Balmoral’s “Wishing Well” is hungry and needs community coins to survive. Can you help?
By ANNA USHER
How long is it since you’ve thrown a coin into the Wishing Well at Balmoral?
This is the question Mosman Rotary Club is asking residents, in a new campaign to raise money for cancer research.
When well-known solicitor Alistair Bluett died from Melanoma in 1985, his parents Roger and Jean rallied Council for help to erect a monument in honour of their son.
After much consultation, it was decided to build a Wishing Well on the Esplanade, with the purpose of attracting visitors to the beach front, which would in turn bring in much needed funds for Melanoma research.
On 26 October 1986, the Wishing Well was officially opened, with Mosman Rotary Club taking on the responsibility of unofficial trusteeship, collecting the coins, banking them in the Project Fund and sending an annual donation to the Melanoma Foundation (now the Melanoma Institute).
By the end of the 1989 financial year, the well had been cleaned 32 times, with the total amount of $4,550 collected.
People flocked to the wishing well, offloading their loose change after a day at the beach, then making a wish for good luck or good fortune.
The total amount collected over its 37-year history is estimated to be $50,000, but in the past three years, there’s been a sharp decline in use.
This is contributed to Australia’s fast growing “cashless economy”, with most people now using cards – and not cash.
“Post pandemic, there has been a drop off in coin donations and we want to encourage everyone to feed the Wishing Well,” Rotary spokesperson Mark Alderson told Mosman Collective.
“All money collected goes straight to Cancer research.
“The Wishing Well takes all denominations – from any country – and we convert them into Australian dollars.
“If anyone has come back to Mosman from an overseas trip and has loose coins, we would love them to end up in the Wishing Well.”
Mr Alderson said the well currently raises between $2,000 and $3000 each year.
“Just a couple of years ago we raised more than double that amount,” he said.
“Any help we can get through coin donations will be gratefully received by the Melanoma Institute.
“Every little bit helps.”