Search uncovers seniors’ ‘treasure’


MONEY left over when Rye Senior Citizens Club disbanded 10 years ago will likely go to Rye Beach Community Centre.

The existence of a big pot of money, about $60,000, was revealed in late 2012 when Nepean Ward councillor Tim Rodgers was showing his newly elected colleague Hugh Fraser around their patch.

The pair inspected the former senior citizens hall in Napier St, Rye, and heard that money left in the bank when the seniors’ club disbanded in 2005 was never redistributed.

The seniors’ club was formed in the 1960s and disbanded a decade ago, possibly because Rye RSL expanded its services and many seniors moved across to the RSL.

Councillors last week decided to recommend to Consumer Affairs Victoria that the cash go to the community centre, although CAV is not legally obliged to follow the council’s decision. It can allocate the money to the state of Victoria but this would likely cause an outcry as club members worked long and hard to raise the funds.

Of the $60,000, $3000 was a grant from the shire, which wants it returned.

In his report to the council, Director of Communities Robin Adams stated the shire supported “20 independently incorporated senior citizens clubs” on the peninsula by providing buildings and “some financial grants”.

He said the shire had sought advice from Consumer Affairs Victoria about how to allocate the $60,000, which is sitting in a Bendigo Bank account.

The process took so long because shire officers had to find old files stored away from shire offices. Shire staff had been unable to find former office bearers of the club.

Cr Fraser said Rye Beach Community Centre was the organisation that most closely met the seniors’ club’s aims, which had been found in the old files.

One of its aims was to support elderly people “within the district of Rye”.

Mr Adams said the community centre “strongly support the promoting of community services and welfare support for a broad range of residents (which include the aged) within the Rye community. It is well-regarded and the most significant agency supporting the Rye area”.

He recommended the $57,000 go to seven clubs in the area but councillors opted for the community centre.

The former senior citizens hall, next to Rye Civic Hall, is still in use – by dancing groups, people with disabilities and for other community events.

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 3 November 2015


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