TAWS Dance Budrim

August 31, 2008

On 13 – 15 June 2008, 20 caravans/motorhomes assembled at the Sunshine Coast Square Dance Centre  Buderim for the TAWS Post National Fun and Dance week end. Some of those attending had already experienced the success of the TAWS event in Casino, so expectations for this event were high.  It is pleasing to report that our expectations were satisfied and the event was a resounding success.  Again all states of Australia were represented and the event was well supported by the Suncoasters Club members.\


Wine and Cheese Evening.

In excess of 50 attended this function catered and organised by Suncoasters Square Dance club and in particular by Helen, Barry and Natasha Ball who provided us with an excellent choice of cheeses and wines from all over Australia.  The wine selection also included non alcoholic varieties for those persons who prefer same.
This event was a non dance affair and provided an appropriate interlude for socialising and getting to know each other and importantly having fun.

Saturday PM

This afternoon saw the commencement of the weekend dance program with a Plus session.  This session was well attended by both TAWS and Suncoasters members and Nev provided a very interesting fun laden afternoon of Plus.


Saturday Evening.
The evening dance program commenced with a very pleasant session of Rounds cued by Bev McLachlan.
The Mainstream program proved very popular and well attended by both TAWS and Suncoasters members and visitors. Nev presented a very interesting program which was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
During the evening Steve Longwood, from W.A. and Publicity Officer for the 50th National Convention, encouraged all to attend the “Go for Gold” in Perth next year.
Steve also thanked TAWS for organising this event and extended a welcome to any TAWS activities in W.A. next year.
Mal Parrington, on behalf of TAWS, welcomed everyone present, and extended a sincere thanks to our hosts, Nev & Bev McLachlan, and the Suncoasters Square Dance Club Committee and members for their hospitality and assistance with the organisation of this event.

Sunday Champagne Brunch
This morning Nev, Bev and the Suncoasters Committee members provided a hearty champagne brunch. The brunch included juices, tea, coffee cereals, toast sausages, eggs baked beans and of course champagne and fresh fruit.

Sunday PM
Whilst some folks rested for the afternoon, a fair number enjoyed a couple of hours of interesting A Level dancing presented by Nev.

After a short interlude, for the A Level dancers to unscramble their minds, we proceeded to Happy Hour with beverages of all description and nibbles. As time went by the tales became taller and more interesting.

Sunday Evening
Happy hour was followed by a very well attended dinner and dance. Again the dinner was well catered by Nev, Bev and the Suncoasters committee members. The weekend officially concluded with a most enjoyable, fun filled Mainstream dance, with some Rounds.

One must say that the weekend of Fun and Dance was indeed that and more. However
the success of this weekend would not have been possible without the assistance provided by Nev, Bev, the Suncoasters committee and members and importantly the many TAWS members who supported the event.
Report prepared and distributed by Mal Parrington. (Event Organiser)


August 17, 2008

The 57th Annual National Square Dance Convention was held on June 25,26, and 27 in Wichita, Kansas. The Kansas Square Dancers mounted a bid four years ago to hold the convention this year.

The convention moves around the country, selected four years in advance. We already know that in 2009 we will he in Long Beach, California, then in 2010 Louisville, Kentucky, then in 2011 Detroit,Michigan, and now in 2012 Spokane, Washington. At the convention, each year, several cities mount a "bid" to hold the convention.

In Wichita, two areas were competing for the right to host the convention in 2012: Oklahoma City and Spokane, Washington. They each mounted a spirited bid, but the NEC finally chose Spokane. After all, no National Convention has never been held in Spokane and their committee shows an extraordinary level of enthusiasm and organization. Perhaps Oklahoma will bid next year for the 2013 convention-unless Texas goes after it!

Of course, the National Square Dance Convention is the biggest and (we think) the best square dance each year in the US of A! From 7 to 10 thousand dancers come from every corner of the globe to participate in this vast celebration. Each year dancers come to dance their feet off for three days, and participate in all of the other activities at the omvention.

On Tuesday night we went to a "Pre-convention" dance, presented by the "California Gang" as a fundraiser for a local "boys' ranch' that needed the fimds. Dinner was a delicious barbeque with brisket, pulled pork, sausage, and all the trimmings. After dmner we drove the quarter mile to the ham where the dance was being held. We rolled out of the car and strolled to the dance. Our old friend Ben Goldberg, along with Rod Shuping, Bill Silver, and-Phil Farmer were calling. It was a good evening and each of the callers entertained wondeffidly! Rod really brought down the house with a bawdy version of "My Ding-a-ling."

