Geelong Jazz History 1981 - 1985This is a featured page

By Dave Parsons
The 1981 Australian Jazz Convention enlivened the Geelong jazz scene, and the club had very reason to be optimistic
about the future. There was one pressing issue to be addressed: finding a suitable venue. The January Committee
meeting considered three options. The Argyle was not one of them.
The Geelong Performing Arts Centre, mindful of the financial bonanza the Convention had brought to it, re-affirmed its
desire to give the club a home. The Music Hall was offered at $40 per night assuming there would be "minimal
cleaning" after a function. Trestle tables and about 100 chairs could be provided. There was no mention of supper,
perhaps this was unnecessary, as the centre, late in 1981, had been granted a new and unique licence that did not
have the same requirements that were required of a hotel trading past 10pm. The club had never paid for a venue
before, so that was probably a negative. So too was the number of chairs!
Consideration was briefly given to the "Gay Nineties" Music Hall in Pakington St, Geelong West. This was being run as
a theatre restaurant by two local entertainers Keith Reece and Tom Watson. Under a later management it was known
as "The Stagecoach". It was then a well known and lively venue. It had a BYO licence (probably a negative in the
minds of the then Committee), a stage, and catered for reasonably sized crowds in fairly cramped conditions at long
The third option was the Derwent Hotel in Batesford. The newly built Moorabool Room had become a popular venue
and had attracted large crowds to jazz nights that the hotel had presented late in 1981 and early in 1982 featuring the
Jazz City Jazz Band (soon to change its name to the Des Camm Jazz Band and Kenn Jones Powerhouse Band. The
venue was large and attractive, there was ample parking but there were concerns about the distance out of town.
The decision was made in favour of the Derwent. The club's piano was on the move again. It was collected from the
Argyle, lifted onto Ian Mowat's utility, and, with newly-elected Committeeman John Prendergast, immaculately dressed
in the suit befitting a highly respectable estate agent, keeping it steady in the back, it made the journey to Batesford.
So began a period when the club's activities became so intertwined with those of the hotel that it seemed difficult to
separate them at times. The Derwent automatically included the club's activities in its regular advertising in the
"Geelong Advertiser". The Moorabool Room served as the hotel's Bistro, so there were always casual diners still
eating when the music started. They were allowed to stay for the first set to finish their meals, but were then required
to leave. However, a number would then pay their admission so they could stay on.
On Friday, 4 February, the Maple Leaf Jazz Band performed. It had established its popularity and drawing power on its
previous visit to the club and that would account for a part of the large crowd of about 200 that attended. The good
sign for the club was that the popularity of the venue was such that a number of the hotel regulars came along.
Despite having to pay $200 for the supper, $250 band fee and $48 for advertising, the $719 door left a function profit
of a little over $200. The highlight of the night was the band's rendition of "Tiger Rag/Golden Wedding". During the
clarinet solo the band members left the stage leaving the soloist, Kim Rushworth, and tuba player Pip Avent who was
providing the rhythm. The Kim walked off stage to leave a red-faced and perspiring Pip to play the final chorus with its
ascending run of notes on his own. It was a show stopper.
The March function saw the visit to Geelong of a band from the Mornington Peninsula, the Ray Oliphant led Blue
Dolphin Jazz Band. The band featured lovely three part harmony vocals by the front line. The crowd was not large but
the door of $560 was encouraging, especially as there was no charge for the supper. The "Law of the Diminishing
Supper" seemed to be working in reverse. A cautionary note was struck by Mary Bould in the March Newsletter. "It is
rather disappointing to note the small number of members who actually attended the night. We have secured a great
venue, and the only way we can hold this is by having your support at these regular monthly functions."
In hindsight, 1982 might well be described as the year of jazz revival in Geelong. Sparked by the success of the Jazz
Convention, the club's move to the Derwent Hotel, and the active live music policy of the Oates family at the Derwent,
it was possible to hear live jazz several times each month. For the club it meant, that for a while, at least, financial
worries faded. The first two functions at the Derwent saw the bank balance rise by $600 to $1700. Treasurer Mike
Pope used to sit at the door to the Derwent's Moorabool Room with a grin from ear to ear. What's more: the supper
was still appearing! It seemed a good omen.
Sunday, 26th March inaugurated the event that has become known as "Jazz at the Green", though that name was to
come in later years. About a hundred Peninsula Jazz Club members came across on the ferry from Sorrento, arriving
at the Queenscliff Bowling Club just before the noon opening of the bar. A large number of Geelong members joined
them. The event was reported with great enthusiasm in the club's newsletter, and there was an intention to repeat it
later in the year. Pick-up bands of local and Peninsula musicians performed. Much of the success of the day was due
to the close ties that Mary Bould had with the jazz community of the Mornington Peninsula.
