Australian Callers Federation Recalled by Jeff Seidel (2008)
The ACF was officially created back on the 23rd September 1979, in Adelaide. Going back a little further in time, Wally Cook, Jack Murphy & myself were on tour in North Queensland. Over the odd meat pies & liquid refreshment we discussed the topic of caller programming & ways & means on how things could be improved for the betterment of square dancing & dancers in Australia.
A list of callers was drawn up, noting what callers had been doing for the movement in their state & nationally, together with their ability to call. A short list of two callers from each state was chosen, except for Victoria, which at that time had two factions. The two factions had to be considered, in an effort to bring together the callers of that state, and consequently five callers from Victoria joined the ACF Board.
South Australia was to host the 21st National Convention in Adelaide in 1980. This was an opportune time to present this newly formed callers body to the rest of the callers and to the general dancers. So back to the 23rd September 1979, Jeff Seidel (also convener of the 21st) took this opportunity to send out invitations (in the same way Callerlab was formed in the USA) to a select group of Australian callers to join this new body. The callers were as follows (including state):
Jeff Seidel (SA)
Ron Jones (NSW), Eric Wendell*
(Qld), Graham Rigby (Qld), Les Johnson* (WA), Steve Turner (WA), Fred
Burn* (TAS), Graeme Whiteley (TAS), David Hooper (Vic), Ron Whyte* (Vic),
Ron Mennie (Vic), Jack Murphy (Vic), Wally Cook* (Vic), Allan Frost*
(SA). Note: deceased members noted with *
The name “Australian Callers Federation” or as known the ACF was the suggestion of Ron Jones (NSW). In its early years meetings were held twice a year, one at the National Convention & one about half way between the next. At this second meeting a fund raiser dance was also held. The ACF also started its own newsletter (note service) then called “News & Notes” - later renamed “Caller Link”. Steve Turner was our very first editor of this service.
The Australian Callers Federation is now 25 years old, and I have been a Board member since its inception in 1979.
For further information on Australia's rich square dance heritage, we recommend you visit our section titled Australian 1950's Square Dance Archive.
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