We drove up to Wichita from Livingston, and took our good friend Ted lym from London along. He arrived a couple of days before we left for Wichita and went home to London on July 3.
We elected to drive rather than fly. Our costs were: 1450 miles, 53.3 gallons, $233.34 fuel cost ($$77.77 per person). We stayed in one hotel in Oklabome City for about $50/night, and one in Wichita at about $45/night. Our average fuel costs were 3.94 per gallon. T'he car turned in 24.25 miles per gallon--quite good for a large, comfortable car such as our Mercury C7rand Marquis. If we had:flown, we would have had to leave the car in the parking lot for the time we were gone and probably rent a car in Wichita for the time we were there. Of course we have to add in two days of travel time each way (we cone home via Tulsa to drop in on an old square dance friend of Ted's.) We were quite, pleased with what we did, and the costs.

Jim and Betsy at the Australian National Convention Adelaide

We have been attending the National Square Dance Convention for about 20 years and fmd that the best thing about it is the people we meet. We spend our time going from one friend to another. We can no longer "dance till we drop" so we have to pick and choose our dancing. That was fairly easy because the halls were fairly close together. We simply high-lighted the callers we wanted to dance with (yes, they give you a directory that includes the name and time and space where every caller is calling) and the events we wanted to attend and went ftom one place to another.

This year we did not spend as much time watching in the exhibition halls and more time in the vendors. We had to replenish our square dance stuff and see a lot of our old friends there. 1 could never name all the people we saw, there, Many of them we only see once a year at the National Convention. We were greeted time and again with warm hugs, and cries of delight as we encountered old friends. Special ones were Adele Bachman, Joe Saltel, Ben Goldberg, Yeta Parker--oh, if 1 could remember the names I could go on and on!

While a lot of the attendees were old dancers like us, there was a goodly number of young people there. There was a "youth" hall that seemed to go most of the time. The youth also danced in the halls with "adult" dancers and were welcomed. Many of the youth flocked around the two young callers who were just out of their teens and were the hottest things at this convention. They are Hunter Keller and Justin (?) and we got to dance with each of them several times. We also danced with a young lady caller, Christina Mooreland.. We were walking past the youth hall when we heard this beautiful voice doing "Colors of the Wind." We both thought it was Deborah Carroll-Jones, one of our favorite female callers. Were we surprised when it was a young lady instead!

The dress code was relaxed. While most folks wore square dance style clothing, fewer petticoats were in evidence, and more long prairie skirts. A few folks insisted on wearing jeans and there were the odd short sleeved shirt and even a couple of pairs of shorts. In past conventions they might have been asked to leave, but not this year. Still, everyone dressed well, as this is a "dress up" kind of event.

The convention was excellent. Of course, all of them are! The committee that runs the con- vention is a result of as much as six years of preparing to run the four day affair. They compete four years out for the privilege, but they work for several years before that getting the venue reserved. getting the local convention and visitors bureau working their way and planning all of the activities of the convention. All this comes before they submit their bid knowing all the while that the major work is still ahead. After they get the bid for the , convention they put together the program. Dancers reserve rooms through them, callers agree to call, all rooms have to be scheduled, decorations, international publicity (which means we get to go places and invite dancers to come).


Just Released: TAWS Annual Report

August 14, 2008

National Coordinators’ Annual Report


Welcome to this the inaugural AGM of Travelling Australia With Squaredancers, otherwise referred to as TAWS.

Today we celebrate one year since the official formation of TAWS, at the 48th National Convention In Adelaide.  At this point I wish to pay tribute to the late Don Gillespie, ( our original National Coordinator ), who tragically drowned whilst snorkelling at Bowen, in Northern Queensland, on 23rd August 2007.  With the loss of Don, the role of National Coordinator became a Joint effort between Chris/Mal Parrington, and Sandra/Leighton Bloomfield. Mal has assumed most of the administrative responsibility for TAWS due to Sandra and Leighton’s commitments as Co-conveners of this the 49th National Convention .

