Through the years...

History - 1965

Written on June 4, 2012

With 49 member societies and with Laird Thomson back in the fold, the Federation faced 1965 in good heart.

The February school at Paraparaumu (the first of several on the topic of production) did not quite achieve the practical value hoped for and turned the minds of Executive to the use of theatre venues in subsequent years.

It needs to be borne in mind nevertheless that in the amateur operatic movement any gathering of societies has value, and especially was this true in the Federation's formative years. Regional meetings, both large and of small societies, continued through 1965, and the annual general meetings (usually held in March) had become by now a major force in welding the movement together.

The secretary and librarian handled an every increasing volume of routine work for societies seeking information and advice, and in order to meet difficulties met by societies in handling more and more hiring transactions, the Federation drew up standard conditions of hire for general use.

It was at the 1965 Annual General Meeting that Blennerhassett first propounded to a politely incredulous gathering the notion of a capital assistance fund.

The Calamity Jane project suffered a serious reverse in the form of a disastrous initial season in Wellington. Although the Christchurch-based "Call Me Madam" went ahead and was granted $2000 by the Arts Council, the concept of co-operative productions never fully recovered from the Wellington set-back and a great opportunity was allowed to slip.

The Arts Council published a policy statement defining as its principal objective the encouragement of professional rather than amateur activity. There were signs, too, that the Council might find difficulty in financing all the obligations it had inherited. Nevertheless the Federation's grant for the year remained $2,400.

In November, the Federation distributed to societies a booklet of addresses delivered at the first Paraparaumu school. Ian Main's addresses on publicity were later reproduced in the NODA bulletin. The "Bible" as it came to be known, was essential reading for every committee member in an operatic society.

Executive - 1965

President Tim Blennerhassett (Wellington)
Vice Presidents Donald Thompson (Masterton) - North Island); Allan Wood (Invercargill - South Island)
Executive Les Clark (Oamaru); Douglas Dyer (Gisborne); Valerie Ashenden (Wellington); Murray Marshall (Christchurch); Laird Thomson (Auckland)
Hon Secretary Ella Duddridge
Hon Treasurer Allan Wood
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