The history of the Uncle Bob’s Club dates back to December 1941 when a raffle book was passed around the bar of the Riversdale Hotel in Hawthorn.

If you look up the Uncle Bob’s Club website what happened next provides a great story.

The proceeds of the raffle were to benefit the Orthopaedic Section of the Royal Children’s Hospital at Mount Eliza.

Four blokes in the bar threw in a bob (the equivalent to a shilling in old money) for what they thought was a great cause.

As they met in the pub every Thursday night they decided to keep the fundraising going.

Very quickly many of the other patrons decided they’d like to contribute a bob. 

You see where this story is going now. A meeting was held and it was decided that the group  would be known as Uncle Bob’s Club – because of the shilling a week subscription.

The organisation, specific to Victoria, quickly grew and is now the main collection agency for the Good Friday Royal Children’s Hospital Appeal.

Which takes us to Bendigo, where Uncle Bob’s has raised more than $1 million.

Uncle Bob’s Club Bendigo has also regularly hosted local fundraisers for children-focused health issues.

But the Bendigo branch president Carol Maher is now calling for help.

A declining membership has left the club with just 10 members and Carol, who has been working for the cause since 1980, is getting weary.

“I’m worried that we won’t have enough volunteers to run the 2020 appeal,” Carol said.

“Joining Uncle Bob’s is not a huge commitment but it is a sure-fire way of giving back and at the same time meeting some terrific people.”

You can help Carol by giving her a ring and volunteering in the spirit of those original blokes who thought of a simple way to help the children.

Contact Uncle Bob’s Club on 9335 6300.

By Dianne Dempsey