In 1958, Mesdames G Dear, P Pritchard, P Hillier, U French and M Scott met to discuss the need to help the elderly in the district. A social afternoon was organized at Balwyn RSL Hall. At this meeting the Evergreen Club was established with 96 members. By the end of the first year of operation it was decided that the Club needed their own building and began a number of fundraising efforts.
In order to raise funds an opportunity shop was established in rented premises at 437 Whitehorse Rd in 1959. The freehold of these premises was purchased in 1966. The property was sold in 2009.
Given the increasing number of activities, the growing membership and the strain on the Evergreen Committee, the Club’s Trustees decided in 1966 to set up a governing body. This became the Balwyn & District Senior Citizens Association incorporated under the Companies Act. The name was changed to the Balwyn Welfare Association in 1997 and to Balwyn Evergreen Centre in 2012.
In 1973 a Government grant was received which enabled the Board of Management to undertake the construction of 8 one bedroom independent living units at 18 Talbot Avenue. The first tenants moved into these units in September 1975. These units are still held at this time.
First bus was purchased in 1968. New men’s programs were established such as Balwyn Blokes, OM-NI. The men’s exercise programs continue to be very popular. The Balwyn Historical Society was formed in 2008 as a program of the Balwyn Evergreen Centre.
In 2014 the City of Boroondara undertook a $1.8 million renovation and expansion of 45 Talbot Avenue facilities. During the building works BEC programs were relocated to Gordon Barnard Reserve and Canterbury Sports Pavilion. The new facilities allow BEC to offer a broader range of services and a variety of programs to older people in a friendly, supportive, social environment.