From a group of 10 or so enthusiasts prior to our official formation in June 2007 we now boast 134 email addresses on our register of members. This figure equates to some 280 members including a few who do not have email facilities but rely on others to pass information on.  We do urge members to pass on TAWS information at their clubs, viz hard copies to friends and/or displaying information on club notice boards.
At the time of launch we did not have representation in West Australia, despite efforts to notify dancers in that state. However subsequently we gained the services of Margaret & Colin Brown, who have worked tirelessly to spread the word on TAWS throughout WA. Thanks to their efforts we now have a number of members from WA, some of whom have attended the highly successful TAWS Casino Hoedown,  ( an official part of the Casino Beef Week), which ran from 27May – 03 June 2008


Optimum effort is afforded in the preparation and distribution of this document for members. The aim is to provide a single document from which members have a snapshot of special square dance events programmed throughout the Nation. This document can only be as good as the information provided to us.  We acknowledge the following sources of data for the Diary: Victorian Square Dance Association; South Australian Square Dance Society; Northern N.S.W. Square Dance Association; the South Pacific Review
Square Dance Society of Queensland; Margaret & Colin Brown and a number of clubs.  We trust that the Diary of Events fulfils our aims and would welcome suggestions for improvement.

TAWS information is posted on a number of websites namely:

 You will also find TAWS links on a number of Club websites.  We acknowledge the efforts of the respective Webmasters for listing TAWS information.

A TAWS Logo has been adopted and appears on our official letterhead, which most people would have seen in recent email information, it also appears on the websites and is now appearing on merchandise.

A limited range of merchandise has recently become available for members to purchase. The range thus far is limited to clothing embroidered with the TAWS Logo as follows:
a. baseball style caps available in Navy Blue, or Black @ $12.00 each,
b. Ladies V Neck T shirts, in a range of colours @ $15.00 plus $3.00 postage
c. Ladies Polo Shirts in a range of colours @ $25.00 plus $3.00 postage
d. Men’s polo shirts in a range of colours @ $25.00 plus $3.00 postage

Sales of merchandise will be a gradual process because members need to try on samples for correct sizing, and colour selection prior to ordering. Mal Parrington has samples available along with Order forms. Call in to the TAWS stall at the National to see and/or order the merchandise.  At the time of writing, investigation is under way for the possible manufacture and supply of a TAWS Banner for official functions, and flags for purchase by members.  Other items such as car stickers are being considered.

Two official TAWS functions were organised during the reporting period namely:

a. the TAWS Casino Hoedown 26May08 – 03Jun08, and
b. the TAWS Post National Fun & Dance Weekend at Buderim13-15Jun08.

The Casino Hoedown was convened in cooperation with the following organisations:
a. CMCA Casino Village,
b. Casino Beef Week committee, and
c. Willi Whirlers Square Dance Club.
We are also indebted to Wilma Flannery for her support, and cooperation in the organising and coordinating of the people and activities associated with this most successful event.

We also acknowledge the support and cooperation of Nev & Bev McLachlan for the organisation of the Post National Fun & Dance Weekend which is sure to be a memorable event. This event is significant insomuch that it is effectively the birthplace of TAWS.  It is pleasing to note that both the above functions have, and are being attended by members from all States of Australia.  A separate report will be prepared for the above functions

From a National Cordinator viewpoint our first year of operation is considered to be one of success, despite some early set backs. Notwithstanding we recognise that there is always room for improvement and we look to you the Members for ideas and continuing support.  Meanwhile have fun while dancing and travelling.

Report compiled by:

Mal Parrington
For and on behalf,
Chris/Mal Parrington & Sandra/Leighton Bloomfield
TAWS Joint National Coordinators


August 10, 2008


Mal Parrington opened the meeting at 2.00pm and welcomed all in attendance and introduced the National Co-ordinators.

Present: There were 65 attendees at this the 1st Annual meeting of Travelling Australia with Squaredancers, (TAWS).

Apologies: Mary Slaats, Chris Parrington, Mal & Lyn Walker, Ron & Faye Dalzell, Frank Bennett, Fred Mackinney, Gil Talbot, Colin & Margaret Brown, Tony Alessi.
1. Minutes from Inaugural Meeting - Adelaide
The minutes were read out and they were moved by NSW and seconded by Vic that they were a true record.  All in favour.   Carried.

2. Article in the South Pacific Square Dance Review
A half-page article was inserted into the South Pacific Square Dance Review listing the National Co-ordinators’ names and how to contact them.

3. National Co-ordinators Report
On behalf of the National Co-ordinators, Mal Parrington read out the Annual report, ( to be distributed separately to members), and requested that, when we are speaking about TAWS, we should initially use the full name.

