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Ryde Eastwood Leagues Club
Mon 13th April 2015
Hello friends
We were in attendance at another great gathering last Monday week at Ryde Eastwood Leagues. A big thanks to all our ARROWS mates who made the luncheon. There was a record turn-out for this venue of 92 members on the day. It’s a great venue for us as demonstrated by these numbers. Food was good and the company was outstanding. My biggest buzz was watching the expression on virgin Ray McGeary’s face as I introduced him to many of his old friends, Dave Allenby, Shelley May and Mary Schneider in particular. He reminded Mary that they both worked together in 1948…… Radio personalities Pete Graham and virgin Jeff O’Brien, had plenty to chat about, and lots of individual conversations were going on all over the room. I was getting worried about Geoff Mack (I’ve been everywhere) and his gorgeous wife Tabbi as I knew they were coming but they surprised us all and made a grand entrance at around 12.30pm. Sammy Gaha flamboyantly announced on the mike….“I’ve just received a $3million windfall of which I am going to donate $1million to ARROWS…(applause)….. Now can anyone lend me $10.00 to get home……”
Seven virgins made it to the knees-up and see below how we introduced them. Another big thanks to Alan Dale for his total devotion to ARROWS and we have to give a big yay to the ARROWS who made the effort and travelled from outside of Sydney and other places afar. Namely:-
Ronny Kitchen, Gold Coast. – Bob Peirse, Katoomba. – Kerry Bryant, Guyra. –
Sammy Gaha, Toni Stevens, Rose Bandell, Pam Liversidge, Ross Linton, Dave Allenby, Shelley May, all Central Coast. - Kenny Kitching, South Coast. – Carol Murray, North of Newcastle. – David Kilby, Canberra. – Bill Flemming, Port Macquarie. – Cheryl Assang, Cairns. (although she was in Sydney on business), Dave Goodger and Johnny Devlin, Wollongong.
If I’ve missed any travellers please let me know.
Always a big thank you for Sandra Erdman who takes great pictures, Reg Townsend for supplying the PA for us and Noel Clarke for helping me with the link and pictures.
Great to welcome Margaret Flanagan and hubby Keith Drew who have just relocated to Sydney from Queensland.
Hope to see you at WoyWoy on Monday 13th July.
Cheers John Charter
Report on meeting from Alan Dale
Another friendly gathering of Arrows at Ryde-Eastwood Leagues Club on Monday 13th April saw 92 members come together for rock'n'roll talkfest.
New (old) faces included Shelley May, Barry Canham, Kevin Collins, Billy Gee, Jeff O'Brien, Daphne Kerr-Driscoll from the 60's duo Candy and Mandy and the smiling face of Ray McGeary who was surprised to meet up with so many of the entertainers he had shared the stage with. A good proportion of those present were our friends from the radio industry who are diligent in playing our music over the airwaves. The venue was, as always, comfortable and the food service both economical and efficient. One of our regular members, Claire Poole, was absent with a dose of the flu which prompted Carol Murray to have all present to sing happy birthday to Claire over the phone. Cheryl Assang made the trip down from Cairns and it was wonderful to see Geoff Mack and Tabbi Francis in the mix. Tabbi will turn 89 on 29th of this month. Unfortunately we had late minute cancellations from at least three who would fit our "virgins" classification. Radio supremo John Brennan was looking forward to our meeting but succumbed to illness. Trisha Noble and Dorothy Barry were two ladies we were eager to meet but couldn't make it.
Looking forward to our next at Woy Woy with a promise of fine food (after our last visit, any food will be welcome).
Virgins who made the journey to Ryde………
Candy’s real name was Daphne Kerr-Driscoll and Mandy Lillian Safargy
Originally founded by Lee Gordon, they were very 2 sexy girls and always very popular on his ‘Big Shows’. Firstly known as The Lee sisters, Johnny O’Keefe coached them and then changed their names to Candy and Mandy. Their first Lee Gordon Big Show was the Johnnie Ray Show in 1959. On that tour were Johnny O’Keefe and the DJs, Johnny Rebb and the Rebels, the Crescents, Shirley Simmons, the Horrie Dargie Quintet and Candy and Mandy. Alan Heffernan, Lee’s right-hand-man, writes in his book about Johnnie Ray………… “It was a case of going to the well once too often with Johnny Ray, (his 5th tour of Australia in 5 years) not to mention a weird mixture of acts that had barely any teenage appeal and little more to adults and as a result the tour struggled all the way and eventually lost money”
SHELLEY MAY in the mid 50s
Shelley worked on ABC radio with Jim Gussey and his orchestra, and Gus Merzi’s group.. A featured vocalist with the Jamie Ashton 16pce big band on the winter ballroom circuit at Grace Brothers on Broadway and performed on the Walter Elliot and George Foster Show TV Channel 9. Starred in the TV Between Show Series ‘Songs at the Piano’ where Shelley sang and accompanied herself. Regular appearances at West Leagues Club at Ashfield. Sang a lot in pubs and clubs in the 50s.