The club's April function featured Steve Waddell's Creole Bells. We tend to think of the Creole Bells' line-up as being
very stable, but when we look back about twenty years, Steve was the only member of that band still playing in the
Creole Bells. After all, he was the leader. Others in the band on this occasion were Ken Evans (tpt), Geoff Pratt (clt),
Doug Rawson (pno), John Brown (bjo) and Peter "Poppa" Cass (tba). As usual, the Bells performance was
enthusiastically received, again by a large crowd.
Des Camm played monthly at the Derwent and the Derwent became a must for touring bands. Sydney trumpet player,
Geoff Bull, appeared twice, once with his own band, and then with a group of Melbourne musicians including Ade
Monsbrough, Hugh de Rosayro and Allan Browne, and a highly regarded veteran of the Kansas City and New York
jazz scene, pianist Sammy Price. Price was now in his early 70's, and his career had included working with Benny
Carter, Eddie Condon, Henry "Red" Allen, Sidney Bechet "Mezz" Mezzrow and Bunk Johnson. Visiting, and sitting in
that night were two Swedish jazz players of international renown, pianist Lars Edergran and clarinetist Orange Kellin.
These two were in Melbourne supervising the music for the jazz-based musical "One Mo' Time', which was about to
open at Melbourne's Athenaeum Theatre. The Derwent had visits from the Bob Barnard Jazz Band and Galapagos
Duck. Kenny Ball appeared with his band at GPAC, to a capacity Ford Theatre.
GPAC was presenting monthly Sunday afternoon jazz under the banner "Sunday Scene'. Bands included Kenn Jones'
Powerhouse with a front line of Jones, Fred Parkes and Harry Price (from the band that played at the Powerhouse at
Albert Park in the 60’s). That band was followed by Allan Leake's Storyville Allstars with vocalist Bev Sheehan.
Owen Yateman's Big Fat Brarse appeared every Saturday at the Barwon Heads Hotel. Mainstream jazz was
presented on Thursday nights at the Sawyers Arms Tavern. Barrie Edwards-led Deja Vu included Doug Dehn (tpt),
Barry Currie (rds), Dave Jeffrey (vbs), Doug McKenzie (pno) and Stuart Selby (dms). There were always musicians
who "sat in'. All of this in a two month period! And it was to continue.
The 1982 Annual General Meeting was held on the 3 rd
of August. In her Annual Report, retiring President Mary Bould
wrote: "As the end of '82, and our third year of existence as a club nears, it is encouraging to see that we have a solid
membership, a healthy bank balance, a great venue for our monthly functions, and the prestige of having been part of
the organising Committee of the 36th Australian Jazz Convention at the Geelong Performing Arts Centre ...We have
come a long way from our humble and uncertain beginnings, and we can be proud of having brought some of the best
jazz in the country to Geelong.'
The balance sheet showed that the club had traded profitably throughout the year, and the bank balance had almost
doubled to $3156. At least the financial worries of 1981 seemed to have gone. The membership was in excess of 100,
mostly families. However the Report went on to say, "...the support of our members is not the chief contributing factor
to the current level of success." An example was given at a recent monthly function, which had been financially
successful, only 15 members, including Committee members had been in attendance.
The meeting elected a new Committee. The Executive was Dave Parsons {President}, John Prendergast (Vice
President), Stuart Strachan (Secretary), and Mike Pope (Treasurer). Mary Bould remained on the Committee to look
after Programming. Other members were Pat Gleeson, Leigh McDonald, Don Halesworth, Ian Mowat, Peter Heinrich,
Mick 0'Neill, Mick Potter, Val Sainty, Louise Jenkins, and Ian Burrowes.
The September function presented the Storyville All Stars with vocalist, Beverly Sheehan. What was heartening to the
Committee was a great roll up of members, reversing the disturbing trends of previous months.
Two days later, Sunday, the 5th of September, the club presented the Australians Jazz Band at a smorgasbord
luncheon at the Derwent Hotel. The band had just returned from the USA, where it had performed to great acclaim at
the prestigious Sacramento Jazz Festival. The band comprised Bob Barnard (tpt), Ade Monsbrough, Neville Stribling
and Lachie Thompson (rds), Maurie Dann (pno, bjo), Tony Orr (bjo, gtr), Allan Stott (sbs, TBA) and Cal Duffy (dms). It
was a most successful event musically and financially. It was decided to hold a similar event later in the year.
The Derwent Hotel was gaining a nation-wide reputation as a jazz pub through the presence of the jazz club and the
willingness of the Oates family to promote performances by interstate and occasionally, international performers who
were touring. October again showed just how beneficial this was to members.
The month started with the club night which featured Nick Polites' Jazz Band. With Nick, were a former Geelong lad,
Les Haby, on trumpet; Ray Lewis (tbn); Richard Cullen (bjo); Robin McCulloch (sbs); and Wes Brown (dms). Then in
the space of a fortnight there were performances by Graeme Bell and his Allstars and Tom Baker's Swing Street
Orchestra. Both bands had top Sydney musicians in their line-up. To complete the month, Des Camm's band played
their usual last-Saturday-of-the-month gig.
