A Richmond Red Cross notebook from 1939-1941 is the newest addition to the Museum’s collections. Although ordinary in every way on the outside, this notebook contains a first-hand account of the Richmond community’s Second World War effort on the home front.

The book belonged to Eveleen Stewart who was the secretary-treasurer for the Red Cross in Richmond. It was donated to the Museum by her daughter, Janet Reid.

“This notebook preserves the story of a community organization that came together during the Second World War,” says Museum Registrar, Sarah Holla. “Their meetings, events, and fundraising campaigns are explained in detail from the perspective of their secretary-treasurer.”

The back of the book contains an account of all donations made to the Red Cross from community members, as well as an accounting ledger of the group’s finances. The ledger includes things like salvage gathered by the Richmond Scouts, money issued to Tobacco Co. to send overseas to active service members, money sent to the Red Cross blanket fund, and money for milk donations to Britain.

Fundraising was a significant goal of the Red Cross in Richmond and in 1939-1940 that came in the form of a Minstrel Show which raised $45.34, a euchre and bridge party which charged $0.25 a person, and a barn dance. The barn dance they hosted in September 1940, drew a crowd of 900, a record for Richmond! Refreshments for the event included 30 lbs of sausages, 36 dozen buns, 33 cases of drinks, and 11 gallons of ice cream! 

The Museum is in the process of making the contents of this book easily accessible to the public. “The handwritten pages are currently being transcribed by our Archiving Goulbourn volunteers,” says Holla. “This will allow for the use of screen reading technology, translation technology, and will enable staff, volunteers, and researchers to search documents by keyword.”

The long-term goal of the Archiving Goulbourn project is to create a public research portal on the Museum’s website that will facilitate research surrounding the former Goulbourn Township. 

Richmond Red Cross notebook donated by Janet Reid.