Mt Waverley op shop celebrates 50 year milestone
In 1969, a group formed in Mt Waverley to raise funds for the Brotherhood of St Laurence. After running social fundraisers, the group opened an op shop which continues to thrive to this day in the Mt Waverley Village shopping centre.
Lyn Donald, secretary of the Mt Waverley Brotherhood op shop, says it has become part of the fabric of the community. The busy shop is managed by a group of 45 volunteers.
‘They used to meet at the St Stephen and St Mary Anglican parish church. At first, they raised money by holding theatre nights, casserole lunches, garden parties, Easter hat parades…those sort of social activities. Then someone suggested they could run a shop,” says Lyn. “The Brotherhood sent out enough stock for a week and, goodness gracious, they made more in that week than they had made in a year.’
Lyn has been a volunteer since the 1990s and says locals are fond of the shop and its volunteers. ‘We’re regarded very highly. There are customers who have been coming in for ages. Some even come in every day,’ she said.
‘The Brotherhood has always stressed we’re not just here to sell things. We’re here for social purposes. We’ve had cups of tea for people who are sad or stressed, or just needed company. That sort of thing is tremendously important.’
For Helena Jayne, a fashion blogger getting a bargain is always a thrill. ‘I’ve just started thrift shopping, and I saw this leather jacket the other day. Am so pleased I got it for a good price.’
Graeme has lived in Mt Waverley for 57 years and is a regular shopper. ‘I come here for the science fiction books. I used to get jigsaws and we would return them again to do a bit of recycling.’