Oberon Children's Centre celebrates 40th birthday

HAPPY: Oberon Children's Centre welcomed former staff members and the Oberon communiyt to their 40th birthday celebration.
HAPPY: Oberon Children's Centre welcomed former staff members and the Oberon communiyt to their 40th birthday celebration.

Oberon Children's Centre is celebrating 40 years since its establishment in Oberon.

On Monday, committee members, staff, former staff members and guests celebrated with a birthday afternoon tea.

One of the founding committee who helped get the centre built was Keith Sullivan, but he could not attend on the day due to a previous commitment.

But Mr Sullivan said he was surprised to hear that the anniversary was actually the 40th for the centre as it only seemed like yesterday that the then-new pre-school, as it was called, building commenced.

"I must admit that I take considerable pride in what we as the then committee and community achieved at that time," he said.

"It was before communities relied on grants and the local people determined what facilities the community most needed and if important enough the community some how found ways to make it happen.

"Many people today may not realise that there were no grants or government money and, if I recall correctly, the ladies on the committee raised about $3000 in cash - which was a hell of a lot of money in those days. To make it happen we relied on volunteer labour and donations."

To make it happen we relied on volunteer labour and donations.

Keith Sullivan

Mr Sullivan said the friendships and camaraderie generated by these activities was tremendous and created long term friendships.

"It is sad that many people who were crucial elements in achieving the build of the centre are no longer with us. I apologise to the families of those people who I may miss but I clearly recall John Rush as the builder, and Gwen Corby as being two of the many significant contributors," he said.

"I would also like to thank the subsequent and existing committees for being involved in something meaningful and beneficial for today's and the future children of Oberon.

"It is my belief that the staff who have been involved with the running of the centre since commencement have been truly exceptional. I include Nita Van Essen who operated the original day care facility at St Barnabas Church hall."

Former Oberon Children's Centre director Bev Peard, who retired three years ago after 29 years of service, said the centre stays in her heart.

"I'm happy to see it going better than ever under the guidance of Meredith Cox," she said.

The centre currently has 65 students enrolled in 2019.