Played with Rick Martin on the M.V Kanimbla in 57/58. Met Mike Tseng and Lou Casch in the 50s who later taught in his studios. Went to England in ’59 and gigged around Europe till the mid 70s. He Bought Mal Malcolm’s music shop in West St., Hurstville in late 70’s. Played quite a few gigs with his with wife Barbara Colhoun, started and ran The Bald Faced Stag, went to Art school at Meadowbank TAFE and at present writing his autobiography.
High reputation with people in charge of entertainment at various hotels and Licensed clubs in Melbourne 1956 and close friend of Alan Heffernan (Lee Gordon Big Show) Ray became one of the most revered and respected advisors to Australia’s licensed club industry. In 1959, Headliners (Bill Watson) brought in from the USA the Disney Mouseketeers show (in direct opposition the Lee’s Tab Hunter-Sal Mineo-Everly Brothers Show) and featured Ray as the compere and with the introduction of the Diamonds made for a very successful show.
Kevin Collins Drummer Ex Brisbane now living in Sydney
In the 50s Kevin was living in Brisbane, playing drums with a group called ‘Johnny and the Blue Jeans’, he would book dance halls and do cover versions. All of that good stuff, including Bill Haley, Bobby Rydell, etc..etc.. He then started at the National Hotel Brisbane six nights a week and called the band ‘Johnny and the Highways. They bought a night club in the CBD called the DeBrazil, and played there til 4am playing the current hit music of that era, (no Jazz) Kevin was also playing drums on BTQ7’s ‘Swinging School’ His father Clyde Collins was the MD. At that time he backed all the current rockers, including the young Bee Gees . He says “it certainly was Fun Times”. In the 60s he moved to Sydney and started the band at the Bourbon & Beef in the Cross. That lasted 26 years six nights a week. He’s now retired and living the good life with the good wife at Berowra Waters
JEFF O’BRIEN (radio)
Jeff has been in radio for the past 40 odd years, starting as a DJ in Shepparton in Victoria, and working both in Victoria and NSW, before going to New Zealand as a Programme Director for Radio New Zealand and from there on mainly in Europe and the UK in programming and programme consultancy. He has just returned from Dublin in Ireland where he was hired to put a new station, a classic rocker to air, and was there for 3 years. Jeff is between jobs, with another overseas short term job in Slovenia booked and he’s just waiting on dates for that. Also was Programme Director at Vega Sydney and Melbourne for 2 years from 2006 to 2008. Slovenia has come through, so just waiting on dates
BILLY GEE (Steeds)
(Bela Gerhat ) ….pronounced “Bailer Gairhart”
Bill believes his experience in the Hungarian Revolution in 1956 set him on his musical path through life When he came to Australia as a refugee, he switched from balalaika to guitar and then studied with Don Andrews and George Golla.
Speaking little English, Bill joined The Steeds at Riverglades in Hunters Hill in 1960. It was THE 6 nights a week venue in answer to Lyall Richardson’s Teen Canteen. Looking like Bobby Rydell at the time, he only needed to play ‘Guitar Boogie Shuffle’ and there was always a queue of eager, pretty young ‘shufflers’ ready to learn from Bill at every opportunity. The Steeds (formed as The Ramblers in 1958) had, as bands do, a number of different personnel over the years, with vocalist Rod Stevens (AKA Rod Stallion), bassist Gordon Benson, pianist Kevin Booth and manager David Johnston (AKA Stone) leaving, with the line up still comprising Warren Daly, Frank West, Len Farrell and Billy Gee.
Bill appeared with ‘The Steeds’ on several TV shows of the day, including Teen Time, The Johnny O’Keefe Show and Sing Sing Sing. When Lyall Richardson took over management of the group The Steeds recorded ‘The Roadrunner’ and ‘Mama Inez’ as a single. They also toured extensively throughout NSW and Qld. Some tours included the Bill Watson promoted ‘Seven Hits and a Miss’ series with Lucky Starr, Dig Richards, Johnny Devlin, Jay Justin, Rob E Gee, The Delltones, The Steeds with the ‘Miss’ being either Judy Cannon or Lee Sellers. They also continued a hectic performance schedule, working with pretty much everybody in those early days…… it was one hell of a ride
Members comments……..
Jeff O’Brian Hi what a fab day yesterday, congratulations on putting together a great bunch of people. I met some terrific people.
Vicki Forrest & Trevor Norris
Hi John, Once again a big "thank you" for yesterday had a great time. We've never stayed so late & spoke to so many people. Noticed the "virgins" didn't make a speech, good idea!
“Put in your diary the next ARROWS gathering will be at WoyWoy Leagues Club 13th July 2015”
Pictures Taken by: Sandra Erdman

