Category Archives: Our People

2022 Club Service Awards

To members in recognition of service

Allison Kay

For 9 years’ service as Club Treasurer

Allison joined Johnsonville Scottish Country Dance Club as a beginner in 2013. At the end of 2013, club treasurer Barbara Thomson became very ill, and in early 2014 Allison volunteered to take on the role of acting treasurer.

Allison stood as treasurer at the 2014 AGM, and has been club treasurer ever since, an amazing tenure of nine years in the job. No other Johnsonville club treasurer has approached that length of service. (According to club records the next most long-serving was Ron Hook, treasurer for five years from 1984-1988.)

Changing times

Over the last nine years, quite a few things have changed in the life of the club, increasing the number of financial transactions, and expanding the duties of treasurer.

The club:

  • has widened its advertising campaign for beginners’ classes
  • holds more social events like the summer ceilidh and midwinter dinner
    • continues to increase the number of live music nights
    • has introduced the option of an annual door fee.

    Each of these comes with an increasing number of costs and payments, and consequent increased workload for the treasurer.

    The ANZ:

    • reduced its opening hours and then closed its branch in Johnsonville, making banking of door money less straightforward
    • phased out cheque books, necessitating the club switching to online authorisation of payments, not an easy transition due to ANZ processes
    • Covid also came into play. Cancellation of club nights and events over the last three years has resulted in reimbursements to those who had paid annual door fees, and registration fees for cancelled events.

    Additional service

    In her time on the committee, Allison has also taken on other responsibilities.

    She has:

    • been heavily involved in Midwinter dinners since we introduced them in 2015, delighting us with her mulled wine, co-organising catering, and taking on the role of kitchen co-ordinator
    • served as finance person on the combined Annual Dance sub-committee each year since 2018, when we made the move to shared annual dances with Capital City Club
    • handled finances for special club events like the club’s 50 Golden Years Celebration, and one-off region events organised by Johnsonville, such as Hogmanay and New Dancers’ Celebrations.

    I am extremely grateful to have had the continuity of service that Allison has brought, and particularly to have had her support during the Covid years. It has made my role as President an easier one, having someone with an intimate knowledge of the club’s finances, who I can rely on completely. Thank you Allison.

    Christine Crewdson

    For her spreadsheet work (membership and dance books)

    Christine is a very recent member of the club, only joining us at beginners’ classes in February.

    Despite this, in April she stepped forward when I asked if anyone could help with updating the club’s historical spreadsheet of membership. This list was created by Joan Clayton in 2016 for the club’s 50 Golden Years’ Celebration, but hadn’t been updated since then.

    On 21 April I passed on five years’ worth of membership lists, and by 4 May it was done and dusted, and I thought I would try my luck and see if Christine would be interested in cataloguing the club’s dance books.

    With dreary weather coming up, Christine thought it could be a good autumn-winter activity. Over the next 2-3 months we exchanged packages of books on Monday nights, and Christine created a catalogue of the 227 different books held by the club, Rod’s copies of those books and the additional 164 which Rod owns personally.

    A lot of the books have been donated over the years, to the club and to Rod. Christine suggested including donor information, along with all the other information. In total, Christine worked her way through 629 books once duplicates were included. A mighty effort.

    Spreadsheets are not everyone’s cup of tea, but fortunately for us, Christine enjoys ‘playing with spreadsheets’. Her work has added to the club’s historical records of membership and made life easier for Rod ,and for future tutors using the club’s collection of dance books. Thank you Christine.

    Dancing Lady Home’s Jig at the 2022 Wellington Region New Dancers’ Celebration hosted by Johnsonville – Christine at the left of the front set and Allison at the left of the set at the far right. Photo: Loralee Hyde

    Kristin Downey
    7 November 2022

    Loralee Hyde: A lifetime of photography

    Nearly 50 years of photographing Scottish Country Dancing

    It wasn’t until I inherited thousands of photos and slides from my mother Tess Hyde after she died in 2018 that I fully realised where my love of photography came from.

    In this treasure trove of photos, I discovered my mother had kept her own mother’s collection of dozens of photos of her family from the late 1890s onward. The first photo my grandmother had of my mother was taken in 1924 when she was just three weeks old.

    Mum had told me she’d been given a Brownie box camera when she was in her early twenties. That  started a lifetime of recording family life and activities including birthdays, weddings and travels.