Herb Jenning's Golden City Seven played the club's November function. Bob Pattie (cnt), Ron Rosser (clt), Herb (tbn)
Bob Franklin (pno), Graeme Day (bjo), Alan Houghton (tba) and Ben Systermans (dms) had recently made recordings
for Anteater and Jazz `n' Jazz labels. The latter was an all Australian composition session and the band played some
of the tunes on the cassette.
The success of the Sunday Jazz Smorgasbord with Bob Barnard and the Australians in September inspired the club
and the Derwent to try the concept again late in November. This time the music attraction was the Anne and John
Hawker Big Band. Trombonist John Hawker had formed the band in 1961, attracting some of Melbourne's best sightreading
musicians to it enjoyed great popularity at a time when big bands were hard to market. The band appeared on
television, in concert, at ballrooms, and made six albums and a number of singles. It had hits with versions of
"Cinderella Rockafella" and "Boom-aBang". At the time the band was playing four nights a week at a new cabaret in
Brighton and at the Anchor and Hope Hotel in Richmond on a Sunday afternoon, drawing the biggest crowds that the
hotel had experienced. It was something different and the afternoon was a success.
To finish the year the club presented a double-header as a Christmas treat for members, knowing that it probably
would not meet expenses, and the Derwent obtained a late licence. Great favourite Roger Bell returned with his Pagan
Pipers. Roger was one of the father figures of Australian jazz, and he always put together a classy band. On this
occasion he had Lachie Thompson (clt), Steve Miller (tbn), Geoff Bland (pno), Conrad Joyce (sbs) and Don Boardman
(dms). As a contrast was the Benny Goodman style small group swing from BGI, a local group led by Garry
Richardson and including Dave Jeffrey (vbs), Ian "Weary" Williamson (pno), Paul Ludowyk (sbs) and Ian Coots (dms).
The band had played at the 1981 Australian Jazz Convention and the audience had enjoyed its music. It was a night of
superb, spontaneous, free flowing, and foot-tapping music. Over the second half of the year, the club's financial
situation had made a gradual but steady improvement The club was no longer in the dire financial straits of eighteen
months earlier, but rising inflation meant greater costs. Towards the end of the year it was decided to increase the
annual membership to $12 for a family and $8 single.
The December newsletter announced the resignation of three members of the Committee: Mary Bould, Ian Mowat and
Ian Burrowes. This was not because of any conflict within the Committee, but because three founder members of the
club felt that they could now loose the reins now that the club had achieved stability. The Newsletter said, "The
resignations were accepted with regret as all had been valuable members ...especially Mary who was the driving force
behind the formation of the Club and President for three years".
Meanwhile members found plenty of jazz in the Derwents programme for December. Galapagos Duck made their
fourth visit for the year, then followed the Storyville All Stars and the Bob Barnard Jazz Band.
Given the surge of local interest in jazz in the previous year, 1983 was going to be an exciting year for the club, but it
would put more pressure on the Committee in maintaining that surge. However, support from members remained very
high, and the club activities integrated well with the exciting jazz program conducted by Geoff Oates at the Derwent
Hotel, Batesford.
The very popular Maple Leaf Jazz Band set the scene for a good year at the club's February 4th opening night at the
Derwent Hotel.
Club members and jazz lovers have rarely had it so good as 1983. The Derwent Hotel program included performances
from internationally regarded English vocalist George Melly with John Chilton's Footwarmers in February, and then
Papa Bue's Viking Jazz Band from Denmark in March. The Derwent was on the touring circuit for interstate and
overseas bands. Given the competition with these overseas bands, the club decided not to hold a March club night
Sadly Melly and Chiltern brought news of the serious illness of English pianist Dill Jones. Many of the club's members
had come to know Dill from his visit to Geelong as the overseas guest for the 36th Australian Jazz Convention.
The Committee saw social events between the monthly club nights as important A four-hour boat trip on the bay was
arranged for a Sunday in February at a cost of $12 per head including drinks. It was BYO food. It was poorly supported
and a considerable loss resulted. Those who did attend enjoyed it immensely. It was part of a series of planned
activities at the Queenscliff Bowling Club, Werribee Park and possibly, Sorrento. Not all came to fruition.
Peter Heinrich, who had been responsible for band booking, was unable to continue that role. He had been unable to
attend meetings and meet the constitutional requirements set down by the club's constitution. Mick Potter volunteered
to take over the programming role. Mary Bould and Ian Mowat also decided to stand down from the Committee, happy
that its future was in good hands. Their decision was accepted with regret. Mick Potter volunteered to take on the
responsibility of band booking.
