Jack Murphy’s 90th Birthday & The ACF

December 22, 2009

 Jack Murphy is a long surviving Melbourne Caller since the 1950's who developed his skills through the McGrath square dance camp. Jack had great longevity - surviving more than 50 years in square dancing. Below Jack is photographed with Jeff Seidel from South Australia, celebrating Jack’s 90th birthday.  Jack and Jeff are the sole survivors of the original Australian Callers Federation (ACF) founded in 1979.

 Jack Murphy_Jeff Seidel_ ACF Founders










            Jeff Seidel with Jack Murphy at his 90th

A Brief History of the A.C.F is given below:

 The A.C.F. was officially created in Adelaide on the 23rd September 1979. Going back a little further in time, a trio of callers, Wally Cook, Jack Murphy & Jeff Seidel were touring in North Queensland. Over the odd meat pie and occasional beer, they discussed the topics of caller programming and how things could be improved for the betterment of square dancing (for both dancers and callers) in Australia.

 A list of callers was drawn up, noting their calling quality and what they had achieved for square dancing in their state and Australia as a whole.  A short list of two callers from each state was chosen, except for Victoria, which at that time had two factions. Both factions had to be considered, in an effort to bring together all the callers of that State; consequently five callers were selected from Victoria.

 Subsequently on 23rd September 1979, Jeff Seidel (also convenor of the upcoming 21st National Square Dance Convention) took the opportunity to send out invitations (in the same way Callerlab was formed) to the selected group of Australian callers to join this new body. The founding callers were as follows:

President: Jeff Seidel     S.A

Vice-President: Tom McGrath     N.S.W.

Secretary/Treasurer: Don Muldowney* S.A. (not part of the board)

Ron Jones N.S.W

Eric Wendell* & Graham Rigby: QLD.

Les Johnson* & Steve Turner: W.A.

Fred Burn* & Graeme Whiteley: TAS

David Hooper; Ron Whyte*; Ron Mennie; Jack Murphy & Wally Cook*: VIC

Allan Frost*: S.A.

(*member now deceased)

All original members were made “Life Members”.         The name “Australian Callers Federation”, known as the A.C.F. was the suggestion of Ron Jones N.S.W.

The group decided that the 1980, 21st National Convention held in Adelaide South Australia, would be an opportune time to present to callers and dancers alike this newly formed callers body.

In its early years meetings were held twice a year, one at the National Convention and one about half way between. At the second meeting a fundraiser dance was also held. The A.C.F. also started its own newsletter / note service, then called “News & Notes”, later being renamed “Caller Link”.  Steve Turner was the first editor of this service. The Australian Callers Federation is now 25 years old, and Jeff Seidel has been a board member since its inception.

“Goolwa Alive” Sunday 4th October 2009

December 8, 2009

Goolwa has proven that it is well and truly alive and kicking, as thousands flocked to the township over the long weekend to celebrate Goolwa Alive.

 Cadel Street







                        Cadell Street

 Cadell Street, the main thoroughfare was closed between Goolwa Terrace and Moore Street allowing 10, 000 or so visitors to spill onto it; song and dance were rife, and traders exhibited their best produce.  Traditionally, Goolwa Alive kicks of the tourism season and it certainly did just that.  Tanya Mitchell, tourism coordinator for the Alexandrina Council said “It’s lovely to see such a sea of people having a good time”.

Amongst those having a good time were the Goolwa Paddle Steamers Square Dance Club.  Assisted by a few dancers from Kanella Squares and Wild Frontier Square Dance clubs, they put on a square dance demonstration in the main street.

 Street Dance







                              Square Dancing In Cadell Street

Square Dance Magazine wishes the Paddle Steamer all the future success they deserve.  Their caller Milton McKenzie travels each week down from Adelaide and Zaree the club secretary has certainly done a great job getting this new small club up and running.  The club was recently invited to do another demonstration dance at Sea Change Village, which went off very well, their learners are also doing very well now.








                            Paddle Steamers

          Milton (2nd on left) and Zaree (far right)

Well done Paddle Steamers, we need to bring square dancing to the attention of the general public most of who are totally unaware that it exists.