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Little helpers on the job

Tuesday, 9th October, 2018

The hard-working volunteers making the puddings for the RFDS fundraiser. PICTURE: Emily Roberts The hard-working volunteers making the puddings for the RFDS fundraiser. PICTURE: Emily Roberts

By Emily Roberts

It’s all boiling down for the RFDS Women’s Auxiliary and their volunteers, but these wonderful women don’t break a sweat as they look to make 2,000 Christmas puddings.

It’s pudding time again, as every year the Royal Flying Doctor Service Women’s Auxiliary work hard to make the delicious treats to sell to make money to help the Flying Doctor.

RFDS Women’s Auxiliary president and pudding convenor Carol Holden said they had a selection of volunteers working away since last Monday.

“It’s all going to plan,” she said.

The puddings get made at the Perilya hall at the Zinc Oval, as they have done for many years.

“We started Monday last week, we always start on the public holiday Monday,” Mrs Holden said.

“We run with our auxiliary members and volunteers from the Potter’s Society and Quota Club.

“We have about 16 volunteers and we are planning on making 2,000 puddings.”

Mrs Holden said they made the same amount of puddings last year.

She said the puddings will be sold from the Bruce Langford Visitor’s Centre.

“If you would like to purchase a pudding, you can do so from the Bruce Langford Centre after October 15.”

The tradition first started 62 years ago, when 75 puddings were made at an Auxiliary member’s home according to a bush recipe, some of which still remains a secret.

Mrs Holden said they have the steps for pudding making down pat.

“We get the calico first which is donated by a company in Queensland,” she said.

“Then the cardboard boxes are donated which we use for packaging.

“Half of our fruit is donated, we get the brandy from Adelaide and other ingredients we source locally.

“We buy everything six months prior, so we can ensure it is all in stock.”

Mrs Holden said the Auxiliary set up on the Friday before the long weekend.

“That way we are ready to go 6.30am on Monday.”

Firstly, the coppers are lit then the fruit is weighed up.

The flour and sugar is sifted together then the eggs are mixed in.

“June Files does all the beating with the eggs and butter,” Mrs Holden said.

“June is our Queen Beater.”

The fruit is mixed into the batter and the whole pudding is weighed in calico sheets.

“Each pudding weighs 1kg.

“Then they go out to our boilers and are boiled for three hours.

“Our boilers are old gas coppers and have been used for years.”

Mrs Holden said if any locals were cleaning out their sheds and found gas coppers they weren’t using, they were welcome to donate them.

“If they still work we would gladly have them.”

Once the puddings are boiled, they are put up to dry and hang around for a week.

“Then we send them to the Flying Doctor base and the orders are posted off.

“We receive a lot of interstate orders, a lot of orders from all over the country.

“People have been buying them for years.

“It’s a traditional thing for Aussies to do. 

“It goes to a good cause and all the money we raise keeps the Flying Doctor flying.”

To make an order visit the Bruce Langford Visitors Centre or call on 8080 3733.

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