Community News

President Faye Stone presented new member, Barbara Franks, with her membership badge and officially welcomed her to the Grafton VIEW Club. Image: Contributed

Stories of Grafton at VIEW Club

Have you ever wondered what VIEW Club is all about? No, it’s not a camera club!

VIEW Clubs started in 1960. The first VIEW Club came into being at Balgowlah, a suburb in Sydney, with a meeting at the home of Gwen Crozier in Balgowlah Heights.

Six months after this first club was formed, twenty one more clubs were established across the Sydney suburbs. Today, collectively, VIEW Clubs throughout Australia support more than 1,150 disadvantaged students through Learning for Life sponsorships, and donate more than one million dollars annually to help fund Smith Family Learning & Mentoring Programs. The Smith family is a ‘Not for Profit Organisation’.

At the July meeting, Merrelle Trill was presented with her member’s badge, and officially welcomed to the Grafton VIEW Club.

The lucky door prize was received by Lyn Irving, and the raffle prize went to Barbara Franks. 

The social outing for July was a yummy ‘soup & crusty bread day’, on Wednesday (July 31).

The July guest speaker was Pat James, president of the Historical Society at Schaeffer House.

Pat voiced the history of Grafton, adding stories about the origin of the old buildings around the town. In 1840 Richard Craig arrived, and later, ships sailed up the coast and into the Clarence River where a settlement began around a timber industry. German migrants arrived, who were skilled people, especially architects, gardeners and nurserymen. In 1859, Grafton became a municipality. Streets were cleared, and through Henry Volkers, many trees were planted (as well as Jacarandas).

In 1966, the old Schaeffer House in Fitzroy Street was purchased by the then Grafton City Council to store valuable collections, which had been kept in the old Council Chambers. A lot of the history of Grafton resides here at Schaeffer House, and the Research Room stores thousands of records dating back to 1859. It was in 1859 that Grafton was proclaimed to be a ‘City’. Hopefully, this title will be returned. Pat pointed out that volunteers at Schaeffer House are there to help pass history to the next generation, and generations to come. She emphasised that history is important, and the future is important. 

The August meeting will be held on Tuesday 27 at 10.30am at the Grafton District Services Club, Mary Street Grafton. The guest speaker will be Narelle Sanders, who will communicate information about the SES. Maybe you have some questions to ask.

All are welcome to come along and enjoy a warm greeting, lovely lunch, entertainment, friendship, and at the same time you will help make a tremendous difference in the lives of disadvantaged students, whom we support.

When you decide to attend the meeting, please contact Vorna on 6642 4719, and if members are unable to attend please phone for catering purposes.

Jeanette Calvi