4. Merchandise
The merchandise available for purchase is : – caps, polo shirts, tee shirts,& jackets.  To raise money for a banner and related items, a raffle was run and Mal thanked Ann Johnson and Allan Tuckfield for their effort in conducting the raffle. (the raffle raised $184.00 for TAWS).
Mal thanked the Australian Advanced Square Dance Association for the donation of $150.00 towards the purchase of a banner.  Bumper stickers were suggested, but it was thought that a caravan sticker would be more appropriate rather than a bumper sticker.  Sandra Bloomfield and Joe Slaats offered to obtain prices for the production of stickers. Action Qld. Rep and Joe Slaats

5. Casino Hoedown/Beef Week Festival
Mal Parrington is preparing a report of this event which he will circulate to all members.  Wilma Flannery was acknowledged for her efforts with this event.
6. Post National Fun & Dance Weekend
7. This TAWS event has been organized at Buderim for the weekend following the National Convention, and Mal acknowledged Nev and Bev McLachlan for their efforts with that weekend.
8. Election of Officers
John Cornell moved that we retain the National Co-ordinators of Mal and Chris Parrington and Leighton and Sandra Bloomfield.  This was seconded by Joe Slaats.  All in favour.   Carried.

The State Representatives elected are –

Western Australia    Colin & Margaret Brown
Victoria     James Fellows
Tasmania     John & Pam Cornell
New South Wales    Wilma Flannery
Australian Capital Territory  Craig & Marilyn Gardner
Queensland     Leighton & Sandra Bloomfield
South Australia    Mal & Chris Parrington

All were in favour of the new Representatives.     Carried.

9. General Business

Miniature Banners
It was moved by John Cornell and seconded by Russell Mole that we source quotes for miniature banners.  The production of these banners will depend on funding. Action Mal Parrington and Joe Slaats seek quotes
Mal reiterated that TAWS is a common interest group and we do not want to collect monies as that will necessitate having a treasurer and a committee.  This would remove the fun and simplicity of the activity
Russell Mole suggested that we talk to Bruce Laurenson in Brisbane regarding the banner. Action: Qld. Rep’
John Cornell reiterated that we need banners to display at events.
Mal told the group that he had produced a cardboard mock-up banner for TAWS.

Other Merchandise
Other items that were suggested were – stubby coolers, spare wheel covers, flags for caravans and motor homes, stickers for caravans and motor homes, badges.
Barry Russel moved that we investigate the possibility of producing a badge.  This was seconded by John Hannaford.  Discussion then took place about how payment for the badges could be made.  We will look into obtaining a price for a badge.  All were in favour of having a badge.     Carried.  Action: Qld. Rep

Future Events
  Mal asked for any ideas for future events.  The following were suggested –
- Octoberfest in the Barossa  Action SA Rep
- Kelly Country  Action Vic. Rep
- Batemans Bay  Action NSW Rep
- John Cornell suggested that anyone who is driving to Tasmania, a TAWS event could be arranged  Action Tas. Rep
- Ceduna was suggested – on the way to Perth  Action TBA
- If there is anything happening in your state, let the National Co-ordinators know. – Wilma Flannery stated how good the TAWS Casino Hoedown was for square dancing and the betterment of square dancing
- We could have a dance anywhere and hand out leaflets – take tapes/CDs with us and have a dance. Breakfast or a barbecue could be included.
- Tag-along groups could get together.
- Individuals should contact the State Representatives when a function is happening in their State.
- Mal stated that the State Representatives need to be very proactive.

The Road Ahead
At this stage, no one has expressed any dissatisfaction with our current progress, or organization.

Other General Business

- For those members who do not have email, please send a stamped addressed envelope to your State Representative.  A point was brought up for the State Representative to obtain permission have access to emails of TAWS members in their State.  No objections were received.
- The Aims and Objectives and the TAWS Administrative Guidelines should be sent to all members.
- The National Co-ordinators role is to provide the State Representatives with anything that is to be sent out and the State Representatives should then send this to their members.  State Representatives must  understand the privacy of members’ emails.

The raffle was drawn and the winners were –
1st Prize – Ron Trenorden and Joan Wratt
2nd Prize – Ann Nasmith.

Sandra Bloomfield gave a vote of thanks to Mal Parrington for chairing the meeting, and Mal thanked Leighton and Sandra Bloomfield for their support.

Meeting closed at 3.50pm.



