The November newsletter went to the printers before the election results were announced at the 2017 Annual General Meeting and therefore this column has been delivered as a separate item in November. From December it will be printed, as usual, in the newsletter.
At the AGM retiring President Jenny Milne revealed some exciting news for our Club. In 2012 the Board was informed of a significant bequest made by Club member Dr Shirley Roberts, who had recently passed away. The bequest was to be received by the Club after the death of her husband Ken Nelson. Shirley was Head of Radiology at Prince Henry’s Hospital and author of a number of well-regarded published books. She was a Club member for 39 years and a leading member of the Writers’ Circle. We were sorry to learn in September that Ken Nelson, who had personally contributed to our Building Appeal, had died. We have been notified by Equity Trustees that the bequest is in the order of $2million dollars. A portion of this generous bequest will enable us to complete the roof garden next year and over the next few months the Board and Finance Committee will discuss the most appropriate management of the bequest funds. Ken had been a regular visitor to the Club over the last five years and some of you may remember him singing the Welsh National Anthem at our fundraising event with the Welsh Men’s Choir in March this year. An important task for the new Board will be to identify the most appropriate way to honour Shirley’s magnificent gift to the Club she loved so dearly. The Board will be consulting with Honorary Life Member Judith Harley, who was in close touch with Ken, and we will keep you informed of any plans being developed by the Board.
November is packed with an exciting range of events including another of our popular Mother/Daughter evenings, themed ‘A Night at the Opera’. Our Classy and Creative Couture Circle have promised a parade of their most glamorous creations so do wear your finest opera attire. Bring your daughters, goddaughters or any other special female relative. The Ridgway Dinner is a chance for new members or those not yet familiar with the Club to meet and hear a little about the Club’s history. We have excellent Club Dinner and Lunch events with Professor Mark Considine, Dean of Arts at Melbourne University and Tony Ellwood, Director of the NGV as our guest speakers. A final highlight for the month will be our ‘Nearly 9×5 Fundraising Art Show’ which will feature around 200 tiny canvases generously created by Club members to be sold in a silent auction. Pictures will be on view from Monday 27 November and please book at Reception to join us for a drink on Thursday 30 when the auction closes.
I would encourage all members who wish to attend our Christmas functions to book early as places will be quickly filled. We will be hosting a Members’ Cocktail Party instead of the usual Buffet Dinner due to our limited floor space.
The final tranche of our waiting-list new members comes through in this month’s ballot which will take our flourishing membership to over 1,400.
Finally I would like to draw your attention to two omissions from our Annual Report. The list of 2016-2017 Membership Committee members should have included Virginia Cable, and the 2016-2017 Lyceum Choir Convenors should have been listed as Sarndi Addison and Dianne Vale. The archived copy of our Annual Report will be amended and we apologise to Sarndi, Virginia and Dianne for these omissions.
I look forward to seeing you in the Club during November.