    My father Jim Hyde was a keen photographer as well, capturing records of farming life in the 1930s on the family farm in Horahora, near Cambridge. Dad kept a diary in 1937 when he was aged 16, detailing life on the farm and his first year of paid farming work for a neighbour. His diary entry for 22 February says, “Mr Scarlett took me to town. I bought a camera for 9/3.” (9 shillings & 3 pence; around NZ$0.92).

    In 1962 mum finally got a high quality camera which could take colour photos; a Zeiss purchased duty-free by her mother and step-father when they went to the 1962 Commonwealth Games in Perth, Australia. Right through the 1960s and early 1970s she took slides as they were cheaper to develop than colour film. In the late 1970s she changed to colour film when she and my father toured Britain and Europe.

    An early start to my photography journey

    1964 Off to the beach for a holiday (with my camera around my neck) with my sister Karen at the left. On the family farm near Cambridge. Photo scanned from a slide by Tess Hyde.
    1963 One of my first photos. My mother (with her Zeiss camera around her neck), brother Morris and sister Karen on holiday at Mount Maunganui.

    Mum passed her Brownie on to me in 1962 and that started me off on my photography journey, initially taking photos of our family activities.

    The Brownie was old by then and didn’t produce great shots so I was thrilled to get a new camera for Christmas in 1962 (I can’t remember what type it was).

    From that time on, I invariably had a camera around my neck at family celebrations and holidays.

    Near the end of the 1960s, I got a Kodak Instamatic, a very popular camera with ‘magic flash cubes’ that clicked on to the top of the camera.

    Early photos of dancing

    By the mid-1970s I’d moved on to a Pentax Spotmatic, a 35mm single-lens reflex camera which I used for years.

    My friend Christine (who now lives and dances in Rockingham south of Perth) introduced me to Scottish Country Dancing in Hamilton in 1974. I was hooked from the first evening. My sister Karen started dancing in Hamilton at much the same time.

    1974 In the centre with my Pentax Spotmatic camera in Taranaki with Christine and Trisha, who both started Scottish Country Dancing at a very young age in Huntly. Photo: Karen Hunwick (nee Hyde)

    I soon began taking photos of dancers and dancing. However, the flash on my Pentax Spotmatic wasn’t strong enough to take good photos of people actually dancing in the low-light conditions of many halls. So I generally stuck to photos of groups, particularly when dressed up for special occasions such as theme nights or ceilidhs.

    1982 Enjoying the Down on the Farm theme at the Hamilton Queen’s Birthday Weekend School. I’m second from the left with my sister Karen at the right.

    Enjoy more photos in this article ‘Dressed for the Part’ reflecting the fun we’ve had ‘dressing for the part’ from the 1970s to the present

    Moving to Wellington

    I moved to Wellington from Hamilton in 1983, initially taking up dancing at Lower Hutt Club before moving on to Ngaio and then Johnsonville. Some of the halls we danced at did have good lighting. Even with a limited flash, at times I managed to get reasonable photos of dancers taking to the floor.

    Wellington Region Events in the 1990s Take a look at the fun and friendship of some of the Region’s events through the 1990s (including the names of all the tutors in the photo below).

    Wellington Tutors at the 1993 Region Top Event
    2000 Johnsonville ‘Black & White Annual’ Dance—with Kath Ledingham (Secretary 1991-1994) and Paula Binkhorst (President 2004-2006) (with long-term Linden tutor Ian Simmonds behind Paula). On the stage are musicians Peter Elmes and Merren Simmonds with MC Rod Downey.
    2000 Johnsonville ‘Black & White Annual’ Dance—with the floor full of sets. Former Johnsonville Club member and tutor Margaret Bailey (now Allison) is on the left coming up the middle of the set. Her late husband John Bailey is in the couple behind. Former Johnsonville Club President Catherine MacAulay stands at the right of the top set. Johnsonville Club Tutor Rod Downey is at the left of the photo.

    I spent 2003-2004 in Tanzania with Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA); an amazing opportunity for wonderful wildlife and landscape photos. In 2004, I got my first digital camera, a Lumix DMC-FX1 which had a small zoom lens; great for capturing wild animals but not so good for photographing birds (which I was increasingly passionate about.) The size of the images was just 3 megapixels, compared to the 12 megapixel photos available on many mobile phones nowadays!

    Although there wasn’t any Scottish Country Dancing available in Tanzania, I still had the opportunity to dance occasionally. Here I am dancing with Maasai women at a friend’s family celebration. I handed my camera to the driver who took us out to my friend’s home in the grasslands in northern Tanzania. He enjoyed taking some great shots!

