History of the Tokoroa Scottish Country Dancing Club
The Tokoroa Scottish Country Dance Club was started in 1955, with a membership dominated by recently migrated Scottish and English dancers. The tutor was a young NZ lady called Joy, whose surname now escapes us. The club owned no records (in 1955 we could only have had 78s anyway, which wouldn't hold a full dance). Ex-Dundee brothers Bob and Charlie Stewart, two very professional accordionists, provided all our music.
In 1959 the club folded due to dwindling numbers and loss of our community centre hall, and wasn't revived until 1977, when several interested people under the auspices of the Tokoroa Pipe Band approached two survivors of the original club, Graeme and Genny Hall. We began dancing in July 1977, with Glenys Clark (nee Sands) as tutor. Cathie Cruickshank also joined the Club at this time. We received a generous starting donation of about eight LPs from Glenys' mum Shirley, and we haven't stopped since.
Graeme Hall held the role of Club President continuously since the Club's revival until he stood down at the 2018 AGM. His 41 years of service were recognised and acknowledged at the club’s Final Night for 2018. Graeme has been succeeded by Ian Stewart.
Cathie Cruickshank served as Secretary/Treasurer continuously from 1979 to 2011. Cathie relinquished this role in 2011 with Joy Morgan taking over the role in which she had supported Cathie since 2004. Joy joined the club in its early days and has been an active member since then.
Genny Hall took over as Tutor when Glenys left and continued in the role for twenty years. During that time she has coaxed many dancers through hundreds of dances with patience and encouragement. Her commitment in being available and prepared each week was impressive, especially over such a long period. There is a lot of time and effort involved in selecting dances and music for our club members to enjoy and be challenged by. Genny managed to achieve this alongside her busy life outside of dancing.
Jeanette Lauder is our current teacher having followed Genny in the role from the start of 2002. Jeanette began dancing in Wairoa and has danced with the Tokoroa Club since arriving in the town in the early 80s.
Life Memberships have been bestowed on several members at various Annual General Meetings. The first of the Club’s life members was Lois Simpson who began as a Scottish Country Dancer late in life. She loved the dancing and companionship within the club. The service and commitment of Genny, Graeme and Cathie to our Club was formally recognised when Life Membership was bestowed on them at the 2004 AGM. Joy Morgan was awarded life membership at the 2010 AGM and Jeanette Lauder at the 2018 AGM.