One of the activities that Mary Bould had undertaken was the conduct of jazz workshops for members who were
interested in playing jazz. Pat Gleeson volunteered to take over the organisation of these workshops.
Des Camm played the 8th of April club night at the Derwent Hotel to a good audience. On the Sunday, there was a get
together with the Victorian Jazz Club at a barbecue at Williamstown.
The Committee received a letter from Mary Bould, which discussed ways of increasing attendance at club functions.
As a result of the discussion of matters raised in the letter, which revolved around having relevant and newsworthy
reports for inclusion in the club's newsletter, it was decided that the club place an advertisement in the "Geelong
Advertiser" on the Wednesday before the Friday night function at the Derwent Hotel.
The next three functions exemplified the variety of the club's programming. Herb Jennings' Golden City Jazz Band
played for the May club night. It was the start of a run of excellent and club nights. Then followed Penny Eames, a
highly respected Adelaide singer, who wooed her audience on the 3 rd
of June and backed by a band led by Kenn
Jones. In July, Gary Richardson's BGI - which took its inspiration from Benny Goodman small group jazz bands of the
late 1930's to 1940's, entertained the audience. August welcomed the excellent New Harlem Jazz Band, which
included former Geelong musician Chris Ludowyk.
Following the resignation of Mary Bould from the Committee, discussion took place on the pros and cons of
approaching Geoff Oates to join the Committee. It made sense as far as gaining security of tenure in the hotel bistro
on club nights, but there was the potential conflict of interest if programming started to be influenced by the choice of only
certain styles of bands The Committee decided that Geoff be invited to join the Committee. Geoff Oates was welcomed to
the Committee at its June meeting But he with all the other Committee members was up for election in August
The AGM was held at the Derwent Hotel. Batesford. on the 2n d
August, at the Derwent Hotel. Batesford. The office
bearers elected were: Mary Bould (President:) Pat Gleeson (Vice President); Stuart Strachan (Secretary); Mike Pope
(Treasurer). Don Halesworth: Ian Mowat: Geoff Oates Val Sainty: and Les Saxon The newly elected Committee met on
the 9" August
Mick and Brenda Potter who had been active in club activities from the beginning were about to move to Melbourne where
the Reverend Mick was to take up a new position Mick reported he was "no longer be able to print the monthly newsletter.
. he will also relinquish the job of program organiser" Long time members will still recognise Mick around the jazz scene in
Melbourne The club newsletter announced "Farewell to Mick and Brenda Potter. Sunday 7 August at the Anakie Public
Hall (Midday) Music: Mary Bould's Boys and sit-in musos B.Y 0 food and drinks. Our opportunity to thank Mick and
Brenda for their hard work and support of the jazz Club during their sojourn at Corio"
The September club night featured the "Yarra Yarra Jazz Band." The next club social afternoon followed soon after
"Geelong Jazz Club - Special Notice Due to flooding. Gillespie's woolshed is not available far our barbecue on next
Sunday. September 18` -
The venue has been changed to the ANAKIE-STAUGHTON VALE HALL If you attended Mick
Potters farewell at the hall you will recall what a great venue it is if you didn't. come along and find out. Arrangements as
announced in newsletter BYO everything
Veteran Sydney vocalist. Nancy Stuart appeared at the October club night, backed by Dick Tattam's Jazz Ensemble As
well as various Sydney bands, she had sung with jazz greats like Acker Bilk and the Dutch Swing College Band. The
author can well remember this very humble. delightful woman, whose personality and voice soon won the audience that
night. However, the next club newsletter said this about it "Those of you who did not attend the Nancy Stuart l Dick Tatum
night. missed out on a memorable night of jazz Nancy certainly lived up to all expectations - a great jazz vocalist. and a
lovely lady This was just another example of the unfortunate attitude that still affects the club -
if the members do not know
the performer some will not attend
On November the 4th Colonel Duffy's Privates performed at the Derwent Hotel. The band comprised Ian Smith (tpt).
Lachie Thompson (rds) Alf Hurst (tbn). Maurie Dann (bjo) Allan Stott (both string and brass bass), Cal Duffy (dms, wbd.