    2004 Dancing with Maasai women in northern Tanzania

    A digital single-lens-reflex camera: A boon for better photographs

    My photography of both dancing and birds took off when I got my first digital single-lens camera in 2008; a Panasonic Lumix with a small zoom lens. Being able to take clearer and close-up photos was a revelation.

    As this camera produced higher-quality images of dancing, I recorded more and more events for Johnsonville Club along with other celebrations throughout the RSCDS Wellington Region.

    Hogmanays

    Welcoming in the New Year with toe-tapping music and fine dancing at a Hogmanay is a special celebration for Scottish Country Dancers.

    2008 Johnsonville dancers at Hogmanay at Onslow College – Désirée Patterson at the left, Kristin Downey with John Homes behind her, Joanne, Rod Downey and Selwyn
    2010 Johnsonville Club hosted Hogmanay in Newlands Centennial Hall
    2010 Hogmanay – Acting Region President Bernice Kelly, Piper Ross Edwards, MC Rod Downey & First Foot Chris Totton

    See other Memories of celebrating Hogmanay in Wellington from 2006-2018 including more from the 2008 and 2010 celebrations above.

    New Dancers’ Celebrations

    New Dancers’ Celebrations welcome new dancers to the wider Scottish Country Dancing community, with experienced dancers attending in support.

    In 2013, Johnsonville Club hosted this event at the Newlands Centennial Hall which was decorated with the newly produced club bunting along the walls.

    2013 New Dancer’s Celebration. Johnsonville dancers Debbie, Lee and Shelley who helped at the bunting bee, are dancing in the top set

    See my memories of New Dancers’ Celebrations since 2013 plus photos from Johnsonville Club archives

    Tributes to those who have contributed to Scottish Country Dancing in Wellington

    The archive of photos Johnsonville photographers have produced over the years provides a visual history of those who have made major contributions to dancing in the Region or who are no longer with us.

    Click the links below to see more about some of these dancers and musicians:

    2022 Kelburn’s Farewell Kelburn Club held its final dance on 19 June, closing after more than sixty years. John Gregory was presented with a Tribute from the Region to mark his enormous contribution to dancing.

    2022 Barbara Kent: 30 years at Johnsonville Club

    2021 Bernice Kelly, President of the RSCDS Wellington Region from 2005-2010

    2019 Tribute to Maureen Robson A special Region dance on 7 December paid tribute to Maureen who retired after teaching Tawa Club for 38 years.

    Peter Elmes with his button accordion

    2018 A photo history of musician Peter Elmes and his band from 1990-2018

    Peter Elmes played a special role in the musical history of Johnsonville Club

    2018 Tribute to Peter Elmes On 24 November, a Region tribute dance marked Peter’s retirement from playing his beloved button accordion for Scottish Country Dancing.

    2017 A Tribute to Betty Redfearn Betty was tutor at Kelburn for 46 years until her retirement in 2015.

    The joy of special Scottish Country Dancing occasions

    I got my current camera, a Nikon D7200, together with a great zoom lens in 2015. With this camera I can get wonderful shots of birds…as well as continuing to photograph special dancing events in the Region.

    2021 Wellington Region 60th Anniversary Ball A fine dinner and dance to commemorate 60 years of the Wellington District Branch of the New Zealand Scottish Country Dance Society.

    2021 Ngaio 50th Anniversary As a member of Ngaio Club from 1990-1992, I was thrilled the club asked me (along with John Patterson) to take photos at this celebration, another evening filled with the joy of fun and friendship.

    John Patterson snapped me across the hall (again, with my camera around my neck) watching Doug Sinclair piping in the 50th Ngaio Anniversary cake carried by past President Margaret Pitt.

    2018 NZ Branch 50th Anniversary Ball at Government House With swirling kilts and fabulous colours of the ballgowns, this evening proved a grand celebration with a welcome from The Governor General, The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy.

    2018 The ‘official’ photographer at the RSCDS NZ Branch Ball. Photo: Bill Douglas

    I also shared an article about a photographer’s view of the Branch 50th Ball—how the smiles of the dancers, their laughter and the fun had by all made photographing the event an enjoyable assignment.

