Loralee Hyde: Fun and Friendship at Wellington Region Events through the 1990s

Johnsonville members are keen participants in a range of Wellington Region events, joining other dancers at weekend schools, balls, Hogmanays, New Dancers Celebrations, demonstrations and classes.

With dancers enjoying the fabulous Wellington Region 60th Anniversary Ball on 7 August 2021, it’s an ideal time to recall the happy memories of Johnsonville members taking part in some of the Region’s events back in the 1990s. Photos from my archives provide a vignette of the marvellous friendship, fitness and fun we had dancing over that decade…which continues on to this day.

1991 Happyning

This Dinner and Dance at Southwards Car Museum, organised by Bill Hudson and his committee and MC’d by Maureen Robson, was a sociable occasion with many opportunities to mingle and chat with other dancers from around the Region and beyond.

See more about this event in reviews from three dancers in this article from Harbour City Happenings, Issue 2, July 1991

Current Johnsonville dancer Loralee Hyde in the centre of the set dancing in the Region Demonstration at the 1991 Happyning with former club members Brian Richards and David Holland to her left and Margaret Allison (Bailey) at her right. Other dancers in the set are Bruce at the far left and Margaret at the right.

Ian Simmonds tutored the demonstration team who danced to the music of Peter Elmes, John Smith and Merren Simmonds.

“A highlight of the evening was an awe-inspiring demonstration by the six dancers from the Region demonstration team.”

Alan Kemp, Wainuiomata

1992 Easter Weekend School

A highlight of this weekend (the first school attended by our President Kristin Downey and tutor Rod Downey) was the 18th Century Ball on the Saturday night with many dancers attired in marvellous period costumes.

MC’d by Damon Collin and Betty Redfearn, we danced to music from Peter Elmes, John Smith and Merren Simmonds.

Find out more about this magnificent weekend from three dancers in this article from Harbour City Happenings, Issue 7, July 1992

In their finery at the 1992 Easter Weekend School 18th Century Ball – Johnsonville members Kristin & Rod Downey and Loralee Hyde, with former members Margaret Holland and Jenny Vaughan.
The organising committee of Kath and Alan Burn, Val Jenness, Eric Churton, Betty Redfearn and Damon Collin. Bewigged, in brocade coats and bustles, the group danced a memorable demonstration of the Lancers Quadrille.

“The  highlight for me was the Saturday evening 18th Century Ball. This was an event to savour, dancers resplendent in fantastic costumes, and brilliant decorations around the hall.”

Alan Dixon, Doncaster Branch, UK

1993 Top Event

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the New Zealand Branch of the RSCDS in 1993, the Region held a Dinner and Ceilidh at the James Cabaret in Wellington. Organised By Bronwyn Maysmor and her team, the evening had a focus on honouring the Wellington Region teachers for their dedicated work, week after week, year after year.

See a summary of all the activities at this event in this article from NZ Dancer, Volume 40, 1993

Twenty-six Wellington Region tutors present at this event were warmly welcomed by Region President Alan Burn with words of appreciation for their commitment to keeping Scottish Country Dancing alive through clubs, classes, demonstrations and region events.

Wellington Tutors at the 1993 Region Top Event

The teachers in the photo above are:

Back row: Iain Boyd, Margaret Laidlaw, Romaine Butterfield, Rita Brennan, Margaret Allison (Bailey), Edith Campbell, Hilda Brodie (Smith), Kath Burn, Maureen Robson, Damon Collin, Dave Macfarlane, Mirth Smallwood, Barbara Gill, Elizabeth Ferguson, Val Jenness, Gary Morris, Marie Malcolm, Alma Secker, Glenys Mills, Noeline O’Connor, Ian Simmonds, Raynor Stratford

Front row: Betty Redfearn, Norm Whitson, Carol Smith, Annette Zuppicich

Johnsonville members who enjoyed the festivities at the 1993 Top Event included Life Members Isla & Eric Norris and John and Aline Homes

Dorothy Wilson from Blenheim MC’d the ceilidh programme with items interspersed by dancing – Scottish Country and ballroom. John Smith, Peter Elmes and Merren Simmonds provided the music (they’re on the stage at the rear in the photo above).

1994 Anzac Weekend School

Organised by Johnsonville tutor Marjorie Crawford and her committee, this was one of the biggest weekend schools the Wellington Region had ever had, with almost 200 dancers attending.

“With the band of Peter Elmes, John Smith, Merren Simmonds and Lynne Hudson in superb form, it all made for a happy, relaxed atmosphere and a good time was held by all.”

Carol Smith, Region President and Harbour City Happenings Editor

Find out more about this weekend in Carol’s article from Harbour City Happenings Issue 16, May 1994

Johnsonville members Rod Downey, Loralee Hyde and Kristin Downey with former member Richard Moriarty dancing in the Region Demonstration at the 1994 Anzac Weekend School. Other dancers are Chris Kelly, Janice Henson and Kath McCulloch.

Tutored by Barbara Gill, the demonstration group danced Argyll Strathspey, Mrs Stewart’s Jig, and The Rose of Glamis.

Watch a video of this demonstration

1998 Anzac Weekend School

Organised by Carol Smith and held at Onslow College, one of the teachers at this school was Johnsonville tutor Marjorie Crawford.

See photos of the Saturday evening ball with MC Gary Morris and the class teachers in this extract from Harbour City Happenings Volume 1, No.3 July 1998

Johnsonville members Jeanette Watson, Loralee Hyde and Rod Downey with former club member Philippa Pointon dancing in the Region Demonstration at the 1998 Anzac Weekend School. The other dancers in the set are Graham Kerr and Chris Kelly.
Wellington Region JAMS Celia, Bevan and Jennifer were also part of the demonstration

Tutored by Noeline O’Connor, the team danced Lanes of Au, Land of Cakes and the Eightsome Reel to the music of Peter Elmes, John Smith and Merren Simmonds.

Watch a video of a men’s demonstration set (including Johnsonville’s Rod Downey and former member Richard Moriarty) dancing The Reel of the 51st Division at the 1998 Anzac Weekend School Ceilidh.

1998 Magical Butterfly Ball

Wellington Region held a special evening in October 1998 “for all dancing butterflies, ugly bugs and creepy crawlies” aged up to 19 years old (JAMS). Organised by Bronwyn Maysmor, these young dancers had a magical evening of dancing at this Butterfly Ball!

Kristin Downey at the 1998 Butterfly Ball with Carlton the ladybird and Alex the bug-catcher!
Many creatures crept, hopped or ran to the ball – with Alex the bug-catcher in the centre of this set!
The magical band – Lynne Scott, Iain Matcham, John Smith and Peter Elmes – with MC Damon Collin. Photo: NZ Dancer, Volume 46, 1999

Remembering these fun-filled events held through the 1990s, we acknowledge and appreciate the considerable work done to make sure each one was an outstanding success. Thank you to all the organising committees, the tutors, the MCs, the musicians and the demonstration teams for their commitment and dedication.

We can look forward to more great Wellington Region events ahead as we celebrate 60 years of dancing this year.

Loralee Hyde
5 August 2021

All photos by Loralee Hyde, except where stated

Print Friendly, PDF & Email