Connections to Kelburn Club

Johnsonville longest-standing members

Kelburn’s Farewell Dance on Sunday 20 June started me thinking about club history, and reminded me that Johnsonville’s longest-standing members also have links to Kelburn Club.

It’s a nice opportunity to find out more about those members who have danced at Johnsonville for so many years, and also recognise the inter-connectedness of the Wellington Scottish Country Dancing community.

There are four current members who have been dancing at Johnsonville Club since the 1980s. Elizabeth Rendell, John Markham and John Homes all joined the club in 1981, and Aline Holden as she was then (now Homes) joined in 1982.

One way or another they all have connections to Kelburn Club.

A number of Johnsonville dancers including long-standing member John Homes, dancing Wild Mountain Thyme at a Tribute to Betty Redfearn (a former tutor at Kelburn Club) in June 2017

John Markham’s first experience of Scottish country dancing was at Kelburn, having gone along as a spectator in 1969, and been ‘dragged up’ (John’s words) by original Kelburn tutor, Mirth Smallwood

‘Going to the races’ at the 1983 Summer School in Wellington: Mirth Smallwood, Mairi-Helen Jamieson, Elizabeth Ferguson (a tutor at Lower Hutt), Kath Burn (former tutor at Lower Hutt) and Carol Smith (tutor at the now disbanded Wellington Club)

Read Mirth’s obituary in Harbour City Happenings Volume 7 No. 5, November 2004

Elizabeth Rendell started her dancing as a teenager at the Wainuiomata Club in 1965, then danced at Kelburn Club before moving to Johnsonville in 1981.

John Homes danced at Kelburn Club in the early 1970s, with tutor Betty Redfearn, before moving to Johnsonville in 1981. He met Aline when she joined Johnsonville Club in 1982, and they went on to marry in 1986.

Wellington Tutors at the1993 Wellington 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

Find out more about Kelburn Club’s history from 1959-1984 in this brochure

Kristin Downey
16 June 2022

Photos: Loralee Hyde

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