    2016 Johnsonville Club 50 Golden Years Celebration A significant occasion for our club.

    See all about this grand event and the photos taken by me and fellow Johnsonville Club photographer John Patterson

    2016 Johnsonville 50 Golden Years Celebration. I’m photographing a trio of Presidents cutting the 50th Anniversary cake – RSCDS Wellington Branch President Philippa Pointon, RSCDS New Zealand Branch President David Williamson and Johnsonville Club President Kristin Downey. Photo: John Patterson
    2016 With a presentation from Johnsonville Club for the communications work I’d done for the 50 Golden Years Celebration – photography, design and developing the club website

    2014 Wellington Region 1920s Ball An elegant evening of dancing in a beautifully decorated ballroom to celebrate the decade in which the RSCDS was formed.

    To make sure I occasionally get a photo of me dancing, I sometimes hand my camera over to someone on the side-line, asking them to get some shots, like the one below.

    2014 Region 1920s Ball. I am dancing with Johnsonville Club members John Homes and Rod and Kristin Downey.

    2012 Wellington Region Diamond Jubilee Ball This Ball at Government House celebrated the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll. The Governor General Lt. Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae and Lady Janine welcomed us and joined in some of the dancing. The smiles of the dancers, their laughter and the fun had by all made photographing the event an enjoyable activity.

    Lady Janine and Sir Jerry Mateparae joined in the dance with RSCDS NZ Branch President Fiona Bullivant and Lesley Nicol. Current Johnsonville member and guest tutor Jeanette Watson is dancing in 4th man’s position in the set.

    Continuing to make memories…

    I’m still working hard to get good photos of birds. Although dancers move around, I’m more likely to anticipate where they’re going than for birds which flit around or simply fly off!

    Photographing a wee toutouwai (North Island robin) at Zealandia Ecosanctuary in Wellington
    Doug Mills, Nicole Trewavas, Andrew Oliver and Andrea Wells dancing a poussette in The Flower of Glasgow at the Wellington Region Hogmanay on 31 December 2021. New Zealand Scottish Country Dancer 2022, Volume 69.

    There’s nothing quite like photographing the joy of Scottish Country Dancing; attempting to catch the moment dancers smile to their partner or across the set, and covering well. As shown in my photo on the cover of the New Zealand Scottish Country Dancer 2022, Volume 69.

    My plan is to continue recording dancing celebrations and tributes, so we can easily reflect on the fun we’ve had and the friendships made.

    Loralee Hyde
    30 August 2022

    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

    Barbara Kent: 30 years at Johnsonville Club

    Friends and fellow dancers heard the sad news that Barbara Kent passed away on Friday 25 February in her 89th year. She will be missed by many in the Wellington Region, and farther afield.

    Barbara was part of the Wellington Scottish Country dance community dating from the 1960s. She loved her dancing and contributed a great deal to the community, while preferring to keep a low profile.

    Barbara danced at (the now dis-established) Wellington Club, and at Lower Hutt Club before coming to Johnsonville, where she was a member for around 30 years. Her earliest recorded membership is in 1973, and she was still recorded as a member in 2002. In later years she was a long-standing member of Tawa Club.

    Barbara at the right with (from left) Peter Beaumont, Peter Elmes, Loralee Hyde and Kath Ledingham in 2002.
    Barbara enjoying dancing in 2002. In the set at the rear, Johnsonville Life Members Isla and Eric Norris are dancing. Tutor Rod Downey is at the front right. Photo: Loralee Hyde

    I don’t have much information on Barbara’s earlier years, but in 2017, Désirée Patterson, interviewed Barbara for her Tawa Club Life Membership award. You can read about Barbara’s fascinating life, in the June 2017 issue of Wellington Region newsletter Harbour City Happenings

    Barbara second from the right with Tawa tutors at the Tawa Club 60th Anniversary in 2018. Photo: John Patterson

    As part of Barbara’s job with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, she was posted overseas on multiple occasions, and danced wherever she went. In the 1972 NZ Scottish Country Dancer magazine Barbara wrote an article News from Paris, where she described dancing with the Le Chardon d’Ecosse (the thistle of Scotland) group.

    However, her trips weren’t only for work. In 1979 she joined a group of 36 dancers on a trip to Canada (described in full in the 1980 NZ Scottish Country Dancer magazine).

    NZ dancers including Barbara on a trip to Canada. Photo: 1980 NZ Scottish Country Dancer p5

    Barbara was part of a Māori performance item at the 1979 Oktoberfest at Kitchener/ Waterloo. As Scottish Country dancers, they ‘found a compromise (with Māori approval) by wearing a Māori type sash and headband with white frocks and shirts’, and were well received.

    Photo: 1980 NZ Scottish Country Dancer p7

    In amongst all her travel, Barbara found time to support Johnsonville Club both as a tutor and a member of the committee. She was club tutor in 1985 and part of 1986, took beginners’ classes in 1991, 93, 94 and 1996, and was a relieving tutor through the late 1980s and early 1990s.

