Helpers’ winter appeal for help By Barry Morris THE St Vincent de Paul Society has seen a sharp spike in calls for assistance from the needy on the Mornington Peninsula in the past year, figures released by its Melbourne office reveal. The Vinnies’ figures for the southern region showed it provided help and support to the value of $890,000. In 2016-17, the number of food parcels handed out rose 11.3 per cent, the society was called on to provide help with housing for 12.9 per cent more people, the number of prescription medicines paid for rose 13.2 per cent and education costs shot up 27 per cent. In three years, the SVDP had experienced a 43 per cent rise in the value of financial welfare support delivered, the office statement said. In Mornington, members have made 790 home visits and provided assistance to the value of $107,000 this past financial year. Conferences in Frankston, Mt Elisa, Dromana, Rosebud, Rye, Sorrento and Western Port are doing similar work. Vinnies has launched its national annual winter appeal to help a neverending stream of people in need. “The peninsula is a beautiful part of the world in which to live, with its beaches, clean air and idyllic lifestyle,” Vinnies’ Mornington president Paul Girolami said. “Unfortunately there are still people
- families and individuals - who need help with housing, food, protection from violence and a host of other daily problems. “That’s where we come in, along with other charities and help provided by the Mornington Community Information and Support Centre.” Mr Girolami said in many ways the St Vincent de Paul Society hadn’t changed since it was founded in 1833 in Paris by 20-year-old student Frederic Ozanam. Then, thousands were without work and homelessness, disease and hunger were rife. Ozanam named the society after St Vincent de Paul, the patron saint of Christian charity “In Mornington, with rising food costs, we provide food parcels and vouchers that enable people to shop for their own food,” Mr Girolami said. “We also help people with their rent and provide furniture and clothing and help them to pay gas, water and electricity bills. “Prescription medicines are a concern for a number of people and we help pay for scripts. We have also been called upon to help with schooling costs.” Mr Girolami said home visits were an essential part of SVDP work. Visits are made in response to calls from families and individuals to the Vinnies Call Centre in Mornington which handles all requests on the peninsula. The number is 5976 4974.
Their bridge: Littlejohn family members shared the celebration with councillors Antonella Celi and Simon Brooks and representatives from VicRoads and Dromana and District Historical Society at Littlejohn Bridge. Picture: Supplied
Bridge links family’s past A DROMANA family which moved into the area more than 100 years ago has been remembered by having a bridge over Dunns Creek named after it. Littlejohn Bridge on Point Nepean Road is named after William Littlejohn who arrived in 1917 with his family of nine children and settled on land along Dunns Creek. In 1927 Mr Littlejohn successfully tendered to build a reinforced concrete bridge to replace an old timber bridge at the entrance to his property.
“The Littlejohn family has, over many years, made a significant contribution to the Dromana district and wider peninsula community,” the mayor Cr Bryan Payne said. “This bridge will serve as a fitting tribute and local reminder of the dedication and community spirit of a well-loved peninsula family.” The Littlejohn family was on school committees, involved in building the tennis club house at Red Hill, establishing the Red Hill Show and improving the Red Hill reserve.
The family moved the stage and extended the western end of the Red Hill hall and built the Red Hill Scout hall. Family members were also on the Red Hill committee of the Dromana Bush Nursing Hospital. The naming request came through Dromana Historical Society which recommended the Littlejohns an early pioneering family in the Dromana region. The council supported the proposal and advised VicRoads.
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19 June 2018
Western Port News 19 June 2018