The club’s December Newsletter stated "The hand booked for our final night for '83 was the Owen Yateman - John Hawes
Jazz Band However in his wisdom, Mr. Yateman double booked this night; and this was discovered. BY CHANCE, on
NOVEMBER 3rd After considerable time and effort, he was contacted, and chose not to honour our booking Considerable
effort had been put into the pre-advertising of this event. via newsletters and prepared handbills, plus time involved in
research into the background of previously mentioned bandleader In the opinion of the Committee; this is a deplorable
“However it has transpired that the situation has indeed turned out advantageous to us We have managed to secure the
services of Herb Jennings GOLDEN CITY SEVEN for the date, and they will be supported by MARY'S BLUE BOYS
Recently. I had the good fortune to be at the Victorian Jazz Club when the Golden City Seven were the featured band,
and what a great night of music it was. Ralph Rickman (Rickman was the ABCs Jazz radio presenter) was present;
and commented that it was without a doubt, some of the "finest and freshest jazz he had heard in a long time”. Ralph has
been giving quite a lot of airplay to Herb's band on his "Music to Midnight" on 3L0. Come along, bring your friends, and
enjoy what will be a great night of traditional jazz "
The December newsletter finished with a message from the President Mary Bould to the members. "The close of '83
leaves me with mixed feelings as to the future of the G.J.C. I have been sorely disappointed with member attendance at
club functions. but on the other hand. those members who have been attending either regularly or occasionally have
shown such tremendous enthusiasm it seems to make the whole exercise worthwhile. What I really want to know is - why
don't you, our members, attend functions in force? Surely with the membership we have. we can expect more than the
average 30 or so? ! would welcome your suggestions as to how you think the club should be run Renewal notices are
included with this newsletter. You will notice we have also requested your opinions so that the Committee will have the
opportunity to respond to members needs. Please make an effort t to return this form, as the future of the club depends
on your support."
The Club continued to use the Derwent Hotel as the base for its activities even if some members felt it was out of town it
was a beneficial and mutual arrangement for both the Hotel and the Jazz Club. The Club s Annual Membership was set at
$10 single, and 515 for a family
Steve Waddell s Creole Bells opened the Club s year on the 4 " of February. The band was to become almost an annual
fixture in the Club s programming for a number of years. being hired annually in all but three of the Club s first twenty
years. The first social event. planned far the 12th of February, was a boat trip on Corio Bay. Because of a lack of interest,
it was cancelled These early years were very much a time when the Club was trying to find the right balance of activities
that the majority of members wanted.
At the first meeting of the Committee. Mary Bould was authorised by the Committee to organise and arrange future
programs as required, without consultation and approval of the Committee. This may seem strange. given the strong
opinions about the type and quality of bands that were often the subject of discussion at later Club Committee meetings,
and between club members. But Mary had run a hotel in the Western District that had a regular jazz program, and,
because she was a musician, she had the right contacts.
On the 3r d
of March, in the afternoon. Mary's Blue Boys played at the Staughton Vale Hall. Anakie for a club barbecue
and picnic On the evening of the 7th of April. Neville Stribling’s Jazz Players - which included prominent musicians Ade
Monsbrough, Dick Tattum, Cave Egg!eton, Pip Avent and Maurie Dann as well as Stribling - performed for the Club at the
Derwent Hotel.
The Jazz Club Committee met at a specially convened meeting on the 17th of April Mary Bould expressed her
dissatisfaction with the Derwent Hotel far the conduct of monthly functions, and with what she described as "the
uncooperative and dictatorial manner of the proprietor " Discussions had been held with the Geelong Yacht Club, and as
a result the meeting adopted a motion that the Club accept an offer of the Royal Geelong Yacht Club for trial period, with
the option of a negotiable review in three months time Following the function, there was discussion about various aspects
relating to the venue, meals, reservations and other minor matters. Stuart Strachan. a 'yachtie' as well as jazz lover was
appointed to liaise with the Yacht Club to resolve those matters,
Herb Jennings and the Golden City Jazz Band played at the new venue the Royal Geelong Yacht the 5th of May followed
by Roger Bell's Pagan Pipers on the 2nd of June. The minutes following the first of these nights indicated a surplus of
$323. the June night reported a surplus on the night of $270, Out of an audience of 165 people at the Yacht Club.
were GJC members There was probability an element of curiosity that brought out such a large number of members
Other factors might have been the location and centrality of the venue, and the fact it was a club rather than a hotel.
It was a very pro-active time. At the April Committee meeting. Mary Bould had suggested investigating the possibility of
hiring the Geelong Performing Arts Centre foyer. on a Sunday afternoon the 17th of June be called "Jazz in the Foyer' at
GPAC from 2.30pm - 5.00pm The logic behind the move was that with the cooler weather, a few indoor functions could
replace the Club's barbecues The band was BG! As well considerable discussion took place on the possibility of holding
an inaugural hall on Saturday the 6th of October.
Creole Bells played for the July club night At the 22nd of July Committee meeting the Treasurer was happy to
announce a surplus on the night of $448.20 from an attendance of 142 Jazz Club members, 59 Yacht Club members
and non-members. However, it appeared that the licensing Laws are being contravened by charging admittance to
functions at the Royal Geelong Yacht Club. As a result, changes would be made regarding the method of entry. Stuart
Strachan was appointed to liaise with the Yacht Club.
