Agnes East M.B.E. CM- Community Worker

The Youth Centre in Wills Tce

Agnes East and her husband Bill came to Alice springs from New Zealand after the war in 1946. Bill worked for a while for the Department of Works before opening East Engineering in a corrugated iron shed on the Stuart Highway opposite the turn of to Schwarz Crescent, where Peter Kittle Toyota now is.
In 1947 Agnes became the first President of a the Childen's Social Club after being approached by a small group of girls looking for some organised activity.
The club proved popular and soon increased membership required larger premises than the Buffalo Hall in Todd St. where the group met and they used, first, the Church of England Hall in Bath St. then, the Country Womens Association rooms at the end of Todd St. in Wills Tce.
In 1951 the Alice Springs Youth Centre was established at the base of Anzac Hill opposite Bath St in Wills Tce.
Agnes East and her helpers assisted in the planning and organisation of the first Bangtail Muster, and the Debutante Ball where young ladies were presented to dignitaries.
Until the Araluen Complex was built the Youth Centre was the hub of activity in Alice Springs. It encompassed gymnastics, musical comedy, debating and concerts.
Agnes was a foundation and life member of the Alice Springs Theatre Group which met and performed in a small shed beside the Todd River at Anzac Oval called the Totem Theatre.
In 1964 the Queen and Prince Phillip visited Alice Springs and Agnes East was awarded Membership of the Order of the British Empire.
Much loved and respected, she died in 1988 in South Australia.

© Copyright Peter W. Wilkins 2014.