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The year was 2003. ALVA Women in Entertainment and the Actors Benevolent Fund were two major charities operating in Australia with a mission to assist those in the entertainment industry. ALVA helping those in Variety and Music and the Actors Benevolent Fund helping those in theatre and TV.
The common bond of confidential and compassionate support has been strong for many years. ALVA is incredibly proud to have had the opportunity to assist their friends during a time of need.
Michael Craig was the President of the Actors Benevolent Fund and Leo Brown the Secretary when it was brought to ALVA’s attention that the benevolent fund needed some help in order to continue. Kathy Watson and Pat Scroope lead the initiative to assist this fund with a single donation of $50 000.
In 1979, ALVA members began raising money by holding Fetes, River Cruises and an Annual Ball. After ALVA became a Registered Charity, Art Unions were introduced as a way of raising much needed funds. Throughout the early years, Maria Venuti AM (now patron) began the ALVA Race Days that saw massive support from all members of the entertainment industry. This was during time of Variety television.
It was the action and dedication of the committee’s during these years that provided the funds used to help out our colleagues. ALVA continues to expand their assistance to those in need, especially during these uncertain economic times.
VALE: Tabbi Francis (18 February 2020)
Sadly, another much-loved member of Australia’s wonderful entertainment history has passed. Tabbi Francis, adored wife of Geoff (Tangletongue) Mack died yesterday morning, aged 94.
What can we say about this incredible Woman in Entertainment?
Tabbi Francis was a very attractive, flamboyant English dancer when she met and fell in love with Geoff in the early 1950’s in England. They married in 1953 and subsequently moved back to Geoff’s native Australia not long after (transported most of the way from England to their new home in Sydney via Perth as a pillion passenger of Geoff’s motorbike), where they continued their variety show and created and co-owned (with Lucky Grills) the “Carols Variety Show”, a tent show that travelled all over Australia. Along with being in Carols Variety, she was also in demand as a performer in her own right – she was an accomplished comedian, singer and of course a superb dancer, with pantomime being a particular specialty.
We all have our own Tabbi stories and I would guarantee that they are all hilarious. She was a stalwart supporter of ALVA from the very beginning as well as an extremely long standing member of many ALVA Committees. Many of you have shared your stories on social media and to each other and they are countless. Her career spanned 5 decades, awards, performances, travel and friends. Soul mate to her Boyfriend they were married for 67 years wow! She was a special supporter to me personally right from the days I just turned up at rehearsals for ALVA Balls and did the gig without any knowledge of how 500 people made it to the Wentworth Hotel, put on a show with a huge big band. Well all that was to come for me, but along the way Miss Tabersham remained a constant friend. Right up to the last time I visited her at the home of niece Jan on the Gold Coast I was greeted with her usual – Well Helloooo Miss Smithers!
Much has been written about Tabbi’s career and life with Geoff. I would just like to say here – we loved her so much, we miss her terribly and there will never be another like her.
To quote her final sign off on all our voicemail messages – Love, Tabbeee !
Without exception, Tabbi is remembered by all who had the privilege to meet her as being impossibly beautiful both physically and in spirit, kind, outrageous, funny, dear, stylish, a wonderful friend, and a devoted and loving partner to Geoff, whom she referred to as “the boyfriend”.
May she Rest in Peace with her Boyfriend, in her sparkly tights, glamourous hat, fried egg earrings and the Mickey Finn ring!
Dear ALVA Members, These posts are always incredibly difficult for us. Below is an email sent to us from ALVA Life Member Helen Zerefos. Helen was the one who introduced us to Sandra and the wonderful work she was doing in the are of Ageing and Alzheimer Research. Sandra was the one who then introduced us all to Tony Broe. We have many memorable moments, particularly her passionate speeches at the ALVA Christmas Party. Thank you to Helen for letting us know.
It is with great sadness that I write that my beautiful friend Sandra Forster passed away today surrounded by her loving husband Chris and family. Sandra recently went to hospital on another matter and was diagnosed with end stage cancer – she was 72.
Sandra loved being an Associate Member of ALVA and was always grateful for ALVA’s important and ongoing support for Ageing and Alzheimer Research. I have attached some happy snaps of Sandra at ALVA functions…
Sandra was Executive Officer of the Ageing Research Centre, Prince of Wales Hospital and Personal Assistant to Professor Tony Broe. Professor Broe set up Health Services in Neurosciences, Aged Care, Community Health & Aboriginal Health. Professor Broe is also Conjoint Professor of Geriatric Medicine of UNSW. With love, Helen
ALVA Women in Entertainment is incredibly excited to be welcoming an icon of Australian Television. Robina Beard (mostly known as “Madge the Manicurist” from the Palmolive Ad – which ran for 20 years on Australian Televisions) will be joining us as our very special guest.
Robina’s book “My Life: You’re Soaking In It”, is an absorbing and enjoyable personal account of the Australian Entertainment Industry, as seen through her eyes – a dancer; a TV Weather Girl; an advertising icon; a performer in musical theatre, comedy and acting; a prominent national and international dance leader and teacher, along with so much more. In 2011, Robina received the Australian Dance Award for Lifetime Achievement by Ausdance.
Grab your friends and “soak in” all the wonderful stories and experiences that this aussie icon will share with us. It is guaranteed to be a real treat. It’s her life, and you’re going to be “soaking in it”.
Arrival: 10.30am for 11am
Friends & Associates may arrive at Noon
(Formally Norths Leagues Club – Abbott St, Cammeray NSW 2062)
Please note: Lift Access is from Front Entrance of the Club ONLY.
EARLY BIRD: $45 Closes Wednesday 19th February
FULL PRICE: $55 Starts February 20
Includes a light buffet lunch
ONLINE: Click the link: 2020 ALVA AGM
BY PHONE: LISA: 0414 591 020 SUSIE: 0412 038 950 KERRI: 0412 038 950
BY EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org