Friday, August 24, 2018

Did you know there has been a fundraising group supporting the maintenance of Armagh since the 1960s? Their quiet, back-room work has contributed towards maintaining facilities at this gracious Toorak home, even in years when funds have been scarce. 


'The "Friends of Armagh" group was started by people in business who wanted to offer support for Armagh in the important community-building work it was doing,' recalled Rob Wood, who, together with spouse Cheryl, hosted the live-in community in the home for more than three decades. 'They felt what was needed was an organization that would provide practical assistance when things needed to be repaired or replaced,' he explained. 


Friends of Armagh have ensured that taken-for-granted services, such as paying for home insurance, continue from year to year. Group members have also rallied round when there is a specific need - providing, in recent years, a ride-on mower and a new fridge for the kitchen.


Armagh was gifted to Initiatives of Change Australia (IofCA, then known as Moral Rearmament) in 1956. The early 20th-century home has served as the Australia-Pacific Centre for Initiatives of Change and the home for a live-in international community since then, with a major renovation being undertaken in the 1970s to make it fit for purpose as a centre for residential courses and conferences. 


While IofCA embarked on a change process several years ago, the maintenance bills for Armagh continued to come in. This week, the Friends of Armagh group swung into action again after a period of quiet, hosting a fundraising concert with award-winning German pianist Ernst Moritz, which netted just under $400. Moritz also ran master classes out of the Armagh ballroom, drawing individual pino students and obsevers over the weekend. 


Award-winning German pianist Ernst Mortiz offered his services in a fundraiser for Armagh on 22 August 2018.

The event is just one of several ongoing projects that Friends of Armagh have in store. Some members donate a pledged amount each month to help with expenses, and to ensure that work can continue. Rob observed that, 'The help cotinues to come in from people who feel that Armagh has not only a past, but also a future - and who would like to support it in a tangible way.'


  • To join the Friends of Armagh and be involved in activities, contact Cheryl Wood