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The Danish Club Heimdal, Inc.
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The Danish Association Heimdal
Brisbane, Australia

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The club being in the process of writing an updated record of history have re-typed the one written for the 100 year anniversery in 1972, a copy of which you can read below.
If after reading this you think that you may have information or other material to add please do contact us by email to: to Preben and Pia via history@danishclubbrisbane.org or make contact when you are in the club.

2012 July: The Danish Club would like to than Eilan Nielsen for converting the club’s first 100 years of history from its printed version to the below electronic version making it possible for all to access the information.

 

THE DANISH ASSOCIATION HEIMDAL'S HISTORY 1872 – 1972

 

Written by : Honorary Historian P.B.Hansen

 

Within a short time the Danish Club will celebrate its Centenary. It is fitting that we try to piece together the story of its first 100 years, whilst we still have records dating back to its very beginning. Unfortunately, already now some records are missing, yet sufficient is on hand to give us a clear indication of – how we started, the objectives the early founders had in mind, the successes and failures, ups and downs from its start up until the present day.

 

To begin with the beginning. It was founded on the 23rd September 1872 by the following people:

Thorvald E. Brasch,

Laura P. Brasch,

John F. Simonsen,

Caroline Søsdal,

Tage Lilsa,

Caren Halvorson,

Oscar Bredesen

Julius Andresen,

Carl Engstrom,

Johan Jappe.

 

The first General Meeting was held on 14th October 1872 where the first President was elected, namely Thorvald E. Brasch; and the Club officially was given the name of:

“ DEN SKANDINAVISKE FORENING”

( The Scandinavian Association).

And its objectives:

  1. To celebrate the various Scandinavian public holidays.
  2. Founding a library consisting of books from all three Kingdoms, to be lent to Club members.

 

In conjunction with the library, to subscribe to Daily or Weekly papers from all three Kingdoms.

  1. To operate a Medical Benefits Fund for Club members.

We feel our present Club members probably will be interested in the actual wording as recorded in “fadery” ink on page one of the first Minute Book:

 

“Foreningens Formaal er at understøtte dets Medlemmer i Sygdomstilfælde, ved en ugentlig Understøttelse. Samt at hoitidlighelde de Skandinaviske Festdage, at holde Dag eller Ugeblade fra alle tre Riger, og at have et Bibliothek fra alle 3 Riger til udlaan blandt Medlemmerne.

De som ønsker optagne den Skandinaviske Forening har at melde sig i Lokalet Mandag, Onsdag og Løverdag fra kl. 7 – 9. Saavel Damer som Herrer kunde optages.”

 

Yes, members of today, there you have the actual wording as recorded nearly 100 years ago and the cost of becoming a member; quite reasonable when you consider they received help when sick; joining fee “ four shillings” and weekly subscription “six pence”.

 

During the Club's early “existure” (existence) a special feature was the election each half year of a new President thus we find a number of names from 1872 to 1877, namely:

Thorvald E. Brasch 14/10/'72 to 15/8/'73.

S. Christensen 15/8/'73 - 18/1/'74.

A.C. Nielsen 18/1/'74 - 4/7/'74.

C.Olsen 4/7/'74 - 9/1/'75.

W. Søderholm 9/1/'75 - 6/1/'77

Unlike the club to-day, the original intention was a Scandinavian Club. Probably quite wisely so, bearing in mind Queensland at that time was still a very young Colony and the number of Scandinavians living in Brisbane must have been relatively low, thus by drawing their membership from all three Scandinavian countries, they increased their chance of success. The rules stipulated that Committee members should, where possible, be drawn from all three nationalities.

 

It can be imagined the difficulties, the opportunity for all sorts of heated discussions taking place as revealed by the Minute Book, owing to the fact the Club was a Medical Benefits Fund. When was a man sick? What was sickness and so on, and yet for 12 years the Club carried out this function until discontinued in 1884.

