained we will make our facilities available to say, pensioner couples, up to six at a time and a small charge per pensioner we feel is not too unreasonable. The house was later converted, mainly bathroom/we area to accommodate those unfortunate enough to be in wheel chairs and we have had many house guests sent to us from "Rocky Bay Village". Special mention should be made of the following Rotarians for their generosity over the years of occupancy - Terry Nugent for the supply of free oil for heating until his departure from Albany, Don Jones for the supply of free LP gas, John Law for the free washing and delivery of laundry each week until his departure and finally Roy Perry who has taken over this onerous laundry task. Our occupancy rate is excellent especially during the months November to March and school holidays. Friendship House is our best ongoing Rotary project undertaken by our Club and proof can be seen in the many letters and comments made from families enjoying a little respite from difficult times. In 1997 we obtained a Grant of $12,000. from the Lotteries Commission with a proviso that we contribute $6,000. This enabled us to connect to deep sewerage, render the brickwork, seal the drive, tile and update the bathroom, renew mattresses, stove, fridge, washing machine, bedspreads etc. Security screen doors were also placed to all external doors. We outlaid $19,502 -A larger sum than our original building and furnishing cost! In conclusion, I would point out that for an initial financial outlay of some $15,000 we now own as asset which today’s market value would be in the vicinity of $300,000. Past President Ross Tassicker (Deceased)
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