Hi folks, as you are aware, ALVA is turning 40 so as part of our celebrations we thought we would take a trip down memory lane. Every 2 weeks we are going to remind us all of some of the most amazing things that ALVA has done over the last 40 years.
For our first post, I thought I would pay tribute to those who started this fantastic organisation.
In August of 1978, Toni Stevens and Harriet Littlesmith discussed the idea of forming a ladies association within the variety industry. Initially, the main thoughts for this association were to unite the women of variety in friendship and form an alliance to help others less fortunate than ourselves within our ranks. A preliminary meeting was held with ten entertainers to discuss the possibility. The idea was overwhelmingly supported, possible names for the venture discussed and The Australian Ladies Variety Association – ALVA – was conceived.
Those founder members were:
Toni Stevens – President
Tami Lind – Vice President
Lynece Morris – Treasurer
Pat Scroope – Secretary.
Each of these ladies invited 5 other ladies to get involved and together they had the 50 charter members.
Along with their friends and colleagues, a total of 104 attended the Inaugural Banquet at the Sebel Townhouse on the 26th February 1979. Toni had invited Dame Vera Lynn to be our International Patron – she graciously consented and was with us to present the ALVA badges to Founder and Charter Members. Our Constitution was drawn up and the Association was opened to female entertainers, the wives of male entertainers, retired female performers and the wives of retired performers. Over the years we have opened up the membership to others within the industry. We also have Associate Members, such as Rita Barnett (Cornish), our very first Associate Member, who are not entertainers, but who have helped ALVA tirelessly over the years.