 

From 1877 to July 1884, that is for approximately 7 years, for the first time in the history of the Club, a man was found who enjoyed the confidence of the Club's members. So much so, they elected him President for several years. His name, Peter Thomle. Presidents elected to office during this period were:

P. Thomle .... 6/1/'77 to 5/1/'78

J.Dahl 5/1/'78 to 30/6/'79.

P.E. Johnson 30/6/'79 to 30/1/'80.

P. Thomle 30/1/'80 to 5/7/'84.

 

A great deal of time and effort was devoted during this period to try and make the Medical Fund work, somewhat to the detriment of other functions. Notably so, the library, which deteriorated to such an extent that the number of books for lending fell to a low of 40 books. This was remedied in August 1884 by the immediate spending of 10 pounds on new books. The discontinuance of the Sickness Fund gave the Club the opportunity to concentrate far more on social activities. For instance – at a meeting in August 1884, it was proposed and carried, that the Club celebrate its foundation with a Dinner and Ball. 15 pound being donated from Club funds for this purpose. Members participating, to pay 5 pound per couple, gents only 7/6 and ladies 3/-, non-members 10/6. It is to be hoped a good time was had by all; the records don't say.

 

By 1885 the Club could be considered as being well established, and for the first time the question was raised – would it not be a good idea to get our own property?. The question was proposed by the President, H.P. Frederiksen, who mentioned the cost alone of hiring suitable rooms for the Club cost us over 50 pound per year. If the Club owned its own premises it would mean a very considerable saving. The proposal was made and opened for discussion and finally it was decided that the Club should commence a Building Fund. Subsequent events proved it would take another 35 years before the Club

would be able to have owned its own premises. Just as well the Members present were unable to foresee the future. And yet, if a Club does not plan and prepare for the future, such a Club is eventually doomed to failure.

 

At a General Meeting held 8th January, 1887, a new President was elected, his name was Vilhelm Larsen. Nothing very special about the election of a new President. The Club already had elected quite a number of Presidents. Yet it is fitting he receives a special mention in our records. The last time you will hear of him as retiring President was 14th January 1939. Prior to his first election as President he had already been a prominent member of the Club, so it can be said that for possibly 60 years, he played his part, a large part, in the life and progress of the Club.

 

Apart from the Club members meeting every week for card playing, indoor games, reading of newspapers, magazines and books from Scandinavian countries, the members, every quarter, sometimes even more frequently than that, called a General Meeting. Time and time again for the purpose of altering the Club's rules, certainly every 6 months, up came a new proposal for alteration. No wonder by now our Rules are practically perfect. Another subject given serious consideration at these meetings were the big social evenings,-- where to have them , how and when, ordinary ball, fancy dress ball, or just an ordinary come-together. It must be remembered we are dealing with a time where there were no cars, no radio, no tv, no pictures. A mode of life so completely different to ours today.

 

By 1887 the Club had been in existence for 15 years, and its birthday was suitably celebrated. A report of the function appeared in “The Daily Observer”, Brisbane 23/9/1887 as follows :-

 

“Scandinavian Union”

Anniversary Celebration.

 

The annual celebration of the foundation of the Scandinavian Union was held last evening at the Grosvenor Hotel, when its fifteenth anniversary was celebrated. There was a good attendance of members. The room presented a very bright appearance, having been tastefully decorated with flags, while on shields hung around the room were inscribed the names of the various Presidents of the Union since its formation. One of these draped in black showed that one of the number had gone over to the great majority. The tables were loaded with good things, and reflected great credit upon Mr. Høst Brown, who carried out the arrangements to the satisfaction of all. The President Mr. J. Drevesen, occupied the chair, and was supported by the Secretary and Treasurer, while the Vice-chair was occupied by Mr. Ekelund, the Vice-President. After the cloth was removed the toasts of “ Prosperity to the Union”, “Scandinavia”, “ Great Britain”, “Queensland”, and “The Ladies”, were drunk with enthusiasm. The remainder of the evening was devoted to harmony, several glees being rendered by the Scandinavian Glee Club and by various members of the Union. The Union is in a very prosperous condition and has a library of over 500 volumes, and will be shortly increased by the arrival of new books, papers etc, which are provided for the use of the members, who can thus read in their own language the news from “home”. The meeting , which was a most enjoyable one, did not break up until the small hours.