Mary Bould suggested that the Club should seek a block booking for GPAC's forthcoming performance of the Don
Burrows Quartet Her ideas continued. She suggested a Gala Dinner Dance at the Yacht Club, tentatively on the 6th of
October with two bands and a three-course meal. Once again Stuart Strachan was sent to investigate the possibility
and bring possible dates, catering details, and possible numbers by the next meeting. The next Committee meeting,
held on 10 July 1984, had only six members in attendance. The benefits of the move to the Royal Geelong Yacht Club
were discussed.
On Sunday 15 July, a number of members braved the elements to attend a social function at Anakie. The next
Newsletter said, "To those members and friends who braved the elements to attend our July 15th function at Anakie,
we say hearty thanks. Boy, it was cold, cold. Great to see the return of Mick & Brenda Potter, both of whom rendered
vocal items - we all knew of Brenda's ability, but Mick surprised us! A big thank you to the musicians - regulars Herb
Jennings, Garry Richardson, Dawn Lock, Alan Houghton, and welcome visitors Don and Pat Jarrett from Mt. Evelyn,
guitarist Arthur Jenkins from Ballarat, Eddie Brown, minus cat, plus string bass, and our own up-and-coming trumpet
player, Harry Anderson." It also announced that a new supply of club windcheaters was available.
The highly regarded Melbourne band, Frank Traynor's Jazz Preachers played for the 4th August club night The Annual
General Meeting was set for the 7th of August at the Geelong Performing Arts Centre. It was publicised in the
newsletter, but it only attracted thirteen people and only two apologies were received. In situations like this, you do not
know whether it is due to apathy or satisfaction with the existing Committee. However it can be disappointing to those
who are on the Committee.
In her report, Mary Bould touched on the lack of support by members at the monthly functions early in the year, so
much so that it looked as though the club could disintegrate. However the recent months there had been a turn around
due to the change of venue to the Royal Geelong Yacht Club. At the moment, the club's activities were buoyant The
meeting re-elected Mary Bould as President, Stuart Strachan as Secretary, Pat Gleeson as Vice President, and Mike
Pope as Treasurer. Committee members were Ian Mowat, Don Halesworth and Les Saxon.
A motion was put, in accord with the rules of the existing Constitution, that the Club become an Incorporated
Association. The motion was carried. A second motion, proposed by Mike Pope, and seconded by Ian Mowat, was put
that the club's present Constitution be modified to comply with the requirements of the Incorporated Associations Act
The motion was carried. There was no further business, so the meeting closed at 8.45 pm. Club member, Frank
McGrath, solicitor and club member, gave much valuable legal advice to the Committee during this period.
The Maple Leaf Jazz Band played for the 1s t
of September club night. At the September Committee meeting, the first
for the newly-elected Committee, the club agreed to 40 cents levy from the $4.00 entry to cover Royal Geelong Yacht
Club administrative costs in relation to the booking of tables and meals. Only Jazz and Yacht Club members were able
to reserve tables and had to quote a membership number. Refer to later demand for payment of this money 1985. (Min
Among the matters dealt with by the new Committee at this meeting was the decision that the Club, in conjunction with
Steve Bennett Audio, would enter a float in the Annual Hospital Gala Day Parade in November. A suitable vehicle was
hired. However, it did not eventuate because the Club could not organise a band. The Yacht Club administration asked
that a 10% levy, 40 cents, be paid to the Yacht Club, to "help defray administration costs in relation to bookings and
meals." In a second matter, the Club agreed with the Yacht Club that only members of both clubs would be allowed to
reserve tables, and that those members would quote the membership number at the time of booking. There was a
proposal for a free night for members of both clubs at December function.
On the 29th September, the now titled Golden City 7 played for the Club; followed by, on the 27th October, the highly
regarded Sydney band, Tom Baker's Swing St Orchestra. Every effort was made to engage the members through
social activities. Mary's Blue Boys played for a Sunday barbecue at the Anakie Football Club on the 14th October and,
at a social barbecue at the Yacht Club on 25 November. In December, a barbecue was held at Stuart Strachan's
house with music from Des Camm.
The Club organised a bus trip to visit the Victorian Jazz Club on 17 November. Later, there was some criticism about
the trip, but others enjoyed it The Secretary was asked to write to Harry Wright thanking him for being the bus driver
for the evening. Ian Mowat was asked to buy him a bottle of liquid refreshment in appreciation!
The 1 st
of December function at the Yacht Club was the year's final Club night, to the music of Nick Polites New
Orleans Stompers. On the social side of the club's activities, there was a barbecue at home of Romy Lenz in
Bannockburn, probably on December 9. One consequence of Frank McGrath's advice to the Committee on liability
manifested itself at the next club barbecue Ian Mowat was asked to organise a sign which said that it was "Attendance
at own Risk".
Moving the club's piano around had become a chore, and the Committee decided to purchase a set of four appropriate
wheels for a piano trolley. Pat Gleeson was asked to investigate requirements and costs for a suitable public address
At the final meeting of the year, the Committee decided that there would be no change in membership fees for 1985.
