SENIOR CITIZENS CLUB THROUGH THE YEARS
Who remembers the people who established and grew the club?
The Barwon Heads Senior citizens club, now in 40th year, looks to people in the community to provide photos and information about the club's leaders through the years.
Looking at the Office-bearers Honour Board in the main hall of the Senior Citizens Centre in Clifford Parade it is obvious that the club was well served by people who held office over many years. The Honour Board names President, Secretary, and Treasurer for every year since the inception of the club in 1967. F most of today's members of the club these names are just that.- names only, and only an initial for first name Readers of Talking Heads who knew the leaders of the club in its early days, hopefully family members still living in Barwon Heads, are asked to let the club have photos or information about them.
The story of the club can be roughly divided into three eras, according to the leadership teams of the period.
THE FIRST ELEVEN YEARS (1967-1977)
The original foundation secretary Mr H. Jarman served for ten years during which time he worked with three club presidents Mr E. Pilkington (one year). Mr C Edwards (four years), and Mr. A. La Galle (six years). M A Paxton was secretary for the last year in this 11 year period.
The foundation treasurer Mrs L. Wyatt held office for two months after which Mrs. E Edwards served for eleven years. In fact Mrs E Edwards was on the committee for 19 consecutive years (1967 - 1985) and Mr. H Jarman for a total of 17 years.
Under the leadership of these office-bearers the club grew in numbers from the original 30 people who attended the first programme of cards, or beetles for non-card players. In the early days the Lions Club Ladies Auxiliary and the Hospital Auxiliary donated; crockery, and the Barwon Heads Lions Club provided some basic furniture. Having initially met in the; supper room at the Barwon Heads Public Hall the club quickly realised the benefit to be gained by having; its own premises With continuous access. At a meeting in,! April 1968 it was noted that .."until we have our own premises our activities must necessarily be very : limited".
Then began a period of intense activity in raising money for the Building Fund. -raffles, opportunity table on meeting days, street stalls held at the old Fire Brigade Hall (now Beachnik Cafe), a Donor Letter to residents of the town requesting help, card evenings, coffee mornings. By August 1968 when the Building Fund stood at $485.19 the club had began conversations the then Shire (later City) of South Barwon to find a suitable site. Among those considered were a block behind the Public Hall, the tennis courts in Clifford Parade, and the 53 acres.
Substantial government subsidies were available and eventually the new club rooms at 9 Clifford Parade were opened on 25 November 1976 during the Presidency of Mr A La Galle With Mr H. Jarman in his final year as Secretary. By this time the membership had more doubled to 68.
THE NEXT SEVENTEEN YEARS
(1978 - 1994)
under the reign of Gordon Marshman as President and Mrs C. Brown as Secretary can now be regarded : "the good old days" of large attendances and a variety of activities. During these years there were three different treasurers Mrs. M Trew (six years) , Mr. K sanders (two years) and Mrs. H Watson whose ten years took her into the next era. (it is interesting to note that although the first Presidents and Secretaries were men money matters have been entrusted to women for 33 of the club's 40 years existence)
Activities in this era continued on a similar pattern and included a wide variety of card games , snooker, carpet bowls, bingo, bus trips, social occasions , exchange visits with other Senior Citizens Clubs, Christmas parties and other entertainments . An entertainment Group was functioning and providing entertainment for club occasions and Seniors clubs in the district. The bus trips and social occasions were usually subsidised by the club from its fund rasing and hectic social life was enjoyed. When planning places to go for bus trips it became very much a case of "Been there done that" . Any photographic record of these outings would be appreciated for display at the 40th anniversary
.Less than one year after the opening of the Clifford Parade Centre the club was already thinking of a possible extension and February 1978 the decision was made to begin fundraising. For an extension to the club rooms "that are getting overcrowded due to the influx of new members". Membership was then about 100 and later grew to to about 170. Eventually with the co-operation of the City of South Barwon a new room between the kitchen and the stage dressing room, providing a pleasing space for a variety of activities over the years. Chiropody and Hairdressing services were available to members.
Mr Gordon Marshman celebrated his 90th birthday in office and in 1985 both president Marshman (19 years on the committee , 17 of then as president) and secretary Mrs. Charlotte Brown ( also 19 years on the committee 17 of them as secretary) retired and another era began
THE MOST RECENT TWELVE YEARS began under the leadership of Mrs. Rita Gardner as President( 5 years 1995-1999) and Mrs. Joan Butcher as secretary now in her 12 year in this role) Mrs. H Watson continues as treasurer for one more year, followed by Mrs M Callaghan ( one year ) And Mrs M. Benham ( 4 years) until Mr. K Parry (elected president in 2000) took on the treasurership as well in 2001. At a time of declining membership (70 in 1994) Rita and Joan held the membership together and continued a pattern of cards bingo and occasional bus trips and social occasions. Other long term leaders of the club who retired in these years were Mrs. Ollie Blyth who served on the committee for 22 consecutive years and Mrs. Mavis Trew (19 years). President Secretary Mrs. Joan Butcher has been on the comate for 16 years. Over the live of the club two others Mrs. Rita Gardner and Mrs. Glad Edwards have each given 14 years of service on the committee.
In the early 2000's there was an influx of new members with a variety of other interests that has given new life to the club and ensured good use of the Centre's facilities. In addition to the usual cards there is now a Quilting Group calling themselves SeaChange Quilters, two painting groups, Ti Chi, book club, aerobics, table tennis, gentle seated exercises and monthly members luncheons. Hairdressing is still available on a limited basis. current membership is over 100
CELEBRATING 40 YEARS
Every year since 1976 the club has celebrated its birthday on the first Monday in May, and this year on Monday 7 May the Club invites family members of long serving past members to join current members in a Spit Roast Lunch at the Centre, beginning 12.00 noon, followed by the commemorative programme. Please contact President Kel Parry 52543208 if you are interested in attending at the subsidised price of $10 (subject to space limitations).
And please provide us with information and photos that will help us to honour those who have served the club so well in years past.