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"Playing traditional acoustic music
in and around Darwin Australia
for more than thirty years."
Top End Folk Club Incorporated
PO Box 41551
Casuarina Northern Territory Australia 0811
ABN 20 835 317 702

President's Report to the Members

2004 Annual General Meeting

Friday October 29th 2004

Looking back, the Club and its members were involved in lots of things this last year.

The house concerts overall were well attended, although a trend is emerging of fewer attendees on the other side of the Berrimah Line. Us "bushies" bathe just as often as you townies, you know! One of the "feral" concerts was at Jayne and John's place at Katherine, which is a lovely spot.

The Dolly's sessions finished in April 2004, briefly replaced by the Mic Travers Trio, before Mic left town.

The Railways sessions continued, although numbers have fallen of late, and following discussions at the AGM these sessions have been abandoned.

The Folk Club "big band" was involved in a few projects during the year, including three open days at Government House (for which the Club gets paid!!), bush dances, Relay for Life, and of course, the "Rince na hEireann" annual Irish dance extravaganza. Club spin-offs, such as Murphy and Friends, were also involved in numerous projects.

Not many concerts by travelling folkies this year, but attendances at the Bob Brozman and Margret RoadKnight concerts were good. Dave and Di Alleway (Dave is a harpist) from Victoria came to one of our house concerts. Buz and Monica returned for the house concert at Mac and Buddy's place.

There were also a couple of major happenings of interest to members - the railway arriving in Darwin in January 2004, and Ted Egan being sworn in as Administrator in November 2003.

During May and June 2004 the big band was involved in practices for a joint Cavenagh Theatre Company / TEFC production of Reedy River. Peter Bate, the Musical Director, was involved in the last Darwin production in 1982, and ably led the wanton band of musicians through various rehearsals. More on the production itself in next year's report, but needless to say it was great fun, and enjoyed by a lot of people. I had a great time re-learning songs I had not sung for 20-30 years, and getting dressed up (kinky!).

The big event on the 2003/4 calendar was, of course, the Top Half. Held on the long weekend of 11-14 June 2004, it was the best for many years, with a heap of ex-TEFC members (including originals like Paul Lawler) turning up. We ran out of performance space, and even with four separate performance areas at Mary River Park, we had difficulty slotting everyone in. If there was any criticism of the festival, it was that there was not enough "quiet time" to chat or have sessions. We will keep that in mind for 2006!

Among the highlights for me were the great evening singing sessions, with dozens of voices belting out songs I often had never heard, but which the "oldtime" TEFC members seemed to have imprinted in their brains! His Honour the Administrator, Ted Egan, together with Nerys, often led songs late into the early morning; times to remember. A lot has already been written about the festival, so I needn't say much more, but I will say that I came away with lots of great memories. A number of the visitors who came for the first time must have felt the same, because they are threatening to turn up at Glen Helen next year!

A lot of members put time into the festival, and I would like to thank everyone for their efforts, which made the festival very successful.

The Club needs its members to get involved in its activities. There have been proposals to change the format of our house concerts; perhaps to a "blackboard" concert format, with a person or group invited to perform for say, 20 minutes initially to warm up the audience. That type of format might encourage people to practice. Whatever the format, we need your involvement in providing views and suggestions.

I would like to thank the committee members for their contributions and hard work during the year. Tony in particular for taking over the Broadside production, and keeping members in touch with events by email. Gordon for his great work on the web site, and Di for consistent contributions through the year.

2004/5 sees concerts from visiting artists like Les Barker and Bob Fox, and the Top Half in Glen Helen, with Eric Bogle and John Munro, and possibly Danny Spooner coming. Should be bloody fantastic!


Chris Pemberton, President

2003 Annual General Meeting

The AGM came and went, and the new committee has been elected. I would like to thank the outgoing committee for their work. I would particularly like to thank Martin Goreing, who was officially the Secretary, but also ran the web site, took over from Kay Robins as Treasurer when she left, ran the Dolly finances, edited and sent out the Broadside newsletter, handled email and written correspondence, and just about everything else.

At the AGM it was wisely decided to break up the Secretary's job into several bits to ease the work load. Martin will stay on the web site for a little while, with Gordon Cowan volunteering to eventually take over. Tony Suttor has kindly offered to be Editor, while Sue Pattiselanno has taken over correspondence and minutes.

I welcome the new committee, and look forward to seeing you all at the next official function, next weekend at the Railway Club. We have started planning for the 34th Top Half Festival, 12-14 June 2004. Mary River Park is confirmed as the venue. It looks like Ted Egan will be out, as I suspect he will be rather busy with other duties on that weekend! We need to decide soon on the performers. Danny Spooner has indicated interest, as has Margret RoadKnight. I am not sure whether there will be any Bloodwoods left, but here's hoping for a comeback. Any ideas please to Di Howard, Jayne Nankivell or myself.

Keep up that singing!


Chris Pemberton

2002 Annual General Meeting

There were lots of highlights, not all good. The Top End Folk Club lost its permanent home at the Rock, despite Rick's attempt to ensure the purchaser would be folk friendly.

The good side of this has been the house concerts, which have been successful, with more people attending than the last few months at the Rock. The formula of alternating either side of the Berriman lone weeks from the perspective of those this side, but the Committee is happy to discuss other suggestions.

The big events were the National, with a large contingent of TEFC members and friends attending and presenting workshops, and the Top Half Folk Festival. The sessions have continued at Dolly's with consistent numbers of performers and audience.

Where are we heading? The TEFC has always been a fairly informal body, with people pursuing their own styles of music and getting together as a club to exchange ideas and perform. From this perspective the Committee has it pretty easy. As a president I only have to turn up and look important. In the background Martin has done a sterling job creating and running the new website, researching visiting performers, coaxing the Sunshine Band to various TEFC activities and generally doing what a good Secretary should do. Mic has also put a lot into the Broadsides. I would like to thank all the Committee for their help this year, particularly for the Top Half, where all the Committee and others besides put a lot of time into making it happen.

For the coming year we need suggestions, OK as is? Something different? We can't stand still, because nothing else does.

Looking forward to your input.


Chris Pemberton

26 July 2002