Mary Bould's aspirations for the club in 1985 were set out in her message in the club's December 1984 Newsletter.
Under the banner "What's in Store for '85" she wrote, "Firstly, memberships become due and payable on February 1st,
and thanks to your regular attendance at functions during the year, we have been able to keep fees at the '84 cost
Application form is at the end of this newsletter .... we will continue to present our regular monthly function at the Yacht
Club on the first Saturday of each month. The first function for '85 will be on Saturday February 2nd, and will feature
Chris Ludowyk's Society Syncopators. The mid-monthly functions will also continue, generally in the form of family
barbecues, but with the change in hotel licensing laws, we hope to be able to present more varied entertainment,
especially during the winter months. When the opportunities arise, "special" nights will be featured at the regular
admittance price .... those of you who attended the Tom Baker night last October will agree that it was a superb
performance, and all for $4.00 per head! In short, with your continued attendance, '85 looks like being a great year for
jazz in Geelong!°
The occupational health concern about Committee members moving pianos was resolved with the club purchasing a
set of wheels so that a proper piano trolley would be constructed. Stuart Strachan manufactured a piano trolley for the
Club, at a cost of $25 for wheels. In recent years, the need for the trolley's use has diminished because venues may
have had a piano, and because more pianists are using the portable electronic pianos. The trolley is presently stored
in the author's garage!
At the scheduled Committee meeting set for the 22nd of January, there were insufficient numbers to from a quorum.
Of the absent members, only three had forwarded an apology. Those in attendance, Mary Bould, Pat Gleeson, Stuart
Strachan and Mike Pope spent the time in an informal discussion about the club's direction.
At the February Committee meeting, Pat Gleeson, in the absence of the President, was in the chair. Pat moved that
Ralph Rickman, an ABC radio presenter, who specialised in late-night jazz programs "be elected to honorary
membership". The Secretary was to write a letter and enclose a membership card. It was decided that the purchase of
the new public address system should be done through a local supplier, Steve Bennett Audio. Les Saxon commented
that he did not think that the Royal Geelong Yacht Club was an appropriate venue for a family social function because
of the restrictions imposed on dress and children's liberties. He also made mention of other issues of concern. It was
decided that a copy of the house rules of the Royal Geelong Yacht Club "as applicable to the Jazz Club" be obtained
far the use of the Committee."
The first club night was held on March the 2nd and presented Steve Waddell's Creole Bells and it was followed on the
3th of March by Nick Polites' New Orleans Stompers.
On the 13th of April the Club held an evening fund-raiser barbecue and performance at the Staughton Vale Hall. It was
BYO everything. Mary's Blue Boys provided the jazz, and there were comedy skits from Tiny and Pete, a pair of
theatrical comics who lived in Staughton Vale.
The Golden City seven returned to the Yacht Club on May the 11 t
h, followed on the 15t of June by the Maple Leaf Jazz
Band. At the May Committee meeting, the program for the remainder of the year had been presented and discussed.
The outcome of the discussion showed the philosophy of the Committee. The minutes state, "...our function is to
promote jazz music in the community and the more expensive bands are the best available. Due to the high cost of
some bands, it was felt that we should change the venue, and advertise that the functions are open to the general
public, to try and recoup some of the outlay." As well, two Sunday barbecues were planned if the venue at "Pirra° was
available. They were programmed to be held on the 30th of June and the 29 1
h of September.
A public meeting was held in Geelong to gather support for winning a FM Community Radio in Geelong. Members
Alan Collier and Dave Parsons attended because of the potential that it would have to allow the Club to have a jazz
radio program. Mary Bould spoke about proposed formation of a community radio station at June Committee meeting,
emphasising that it would be in the interests of the club to become involved. Club members urged to support barbecue
at Pirra Community Arts Centre to assist in financing local community station. Support from the members was poor,
though the Club was able to donate $130.00 to proposed community FM station. Subsequently members Alan Collier,
Dave Parsons and Phil Rayner were involved in presenting programs in the name of the club during test transmissions
that were part of the procedure leading to the granting of a community licence. For a large number of years Dave
Parsons and Phil Rayner continued to present a fortnightly late Monday night traditional jazz programme, and through
it, publicise club activities. The club maintained a supportive role, took an annual subscription, and made donations to
the station for a number of years.
A letter written by Stuart Strachan to Association Incorporations Office dated 10 July '85, advised that "the Geelong
Jazz Club has adopted the model rules with minor amendments." As far as Annual General Meeting was concerned
this would mean the election of a Committee comprised of a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and up to
11 ordinary members.