 

Apart from the activities just mentioned, picnics were also arranged on several occasions, and gives us an idea how small Brisbane was at that time. Picnics were held at Indooroopilly, Ekebin and Mount Gravatt, with the Club hiring horse-drawn carriages to get its members there. A boat trip was arranged down the river, although it does not mention how far. But it does state “Mr P.C. Poulsen will take part and will take photographs to a value of one pound. On another occasion and after lengthy discussion, it was decided to have a “Fugleskydning” and it was to be held on “Prince of Wales Gebordsday” - those are the actual words written in the report, it would be a shame to translate them into English.

 

From the period, July 1884 to July 1894 the Club had quite a number of Presidents, they are listed below:

P. Drevesen 5.7.84 – 3.1.85

H.F. Frederiksen 3.1.85 - 4.10.85

O.F. Youngberg 4.10.85 – 2.1.86

H.P. Frederiksen 2.1.86 – 3.7.86

V. Larsen 3.7.86 - 8.1.87

J. Moller 8.1.87 - 2.7.87

P. Drevesen 2.7.87 - 7.1.88

L. Gissing 7.1.88 – 7.7.88

P. Thomle 7.7.88 – 4.1.90

V. Larsen 4.1.90 – 4.7.91

I.C. Christensen 4.7.91 – 2.1.92

A. Nielsen 2.1.92 – 9.7.92

O. Olsen 9.7.92 – 7.7.94

H. Buch 7.7.94 - ?

 

By the time we come up to 1890 and onwards, the Club enters into a very difficult period Living conditions in Queensland became very difficult. First severe drought followed by even more severe floods. A great number of Scandinavians left Brisbane seeking work elsewhere. Whilst the Club Members in 1883 numbered 62 members, by 1892 they had fallen to a low of 37 members many of whom were unable to pay their Club fees. At a meeting in July 1892 it was decided for the next six months, all Club fees be waived or until such time as conditions improve. During the flood some of the Club's property was lost, including their flags. Social activities were at a standstill. General meetings called had to be abandoned owing to lack of Members. Altogether both the Club and its members were passing through a very trying period.

 

Today it is fashion to talk about the “generation gap”. Thinking back to my own young days I am certain such a gap has always existed. No more today than in bygone days. One thing, however, is sure and certain, in the Danish Club there is a generation gap. One we will never be able to overcome at this late stage. Records are missing for nearly 20 years. The vital minute books covering this period are not available. Probably one of the secretaries of a bygone age was careless when handing over to his successor. So we can only guess what happened in this interval. The main thing is the Club continued and we are able to take up the threads again, commencing with a General Meeting held on 5th July, 1913 with the election of a new committee . Retiring President Mr. P. Eriksen, was re-elected as President for the coming year, so we have now established that Mr. P. Eriksen was President in 1912, re-elected in 1933. And those of you reading this small history of our club will permit me to digress for some personal remarks concerning Peter Eriksen and Vilhelm Larsen, as both of them, over a very long period of time, played such a vital part in our Club.