Kerry Bryant

Carol Murray

Pam Liversidge

Vicki Forrest

Babs McKinnon

Rose Bandell

Paul Flanagan

Keith Drew

Ray McGeary

George Payne

Ron Kitchin

David Kilby

Ross Dean

Ron Patrick

Sammy Gaha

Bob Pierse

Steve Sim

Mike Kelly

Pete Graham

Johnny High

Linton Tinkler

Kevin Collins

Jeff O'Brien

Bernadette Ramsay

Alan Dale

John Charter

Jimmy Parkinson

Margaret Hooper

Betty Parker

Cheryl Assange

Johnny Devlin

Lonnie Lee

Booka Hyland

Ross Hutchison

Barry Canham

Dave Goodger

Ric Martin

Ron Fabri

Bruce Janson

Suzanne Rix

Kenny Kitching

Morrie Muller

George Karren

Brian Fogarty

Bill Flemming

Dan McGonigal

Mary Schneider

Daphne Kerr-Driscoll

Ron Martin

Angie Townsend

Shelley May

Toni Stevens

Rosemary Tseng

Dave Willianson

Dick Woodleigh

Terry Kaff

Ross Rignold

Leon Isackson

Mike Tseng

Billy Gee

Warren Daly

Jenene Watson

Olive Johnson

Mary Scheider & Tabbi Francis

Lynne Fletcher

(From Left) Kerry Bryant, Carol Murray, Pam Liversidge,
Margaret Flanagan, Rose Bandell, Babs McKimmon

Carol Murray & Pam Liversidge

Paul Flanagan, Vicki Forrest & Margaret Flanagan

Pete Graham & Paul Flanagan

Linton Tinkler, David Kilby & Johnny High

Carol Murray & Betty Parker

Cheryl Assange & Bob Pierce

Bernadette Ramsay & Keith Drew

Steve Sim & Pete Graham

Ron Fabri, Rick Martin & Barry Canham

Pete Graham & Suzanne Rix

Mary Schneider, Ray McGeary & John Charter

Ron Martin & Ange Townsend

Dick Woodleigh & Ange Townsend

Ron Kitchin, Rosemary Tseng & Leon Isackson

Rick Martin, Nina Raye & Ron Fabri

Lean Isackson, Suzanne Rix & Jenene Watson

Cheryl Assange & Leon Isackson

Cheryl Assange, George Karren & Leon Isackson

Morrie Muller & Booka Hyland

John Newton & Ron Kitchin

Brian Dean & Mike Kelly

Brian Dean & John Newton

Trevor Norris, Vicki Forrest & Lyn Fletcher

Reg Townsend, Margaret Flanagan, Betty Parker,
Pam Liversidge

Lonnie Lee & Ron Martin

Keith Drew, Nina Raye & Bernadette Ramsay

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