Acknowledging donations in 1960: Geoff Hiscock, tennis star Alex Olmedo, Brenda Marshall and Jocelyn Terry (Picture: B&T)

This Good Friday marks the 60th all-day telethon for Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal.

Although Melbourne’s HSV7 first took part in the Appeal in 1957, just a few months after its debut, its initial involvement was limited to short on-air segments during the afternoon and late evening. In 1958 it had no scheduled telecast of the appeal at all, and in 1959 its coverage of the appeal included only three hours in the afternoon.

Vi Greenhalf hands over a cheque from the Miss Summer Festival Quest for £44,500 to 3DB’s Geoff McComas. (Picture: B&T)

The 1960 appeal saw HSV7 present its first all-day telethon, in co-operation with its sister radio station 3DB, which had been an appeal partner since 1942.

For Good Friday, HSV7 set up its outside broadcast van alongside the 3DB studios and broadcast much of the appeal activity from the radio station studios throughout the day.

The telecast started at 7.00am, with HSV7 and 3DB personalities acknowledging donations and providing “appropriate Easter entertainment”. Meanwhile, opposition channel GTV9 was not on the air until 5.00pm. National broadcaster ABC had a live telecast of Divine Service from Trinity College Chapel in the morning, but was then off-air until 3.00pm.  Apart from some breaks for news and evening programs, HSV7 stayed with the appeal through to midnight.

HSV7. Friday 15 April 1960
7am Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal
6.15pm The Mickey Mouse Club
6.45 News. Geoff Raymond
7pm Bonanza
8pm Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal
9pm The Lineup
10pm The Lawless Years
10.30 Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal
12am Close

The addition of the all-day telethon gave the Appeal a huge boost to its final tally — £236,089 5s 7d ($472,178) — beating the previous record set in 1956 by £49,122. However, it would be a decade before the record total would be beaten again ($503,857 in 1970).

This year, the appeal hopes to top last year’s record total of $18,043,251.

Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal. Friday 19 April from 5.30am in Sunrise and The Morning Show, then live from the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 12pm. Seven Melbourne, Prime7 regional Victoria, 7Plus.

Source: The Age, 18 April 1957, 3 April 1958, 26 March 1959. TV Times, 14 April 1960. Broadcasting & Television, 21 April 1960. Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal


2 thoughts on “Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal — the first telethon

  1. They were lucky that they just broke the record with the appeal this year with it only on for limited hours of the day (4 hrs in the afternoon and 4 hours in the evening). They could have raised a lot more if they had as an all day appeal. They could have used 7two or 7mate when they had to switch to the footy.

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