General meetings of members are held on the fourth Tuesday of each month except December. Meetings are now held at the Anglers Tavern, in Maribyrnong. The last meeting of each year takes the form of a Christmas luncheon. There is always fellowship before the general meetings, but the formal meeting commences at 10.30 am and runs until around 12.30 pm. Typically meetings start off with about 45 minutes devoted to Club business, then a half hour for morning tea. Then follows up to an hour to take in a presentation from a guest speaker or other person of particular interest. The majority of members at each meeting like to remain for lunch in the bistro at the Anglers Tavern.
The next General meeting will be held on Tuesday September 27th. The speaker will be Ian Crawford. Ian is the son of Dorothy Crawford and nephew of Hector Crawford. He joined Crawford Productions at twenty years of age. Once television began in Australia, Ian became the director and producer of many Crawford programs; later he was an Executive Producer of all the company’s drama output. In 1980 he became the company’s Managing Director, which post he held until Hector and he sold their shares in the company in 1988. Ian’s speech spans the late 1930s to the late 1980s, and is particularly about Crawfords and the travails of the company – the collapse of radio drama following the arrival of television, the company’s efforts to get drama onto TV, early TV series and serials, along with an inside look at such moguls as Sir Frank Packer, Kerry Packer, and Sir Reginald Ansett. His speech is entitled “Crawford Productions and the dramas of early television!”
At the August meeting, the speaker was Bob Chalmers, retired teacher, and President of the Essendon Historical Society for more than 22 years. He spoke about “Fine Homes of Essendon” showing many interesting examples.
Further information about the Essendon Historical Society may be found clicking this link.
At the July meeting, the speaker was Elida Brereton, retired teacher, school principal and educational consultant. Among other significant achievements, she was Principal of Camberwell High School from 1994 to 2009. Elida gave a really engaging and entertaining talk focussing on the changes in schooling over the her four decades involved in education.
At the June meeting, the speaker was Wendy Todd, Account Manager at the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood – Melbourne Donor Centre. Wendy has worked closely with people faced with serious health issues, and is committed to help saving lives. In her current role, she partners with Lifeblood Champions who willingly share their time, expertise and networks to promote giving blood. More information can be found by clicking here.
The guest speaker for the meeting in May was not able to attend. Instead, members enjoyed a trivia quiz.
The speaker at the April meeting was Chris Banks, Manager of International Conservation at Zoos Victoria. He has built long-lasting relationships with many zoos and conservation organisations abroad, including Rhino Fund Uganda. He spoke about the conservation projects undertaken both in Australia and abroad. Zoos Victoria is committed to fighting wildlife extinction – see information here. A link to some interesting webinars about some of the conservation projects can be found here.
The Annual General Meeting of the Club was held in March. At this meeting there were reports on the 2021-2022 Probus year and the Committee for the 2022-2023 Probus year was elected. For information about the Committee, please click here.
The President for the 2022-23, Marie Daffey, was inducted. She thanked Maureen Scully, for her service to the Club as President for 2½ years: 2019 – 2022. Maureen was presented with a gift as an expression of the Club’s gratitude.
At the first regular meeting for 2022 – on Tuesday 25th January – the speaker was Richard Smith, for 10 years the Project Officer for the East Timor Friendship Project, a joint aid project of the Moreland and Hume City Councils. His role included coordination of project partners both in Australia and East Timor to support the development of the community in the districts of Bacau and Aileu. Professionally, Richard had 25 years with the ABC as a journalist, presenter and station manager. For a time, he ran his own communication and training consultancy following terms in all levels of Government and the corporate sector on career and organisation development. His talk for us touched on the political strife and disorder affecting the struggle for independence in East Timor.
At the February meeting, our speaker was Peter McPhee AM. He has been involved in many community organisations including Rotary (the Mitcham Club and Rotary International), the Whitehorse Historical Society, the Migrant Information Service, RSL, Jaycees, the Australia Day Council, Scouts and the City of Nunawading. Recently he completed 20 years as a Director of the Federal Government’s Migrant Information Centre, Eastern Suburbs. He has received many awards for his service to the community including a Member of the Order of Australia award in the 2021 Queens Birthday Day Honours. He now gives talks on a broad range of topics but specifically on Australian History with particular reference to veterans of WW1 and the Kokoda Track. In 2002 he walked the Kokoda Track and his talk for us was titled “Walking in the Footsteps of Warriors and Angels”. This is a memorial to, or recognition of, those who have walked the Track.
