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ALVA Goes Gold Coast a big success

October 19, 2017

Entertainers, Latest news

Entertainment industry luncheon

rekindles memories of charity’s

incredible journey to help

less fortunate performers

By SHIRLEY BROUN

THE Australian Ladies Variety Association (ALVA) came to the Gold Coast this week in the form of President Susie Smither who hosted a special ALVA lunch at South Tweed Heads Sports Club on Monday, October 16.

Patti Bond and ALVA president Susie Smither welcome lunch guests.

Patti Bond and ALVA president Susie Smither welcome lunch guests.

The event was one filled with nostalgia, renewed friendships, delicious food and lots of surprises.

A highlight of the day was special guest Toni Stevens who founded ALVA back in 1979 in Sydney with a small committee of helpers, some of whom were also at the lunch.

Toni Stevens & Susie Smither with copies of Alvariety.

Toni Stevens & Susie Smither with copies of Alvariety, part of the memorabilia on show.

Susie, from multi award-winning Cabaret Trio Triple Treat, who is into her 13th year as current president joined Toni to recount some of the early history of the association, which was first set up to help other performers less fortunate than their peers within the entertainment industry.

Members include female entertainers, the wives of male entertainers, retired performers and the wives of retired performers.

Inge & Martin Lass

Inge & Martin Lass

A number of honorary members were also welcomed into the ranks including Roy Rene’s wife Sadie Gale, radio’s Auntie Maude – Maude Meredith, retired English comedienne Jenny Howard and song and dance man Jimmy Haines’ wife Muriel Haines.

Since the beginning, ALVA has also benefitted from fundraising tips and support provided by Dame Vera Lynn, now 100 and still releasing albums, who also became patron of the association.
She was followed as patron by Margaret Whitlam, Lady Joan Hardy and Lady Sonia McMahon.

This week’s luncheon gave Toni an opportunity to play a message from Dame Vera she recorded on a recent visit to the UK in which she wished everyone well and praised the work of ALVA members.Alva lunch-guest with Alvariety

Many fundraisers have been held by ALVA over the years ranging from Variety Gala Balls, luncheons and Celebrity carnivals to variety shows, trivia nights, banquets and a huge Art Union.

A table full of early ALVA memorabilia displayed everything from notes written at early meetings to the first membership lists, logo designs and First ALVA Banquet menus.Alvariety & memorabilia on table

There were also copies of ALVA’s first official magazine, Alvariety of which yours truly was editor.

Members, including Lyn Rogers, took the opportunity to look back on early stories and photographs in which they featured.

Lynn Rogers, Sheila MacLeod and Kirri Adams.

Lynn Rogers, Sheila MacLeod and Kirri Adams.

The special get together was attended by people representing many parts of the industry including performers, agents, musicians, managers and more.
Violin virtuoso Martin Lass and wife Inge, Kirri Adams, Maggie Britton, Geraldine (Fitzgerald) Porteous, and many more wonderful performers attended the luncheon, organised by ALVA Life Member and entertainer Patti Bond.

Susie was delighted with the turnout for the event which saw many former Sydney and now Gold Coast-based performers and industry members reunite after many years between `catch-up coffees’.

ALVA plans to make the luncheon a more regular event.
Alva lunch - FluffyAlva lunch guest4Alva lunch 2017 guest
Alva-Barb Hurley &Alva lunch-Di Georgeson&CoralAlva lunch guests3

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