Celebrating 30 years of Housie

Written by: WRHS, 02 May 2019

Celebrating 30 years of Housie

Celebrating 30 years of Housie


The Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service’s Cash Housie program hit a milestone onThursday 2 May, celebrating 30 years at the Belmont 16ft Sailing Club.


“Housie is a very social activity that appeals to all ages and types of people including families during school holidays. We pride ourselves on providing an enjoyable and friendly session of Housie at every venue with the best possible prizemoney,” said the Service’s Housie Manager Milena Hartnett.


“We like to think of Housie as gymnastics for the brain.”


90 year old Mary Smith would agree with that statement. She’s been playing at the club since the early 1990s and attributes her mental health and positive outlook on life to playing Housie with her friends and staying social.


The Belmont 16s is the flagship club for the Service’s Cash Housie program, starting with one weekly session. There are now four games a week at the club, attracting 400 weekly players. Over the 30 years, Housie has been integral to keeping the Rescue Helicopter flying, annually raising an incredible amount of funds for the Service.


“Since 1989 Housie has been one of the most successful and enduring forms of fundraising for the Service and continues to be with electronic playing devices giving the game a whole new aspect. We couldn’t have reached this milestone without continued support of the Belmont 16ft Sailing Club, who provide the auditorium four times a week, staff assistance, raffle and game prizes and promotions for our players,” said Milena.


30 years on from the first Housie games, the Service now holds 30 sessions a week across 18 venues, ensuring the Community’s Own Rescue Helicopter is ready to respond 24-7. 


“Housie games and the loyal supporters who attend continue to be an integral part of ensuring the Rescue Helicopter can be here for our Community. Thank you to all the players who have supported, and continue to support Cash Housie,” she said.


Many of the Housie players attend the games as a way of saying thank you and showing support. Vicki started playing at Belmont 16s after her son was assisted by the Service. Daniel was transported to Royal North Shore Hospital on Christmas morning 2006 after suffering a brain aneurysm at just 21. Every Saturday Vicki makes the trip from Shortland to Belmont to play Housie and support the Community’s Own Rescue Helicopter, the Service that saved her son’s life.