Through the years...

History - 1961

Written on June 4, 2012

The second year was one of consolidation and of steady growth in membership which rose to 39 by December 1961.

The Federation became an incorporated body and, having done so, sought a Patron in Sir Arthur Harper who had for many years, fostered the cultural progress of the Dominion during a distinguished career in the Department of Internal Affairs. His acceptance of office was the beginning of a long and warm friendship which the Federation came to value greatly.

August saw the first edition (in newsletter form) of the Federation's publication "Spotlight", edited by Max Stewart of Blenheim.

The speed with which the organisation has gained recognition and stature was strikingly illustrated when the Arts Advisory Council (forerunner of the QE2 Arts Council) set up a scheme of assistance to amateur theatre. The Federation's submissions had been among those leading to this decision, and when in November, the Council came to consider applications from operatic societies for grants, the Federation was asked to act in an advisory capacity. Penniless though the Federation was, the Executive mustered at short notice and responded to the challenge with a degree of diligence and responsibility which must have stood the Federation in good stead during later years.

The year closed on a sad note with the death on 14 January 1962 of Mae Hansel, a foundation member of the Executive.

Executive - 1961

President Frank Terry (Blenheim)
Vice Presidents Laird Thomson (Auckland - North Island); Hugh Duncan (Blenheim - South Island)
Executive Tim Blennerhassett (Wellington); Allan Wood (Invercargill); Donald Thompson (Masterton); Mae Hansel (Palmerston North); Cedric White (Napier)
Hon Secretary Elsa Cresswell
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