The date, August 6th, was set for the Annual General Meeting and venue was confirmed as the Corio Hotel. The
minutes indicate that the President dwelt upon the activities of the Club that had put the club in °a healthy position",
and which was evident in the financial report The Secretary's report touched upon the effect of the change of venue,
which had led to improved attendances at functions, and the resultant higher revenue. Membership had remained
healthy. The election of office bearers resulted in Mary Bould being re-elected President; Pat Gleeson, (Vice
President); Stuart Strachan, (Secretary); Mike Pope (Treasurer), and three Committee members: Ian Mowat, Rod
Green and Les Saxon. There were only nine members in attendance, only one was not a retiring Committee member,
and there was only one apology.
At the next Committee meeting, the Treasurer "did not submit any written figures, but promised, at the request of the
President, to have a detailed balance sheet for the previous twelve months for inclusion in the next club newsletter."
The Balance sheet for 19845 year was finally ready, according to the minutes of the Committee meeting of the 8'n of
October 1985. The Club seal, incorporating the logo, as required by the Associations Incorporation Act, was
On the 20th of July, the club presented a special night of jazz featuring the Bob Barnard Jazz Band at a cost of $1200.
As well as Barnard there were other Sydney musicians of some note: Chris Taperell on piano, Wally Wickham on bass
and Laurie Thompson on drums. Fleshing out the line-up from were two Melbourne musicians: Dennis Ball (rds) and
Bill Howard (tbn). Held in the GPAC foyer, it attracted just over 100 and realised a profit of about $100. At the following
Committee meeting there was considerable discussion about the use of the GPAC foyer as a venue for touring major
bands. The general opinion was that the acoustics were terrible. The attendance of Jazz Club members had been
disappointing, and it was felt that there had been a resistance to the $10 entry charge. The minutes of the following
Committee meeting show that there was discussion about whether the club should persist with hiring expensive
interstate bands.
The remainder of the regular monthly club nights was a strong program that included: Storyville Jazz Band with
Beverly Sheehan on the 2nd of August; Roger Bell's Pagan Pipers on the 10th of August; Madam and Le Hot Club de
Bega on the 23rd August; and Nick Polites' New Orleans Stompers on September the 6th.
The Secretary was asked to write to the Royal Geelong Yacht Club suggesting that a portable stage be installed for
band performers, and that spot lighting be considered for the stage area. Mary Bould spoke regarding a PA system
available to the Club for $1000. From reports available, it seems that it was a bargain and Pat Gleeson was seconded
to investigate. The club decided to buy it.
Pianist, Graham Coyle's Red Hot Peppers played a tribute to Jelly Roll Morton for the club on October 19. The band
consisted of Coyle, Alan Lee (vibes), Tony Newstead (tpt), Kenn Jones (reeds), Leon Heale (bass) and Allan Browne
(dms). A band led by Sydney sider, Len Barnard had been previously booked for that function, but the tour had been
cancelled in August.
A social group, the West Coast Seekers, made a request for a booking for thirty people for the October 19th function.
Over the following years the group built some of the Jazz Club activities into its social calendar.
An upgrade of club's PA discussed. Was this the result of concerns expressed about acoustics at the Royal Geelong
Yacht Club? Was the problem due to the position of the band? Harry Anderson was asked to advise the Committee.
He attended the next Committee meeting and, following his advice, a pair of fold back speakers and a new amplifier
were purchased. The club was getting occasional requests to hire its equipment, so it set policies and costs for
commercial businesses wishing to hire equipment.
There was discussion about the Sir Charles Hotham Hotel engaging bands to play at the hotel on a Friday night,
though there is no indication of the Club's feelings about it The first one was held on the 27t h
of September and
featured "Madam and the Rag Tags". The club's records make no further mention of the hotel's jazz activities.
On November the 9th, the club night presented Tom Baker's Swing St Orchestra from Sydney. The minutes of the
subsequent Committee meeting indicate a loss sustained the on event of $210.00. Membership fees for 1986 were set
at Single $10, Family $15. Charge for monthly functions was increased to $5. Steve Waddell's Creole Bells played on
the 14 of December for the Club's Christmas break up.
The Club's regular monthly night for 1986 was held on Saturday, the 1st of February, and featured the Golden City 8. In
the Newsletter, a whimsical Mary Bould actually printed it as "Herb Jennings' Golden City .... wait for it.... not 7....
but...square root of 81.... minus 1." For those who have forgotten some of their school mathematics, Mary really meant
eight Herb's band was to be eight pieces.
Members had a special night on the 15th of February, when Len Barnard, accompanied by top line-up of Ian Smith
(tpt), Fred Parkes (clt), Bill Howard (tbn), Graham Coyle (pno) and Joe McConechy (sbs) played. (Min 04.02.86). At the
February Committee meeting, Mary Bould announced she would be absent far several weeks long service leave, and
deputised Pat Gleeson to manage the Club's affairs, with the assistance of the remainder of the Committee. The
meeting reported that club members, Allan Collier and Dave Parsons, continued to keep in touch with the proposed
local FM community radio station.

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