Fundraising Buttons: part 2
The idea of “Button Days” as a method for patriotic fundraising was first mentioned in the Australian media in April 1915. Apparently it was suggested by a Mr H. C. Tucker, of Colac. The button was to feature a Belgian Flag on a pale blue background for a shilling.
The idea was that a new button would be issued on the first of each month, starting on Empire Day, i.e. 24th May 1915. They hoped to raise ongoing help for ‘the starving Belgiums’ as well as for ‘the Servians, other Allies and kindred funds’. Before this there had been ‘Wattle Days’, ‘Flag days’ and ‘Rose Days’.
The day was a great success from its start in Melbourne, and spread around Australia over the following months. Soon there were button days for the Red Cross, hospitals, France, and so on. In June 1916 A.W. Patrick, the firm manufacturing these buttons, were making 200-300 thousand buttons a month.