    In 1976 her role as president was cut short, when she was posted to Moscow, but she returned as a committee member from 1978-79, and then served a part year as president again in 1980, and was back on the committee in 1991.

    1991 was the year Rod and I started dancing, and we really enjoyed our time in Barbara’s beginners’ class. In those days beginners were initially taught in a separate room in Johnsonville School until supper time, then joined experienced dancers in the hall for the rest of the night.

    As beginning dancers, Barbara prepared us well. Her encouraging manner and graceful style paired well with her strong technique and clarity of instruction. For some reason my abiding memory is of her teaching hands across, getting us to understand the elegance and precision of the formation as opposed to muddling through with hands everywhere and anywhere.

    1991 Johnsonville Bad Taste Evening – Kath Ledingham & David Holland at the front with Kristin & Rod Downey behind. Barbara is standing at the right. Photo: Loralee Hyde

    When Johnsonville held its 50 Golden Years celebration in 2016, Barbara’s health did not permit her to dance, but we were very pleased she accepted the club’s invitation to be part of our celebration of those past members who contributed so much to the club.

    Barbara at the right with Ian Simmonds at Rod Downey’s 40th in 1997, where Peter Elmes and John Smith played for some Scottish Country Dancing. Photo: Loralee Hyde
    2016 Johnsonville 50th Celebration Grand March. Barbara is at the left with former Club President Catherine MacAulay. Photo: Loralee Hyde
    2016 Johnsonville 50th Celebration – John Munro, club secretary at the time, presents a golden polyanthus to Barbara Kent for her contribution as a former club tutor. Photo: John Patterson
    2016 Johnsonville 50th Celebration – Barbara third from the right with club members from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Photo: Loralee Hyde
    In her 86th year, Barbara looks on as Maureen Robson receives a Wellington Region Award at the Maureen Robson Tribute Dance in 2019. Photo: Loralee Hyde

    Johnsonville Club remembers Barbara for her commitment to dancing, her support of the club and its members, and her many achievements. As her family expressed it in the Family Notices in the DomPost on Wednesday 2 March – A full life well lived and enjoyed.

    Barbara’s family also thanked Malvina Major Village (among others) for their care of Barbara. Unit #9 was Barbara’s home over the last few years, and she told me she was quite tickled to have followed in the footsteps of Ngaio dancers Frieda and Murray Allardice who themselves followed Johnsonville Life Members Isla and Eric Norris in making #9 their home.

    Kristin Downey
    President
    3 March 2022

    2021 Club Service Awards

    To members in recognition of service

    This year at the AGM the committee was pleased to recognise the work that often flies under the radar – that of hall setup and pack-up.

    Most often, service awards go to those who hold a formal position in the club, or perform a service which is highly visible in some way.

    This year, the committee chose to recognise the service of three members who fly under the radar.

    None of these members holds a formal committee position, but each of them makes a regular and ongoing contribution to the club, with no fuss, no bother, no expectation of recognition, and a great attitude of service to our club community.

    This year the committee took pleasure in recognising the contributions of the following club members, who have made substantial and ongoing commitments to the set-up and pack-up of the hall, before and after club nights.

    Lizzie at the back right starts hall pack-up near the end of a club night in October 2021 while very experienced members enjoy dancing Peter Elmes’ Strathspey

    Tomoko Burden

    Tomoko has been with the club since 2013, when she and husband Charles, came along to the club’s beginners’ classes.

    For many years now, Tomoko has been part of the team of people who stays till the end of every club night, to help pack up the hall – first at Johnsonville School Hall, then Johnsonville Bowling Club, and now at Khandallah Town Hall.

    This is not a formally appointed team, it’s not rostered, it’s made up of people who see the need and step in. From 2017-2019 there were also formally rostered teams of volunteers to cover pack-up (when Rod and I were overseas for extended periods), and Tomoko’s name was always on the list.

    Tomoko works quietly in the background, always looking out for what needs doing, helping out when she can, ensuring there are plenty of hands to share the work of packing up. Thank you Tomoko, your practical support for the club over many years is very much appreciated.

    Wendy Donald

    Wendy already had a long history as a Scottish Country dancer when she joined the club in 2019. She was so keen to dance with us, that she joined in the fun at the Summer Ceilidh before the dancing year started.

