A well-kept sword once used in an English battle during the 1850s helped to mark the 80th anniversary of the Mount Pleasant Red Cross branch on Tuesday morning.
The heirloom, provided by branch president Margaret Seager, was inherited by her husband Michael (through the family) from his great-grandfather Edward Seager who fought in the Crimean War – 1853-56.
It was used on Tuesday to slice a piece of the 80th anniversary cake to recognise eight decades of volunteer dedication.
More than 100 people, including those from regional Red Cross branches, joined to witness and celebrate the special occasion on the beautiful property of Fiona MacLaughlan, off Glen Devon Road.
And while the rain fell, umbrellas soon went up with visitors continuing to enjoy the festivities of the morning including warm scones and hot beverages, plus stalls and raffles to further raise funds for the branch.
During speeches, Mrs MacLaughlan was presented the Humanitarian Partner award by Red Cross SA director Mark Groote. He told the crowd he was thrilled to attend after missing last year’s event.
Mr Groote also shared a citation, written in Mrs MacLaughlan’s honour: ‘The beautiful hills estate of Glen Devon has for the past 29 years has been the location for the Australian Red Cross Mount Pleasant Branch annual garden party.
‘The event continues to raise substantial funds for Red Cross.
‘The MacLaughlan family has generously opened this garden to the local branch at no cost for all of these years.
‘The property is well known and the local community see it as a special place.
‘The MacLaughlan family is both well established and well respected, here in the Adelaide Hills.
‘Together with Sophie Thomson, who has given generously her time as a guest speaker for over 20 years of the annual garden party – Fiona MacLachlan and her family have shared their home and their passion for gardening.
‘The family commitment to this local hills community and to the generosity of Red Cross is both valued and very much appreciated.’
Honour also went to Betty Minge, who has supported the Mount Pleasant Red Cross Branch for 53 years. She joined Mrs Seager in cutting the cake.
According to Mrs Seager the Mount Pleasant branch is a wonderful team who work tirelessly together.
“Last year we received a national award from Red Cross for the best event for the year and it was this garden party,” she said.
“We also received an award for raising the most money per capita of the population – so that’s good for a small town.”
Celebrity garden expert and journalist Sophie Thomson also delivered a speech to the visitors.