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1940's - The War Years

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With many servicemen and women away lighting, the war years were particularly difficult for many Australians. The AWA answered the call to duty.

At the urging of President Roosevelt, the 1942 Ball was held as usual on July 4, and was a great success in spite of the depressing atmosphere of the war. Ball decorations were spectacular and included the largest American Flag in the Southern hemisphere and massive portraits of President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

In honour of the AWA's continuing outstanding efforts, Mrs. Douglas MacArthur attended tea during the May meeting. During 1942 the Auxiliary began assisting the Hospital in the Cantenn, beginning our tradition of serving on the fourth Friday of each month. In 1943 an American football game, held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground by U.S. Marines, brought a record crowd of 40,000. That year an amazing 2,300 people attended the Ball.

Presidential Approvals: Eleanor Roosevelt visited the polio unit to see first hand how the AWA was materially improving the lives of sick children. President Eisenhower hailed the work of the Auxiliary in a cable, calling its members "worthy representatives of our country's attitude and spirit."