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Jimmy’s Good Friday Appeal journey
CFA life member Jimmy Rankin is as passionate as they come when it comes to the Good Friday Appeal, and has more than 50 years of service to the Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) Appeal.
Jimmy started out as a volunteer firey with the Edithvale Fire Brigade in the early 1950’s and from the word go he has been involved with the Appeal.
“It all started at the Bridge Hotel in Mordialloc, where senior members of the Brigade would gather for social drinks at the section called the Red Corner,” said Jimmy.
“Johnny Walker Whisky kindly used to donate large empty bottles to be used as collection tins for any spare change that could be donated to the Appeal.
“Over time it was suggested that the Edithvale Brigade take over the fundraising initiative; so in 1954 we did.
“We started by collecting donations from local residents in Edithvale and in time we expanded to suburbs like Aspendale, Mordialloc, Parkdale, Chelsea Heights and Aspendale Gardens.
“Our day would start at the Edithvale Fire Station with a vintage fire truck and furniture van and we would make our way to Flinders Street collecting donations along Beach Road to St Kilda.
“The day would generally start at 8am and we wouldn’t arrive in the city until 8pm.
“We would have a friendly banter along the way with other volunteer brigades that collected from other suburbs, as to how much was collected on the day.
“One year the brigade was collecting along Beach road in the Brighton area where a lady gave an envelope to one our members. We had no idea what was in it but upon arriving we had it checked and it was a debenture with the value of between 5-10 pounds.
“It was the biggest individual donation we received at the time.
“Over the years there have been many enjoyable times. We greatly appreciate the support of the community and I hope the tradition lives on.”
The Edithvale Fire Brigade continues the Good Friday tradition with more than 70 members participating on this great day.
Since 1995 the Edithvale Fire Brigade has collected more than $600,000 for the Royal Children’s Hospital.
“I sincerely hope the brigade will continue to ‘give that they may grow’ for many years to come.”
This year Jimmy together with his son Operations Manager Allan Rankin presented the cheque to the Good Friday Appeal on behalf of all CFA brigades.
CFA Chief Officer Steve Warrington said Jimmy embodies CFA’s proud history of supporting the Good Friday Appeal.
“His commitment to serving the community with energy, humility and a can-do attitude reflects the true spirit of volunteerism and is an example to which we should all spire,” he said.
“While much as changed and evolved over the past 60 or 70 years, the volunteer ethos he holds dear – that of selflessly serving and protecting the community – remains constant.”
CFA raised more than $1.7 million for the 2017 Good Friday Appeal.
Photo by Blair Dellemijn - Uniform Photography