    Wendy is one of the dancers who has danced at three different club venues since she joined, and has always been an early bird, arriving before dancing begins. Soon after joining us in 2019 for her first year at Johnsonville School hall, Wendy was asking what she could do to help with hall set-up, and so she began.

    With the move to Johnsonville Bowling Club, helping with set-up translated into a lot of furniture moving! Wendy (working with fellow early-bird Robert Vale), moved countless chairs and tables on and off the dance floor during our 2020 year of dancing at the Bowling Club, and again this year when we returned there to dance during Level 2.

    Wendy has continued to arrive early and help with hall set-up at Khandallah Town Hall, doing whatever needs doing, working alongside committee members who also arrive early. Thank you Wendy, the willing work you put in makes a big difference, and we appreciate it.

    Lizzie Tan

    Lizzie is the most recent club member to be recognised this year, joining the club following beginners’ classes at the Bowling Club in 2020. She is an enthusiastic dancer, and has joined fully in the life of the club from the beginning, attending classes, and bringing her husband PK along to social events.

    Despite all the interruptions to dancing over the last two years, Lizzie has kept on coming back, and from early on has stayed to watch the more experienced dancers in the latter part of the night.

    Seeing the need, Lizzie became part of the furniture-moving crew at the Bowling Club, starting to pack up while the very experienced enjoyed the final dance of the night. She has continued helping with pack-up at Khandallah Town Hall, staying till the very end to help carry out bags to the car, before heading home herself.

    While Lizzie is not the member who travels the farthest to be with us, she does have a fair distance to drive home to Porirua – more so since we moved from Johnsonville to Khandallah. But she still stays on till the end, bringing her enthusiasm to the task. Thank you Lizzie.

    Photos: Loralee Hyde

    2017 Club Service Awards

    To members in recognition of service

    It is a real pleasure for the committee to have the opportunity to recognise members who have made special contributions to the club, either by way of a special project, or a long-term commitment.

    John Patterson

    John continues to serve the club as our ‘techie’, digitising any new CDs the club purchases, loading them onto the club music master collection, helping Rod with his ongoing battles with iTunes, and repairing of our aging club equipment as required.

    This year he also took on the challenge of getting the club’s new headset up and running, building a mixer to allow it to operate with our existing amplifier, then testing and monitoring it, supporting both our guest tutors and also Rod.

    Thank you John, we really appreciate your efforts.

    Prisilla Conroy

    Prisilla is a person who sees something that needs doing and just gets on with it. She has been ‘doing her bit’ in the background at club nights, tartan nights, annual dances and other events for almost as long she has been a member.

    Priscilla is stepping down from the supper team at the end of the year. What you may not know is how long she has been in that role. Club records show that she joined the club in 2004 and the very next year she joined the supper team. She has now been on supper duty for 13 years!

    Prisilla in July 2012 at Johnsonville School Hall Photo: John Patterson

    Thank you so much Prisilla, you have given sterling service. We will miss you on the supper team, but look forward to seeing more of your smiling face on the dance floor.

    John Munro

    John is our outgoing secretary, and soon to be past-member. The secretary’s role is a special one. Historically it was very much an administrative role but more recently with the introduction of the club newsletter, it sits at the heart of the club.

    Each club secretary brings themselves to the newsletter, entertaining, informing and connecting us all. John has continued this tradition, and infused the newsletter with his cheery, friendly nature.

    John with President Kristin Downey at the 2017 Johnsonville Final Night

    He’s also been an innovator in the secretary role. He leaves the role much more digitally organised than before, making it a much easier transition for future secretaries.

    John took on a project this year to set up a generic Gmail ‘Johnsonville secretary’ address, with associated cloud storage for sharing and archiving club documents. This involved a lot of work on his part, laying the groundwork for the club’s long term benefit. Future committees will find it much easier to access club information and history.

    Last but not least, John has been a smiling face at club, and offered many a ride to any number of members and visitors who have needed a ride to or from town.

    Thank you John. We wish you well in your new home in Martinborough and club in Carterton, and hope to see you back dancing with us when the opportunity arises. We hope you will wear our small gift and remember good times at Johnsonville.

    Photos: Loralee Hyde except where noted

    2016 Club Service Awards

    To members in recognition of service

    Presentations at 2016 AGM (extract from AGM minutes)

    Presentations of small gifts were made to:

    Joan Clayton

    For great help with the combined membership lists for 50 years, and other general support for organisation of the 50th

    Mandy Hammond

    For briefing dances and teaching a couple at the beginning of the year. Mandy will be moving to the Wairarapa in 2017, so our loss.