The Good Friday Royal Children’s Hospital Appeal is a tradition that Melbourne embraces every year with collectors out in force at public spaces, road ways and streets, rattling their tins, virtually door to door, and enticing Victorians to give generously for a good cause.
No matter what the economic or social circumstances, the Appeal never fails to rack up a fantastic sum and this year was no different with a record total of $13,862,734.00.
Victoria’s media, volunteer organisations and individuals give up their Good Friday, gear up, and go out to raise money.
There are also many and varied community events organised for the public to also attend, in order to support the Children’s Hospital Appeal.
The sporting Holden Special Vehicles Owners Club of Victoria, with over 300 members is one such organisation that has facilitated a car display at Southbank annually on Good Friday in aid of the Appeal.
Rows of concourse and pristine condition HSV and HDT specialist vehicles are on dominant display for the day as club members sacrifice their time to put on this exhibition on, free of charge, for the public’s enjoyment.
Driving high powered 400 to 600 horsepower vehicles does not make club members hoons, far from it!
All members are responsible, enjoying a common bond witheir fellow car-lovers. They socialize and share in the many activities the Club organises over the year, from “show and shines”, weekend mystery drives, charity events, “dyno” tests, as well as motor sport days on the race track where they belong!
On non- Greek Orthodox Good Friday, while almost everyone in Melbourne sleeps in, the HSV club cars arrive at Southbank at around 7.00am and set up the exhibition by 9.00am.
It was the biggest show ever this year with 60 cars worth over $3 million on display and being a family day, members’ children and families continuously walked up and down the Southbank concourse, restaurants and cafes, shaking their tins and collecting several thousands of dollars for the kiddies.
The display is also very popular amongst foreign tourists who are amazed at the inexpensive fuel available here and the type of vehicles we Australians drive.
Club members also realized the opportunity to talk to car enthusiasts from all over the world.
Here are some interesting facts related by visitors at the show – Petrol in England is around $2.55 a litre; A German car company imports HSV’s and resells them with luxury interiors under the “Bitter” badge for around $200,000 each; or quote from a visiting American “I would love one of those GTO 4 door sedans!”
No one escapes Southbank without putting something into the tinnies and, at the end of the day, it was nice to see that even our international guests contributed a few dollars to a worthy cause.