August 10, 2008

TAWS CASINO HOEDOWN 27 May 03 Jun 2008

This event was convened at Casino, in Northern N.S.W. and was an official part of the Casino Beef Week Festival. Our co-hosts for this event were CMCA Casino Village Ltd., and Casino Willi Whirlers Square Dance Club

Program At A Glance
27 May Meet n Greet evening
28 May BBQ Dinner/Dance
29 May Beef Week Gala Opening Dinner /Show
30 May Summerland Larrikins Alstonville
31 May Square Dance Demo –Street Parade
31 May TAWS Dinner Dance

25 caravans/motorhomes, (i.e. 50 TAWS members), assembled  at the CMCA Casino Village for the TAWS Casino Hoedown/Beef Week Festival .How pleasing it was to have every state in Australia represented at this, the first official TAWS event.
Whilst we encountered some inclement weather during the week it did not dampen the enthusiasm of our members and we can report the event as a resounding success.

Meet n Greet
This was an informal event convened in the village “Clubhouse” and comprised nibbles, light dinner, tea/coffee (catered by the village caterers) and BYO drinks. This was essentially a get to know each other evening, with many tales both true and perhaps not so true being exchanged, but importantly meeting new people all with the common goal of having fun while square  dancing.
Welcome speeches were given by Wilma Flannery (a long time resident of Casino) and of course our co-host for the week and Mal Parrington, the attending TAWS National Co-ordinator and event organiser.
The evening concluded with a couple of brackets of square dancing presented by Wilma.

BBQ/Dinner Dance (Casual attire)
At 6.00pm approximately 60 dancers attended a BYO drinks at the Village camp kitchen and thoroughly enjoyed the pleasant rustic surrounds and company of each other.
The BBQ was followed at 8.00pm by the Casino Willi Whirlers Square Dance club dance night, which was re located to the “Village Clubhouse” for the one night only. This proved to be a very enjoyable night, again conducted by Wilma with guest calls from Carol, (Casino Willi Whirlers) and Paula, (Activ-Ates SDC, Victoria).

Beef Week Gala Opening Dinner/Show
On the evening of 29 May, 42 square dancers from TAWS, Casino and Alstonville attended the Beef Week Gala Opening Dinner and Show at the Casino RSM Club.  TAWS members were formally welcomed by the Chairman of the Beef Week Committee in his opening speech. A most scrumptious meal was enjoyed by all followed by a dinner show with the 2008 Golden Guitar recipients, The McClymonts.

Summerland Larrikins
This evening, 39TAWS members travelled by coach from Casino Village to Alstonville (45kms) to attend the Summerland Larrikins club dance. This was a wonderful night and it was followed by one heck of a supper catered as only these country people know how; needless to say most diets went out the door. A great night was had by all and the hospitality of the local folks was superb.

Square Dance Demonstration/ Street Parade
Well Saturday commenced with a free monster breakfast, compliments of the Beef Week Festival. This reinforced the fact that Casino is known as the Veal Capital of Australia, and indeed, that it is.
From 10.30am to midday was a square dance demonstration on an outdoor stage in the main street of Casino. Unfortunately due to inclement weather this event was forced indoors at the Casino RSM club.
The afternoon saw Mother Nature shine upon us all and many dancers and some vehicles joined in the street parade under the Willi Whirlers and Nthn NSW Square Dance Association and TAWS Banners.

TAWS Dinner Dance
Some 60 TAWS, Willi Whirlers and Summerland Larrikins members attended the TAWS Dinner Dance at the Casino Village Clubhouse.
We were treated to pre dinner nibbles and a 2 course dinner which was enjoyed by all.  During the dinner Wilma and Mal welcomed all and had a few words to say about the event.
From 8.00pm, Wilma provided us all with a great night of square dancing at both Plus and Mainstream levels. The emphasis was on fun; and indeed, fun was had by all.
This evening was the conclusion of the official dance program for the Festival.

01 – 03 June 2008
The above period saw some folks attend more of the Beef Week events including markets, Clydesdale working horse show, Bush Poets competition final and everyone’s favourite vet Dr. Harry.
Also during this period folks packed up to move on to Brisbane and other locations.

This event can only be described as a resounding success and in closing, one must express sincere gratitude for the untiring effort provided by Wilma Flannery in liaising with the CMCA Casino Village and Casino Beef Week authorities on our behalf.
On behalf of TAWS I also express thanks to all the dancers who attended this event
This report prepared and distributed by Mal Parrington (Event Organiser)