At the meeting in November 2021, the speaker was Lorraine Smith, a librarian, historian and author. In her bookshop in her home town of Warrnambool, Lorraine discovered a sixteenth century calf-skin parchment inside a 1924 copy of Alice in Wonderland. Everything about it was a mystery. It was discovered to be a manuscript from the Tudor period, and Lorraine shared with us the enthralling story of its travels from Gildersome, West Yorkshire, in 1583, to Warrnambool in 2013. This is a true story … a journey with many twists and lucky escapes, which Lorraine told with enthusiasm and humour. Lorraine has written the whole story in a book called Journey of a Lost Manuscript, and had copies for sale after the meeting. Further information about the book may be found here.
The meetings at the Anglers Tavern scheduled for the months of June through to October 2021 were all cancelled due to the lockdown restrictions. For some of these months, online meetings were offered via the Zoom platform.
During August, Secretary Colin Hough offered an online presentation to an interested group of members. This was a travelogue in Western Australia from Albany in the South up to the “Top End”.
At the May meeting, the speaker was Lorraine Milne, a composer and music educator. For 15 years, Lorraine was a member of Music Branch (Education Department of Victoria) teaching music in inner suburban schools, and producing many new resource materials and curriculum documents. She has worked extensively as a composer, arranger and musical director for a wide range of ABC radio programs and publications and was the Musical Director of the ABC SING series from 1986 to 1992. Since 1993, she has been writing curriculum materials and presenting Professional Development courses for Musica Viva In Schools, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Opera House, Opera Australia, Australian Society for Music Education, aMuse, the Song Room and the National Gallery of Victoria. She also gives guest lectures and classes at Melbourne University. A recent project for Lorraine was composition of Maiden Voyage. This is a cycle of 13 songs and the lyrics trace the experiences and achievements of ordinary and extraordinary Australian women in historical and contemporary settings. The music reflects Lorraine’s background as a classically trained musician overlaid with her deep love of Jazz and experience as a theatre composer. Lorraine excellent presentation to our Club included most of the songs from the Maiden Voyage cycle, along with most interesting commentary. For more information about Lorraine Milne, please click here. For more information about the song cycle, including samples of the songs, please click here.
The first General Meeting after suspension of Club activities during 2020, was held in February 2021 at the Anglers Tavern. The speaker was Club member Bronwyn Stokes. She spoke about the contact history of the various people who entered the area and the indigenous dwellers in the West Kimberley region, especially around Broome. After early explorers (Tasman and Dampier), Macassans from Sulawesi arrived in in 18th Century, followed by pastoralists, pearlers and missionaries in the 19th Century. Many different ethnic groups have merged in Broome, and the resulting population is unique in Australia.
The Annual General Meeting of the Club was held in March. There were reports on activities over the 2020-2021 year, and the Committee for the 2021-2022 year was elected. For information about the 2021-2022 Committee, please click here.
At the regular meeting in April, our speaker was Kathie Jones from helloworld Travel, Ascot Vale. Her travel industry experience has been varied from airline reservations, airline operational roles (Melbourne airport) and industry teaching/training. Some of her favourite destinations include Cuba, Africa and Morocco.
For comments or suggestions about speakers for regular meetings, contact Bob here.
The last regular meeting for 2019, in November 2019, was a special celebration to mark the 25th Anniversary of the Club. The inaugural meeting of the Probus Club of Melbourne North was held at North Melbourne Football Club rooms on Wednesday 9th November 1994. The shortened “business” part of the meeting allowed time for the President to present some history of the Club and to recognise the founders and those who have made major contributions. An extended version of this presentation is available through the ‘Club History’ page. Please click here.
The Anniversary was toasted with bubbles and finger food, and founding members cut an Anniversary cake. Instead of our normal speaker we had some musical entertainment. Most members and guests remained to enjoy a convivial lunch together. For further photos from the Anniversary celebration, please click here.