First Vilhelm Larsen, Danish Vice-Consul in Queensland. I first met him on my first day of arrival in Brisbane in February 1930. After leaving the ship I boarded a New Farm Wharf tram to take me into the city. With only a couple of shillings left in my pocket it was imperative I called on the ship's office to collect my deposit money. In those days, when immigrating to Australia, apart from one's fare, a deposit of forty pounds had to be paid to the Shipping Company. ( no destitute immigrants wanted those days), the money to be collected at the final port of call. As mentioned, I called and trouble started, and I was told “ How could I, a complete stranger, expect to walk into their office and just calmly collect 'forty quid'.” I explained the circumstances to the best of my ability, showed them my passport, all in vain. No money, so there I was with my two ports, a couple of 'bob' and what to do! I left the Shipping Company's office and walked down along Queen street. Lo and behold, on a small building a bright red shield with a crown and the magic words - “ Kongelig Dansk Konsulat” and above the building - “Royal Insurance Co. Ltd”. Never before and never since have I been so delighted to see those words. I went in and asked for the Danish Consul, and in due course was shown into his office and presented to the Consul, Mr. Bouchard, and at last, to my great relief, I could explain myself freely and in detail in Danish. I did not get very far, he could not speak Danish. But with a smile he said, “ go over to the office next to mine. Mr Larsen, my father-in-law, will look after you”. I went in and met Vilhelm Larsen, a small frail man with white hair. His office was decorated with pictures and flags, but most important than anything else, I could speak Danish to my heart's content. And help me he did. In no time, he had spoken to the Shipping Company and arranged that I could pick up my money after two o'clock that afternoon. He also gave me the 'low down' on conditions in Queensland. Things were bad. Unemployment at it's highest level ever. No money. Low wages. He said “ why not call it a day and go back to Denmark. It would be the only sensible thing to do. However, if I stayed there were two Danish organisations in Brisbane.

  1. The Danish Club in Grey street.
  2. The Danish Church in George street.

 

You can take your pick. However, there is not a great deal of love lost between the two organisations. The Club is meeting next Saturday. If you

care to go you will be welcome, If you go to the Church, they have a service next Sunday morning.” In passing, I attended both.

 

On the Saturday evening I called on the Club in Grey street. An old wooden building not very well kept, standing in grounds with quite long grass around it, its back yard running up to the South Brisbane railway line. A hall with tables and chairs, a piano and a kitchen, the most prominent part of which was a five gallon keg of beer. I was made most welcome, not many new faces turned up in 1930. There was one other later in the year, you will hear more about him later on. I was presented to the President, Peter Eriksen and the impression I got was of a bluff, hearty man with a ringing laugh and a voice well fitted for his job in Brisbane Fruit Markets. He was Wholesale Fruit Merchant.

 

The Club indeed made me welcome. The time was mostly spent playing cards, with refreshments coming from the keg. I received further instructions in the bad times existing all over Australia. Many Danish families were in very strained circumstances. I have subsequently learned that Peter Eriksen quietly and unobtrusively helped and assisted many of his needy countrymen.

 

On the Sunday I visited the Danish Church and met its Pastor, Pastor Ligaard, and some of his congregation. The Church, a modest building in George street near the Botanical Gardens, was the meeting place for quite a few Danes and other Scandinavians.

 

Readers, I thank you for bearing with me whilst digressing. It was solely for the purpose of remembering those two men, V. Larsen and P. Eriksen, who both served their Club so long and so well.

 

I will now return to that General Meeting of 5th July, 1913. On the agenda was a motion to alter the name of the Club to :- “Brisbane Skandinavisk Forening og Hall Company Limited”.

 

The Chairman of the meeting, V.Larsen, pointed out this was a mixing of two languages and quite unacceptable. The name should be in one language, be it Danish, Swedish or Norwegian. A proposal of Mr.C.R. Schriver to alter the name to :- “ Den Skandinaviske Forening 'Heimdal' Limited, was accepted by

the meeting and became the official title until the Registrar of Friendly Societies advised the Committee that the word 'limited' could not be part of the name. The Club was thereafter known and registered as :-

“ Den Skandinaviske Forening 'Heimdal'”

 

Peter Eriksen was elected President for the ensuing years until 6th January 1917, when Vilhelm Larson was elected.

 

Despite the war years and loss of Members to the armed forces, the Membership ( Brisbane only) was around the 60 mark. The Librarians must have been doing a fine job. For instance, during 3 months in 1915 they lent out 121 books whilst 115 were returned. Besides, they had to do quite a lot of renovating jobs to the books, as it was becoming increasingly difficult to obtain new books and magazines from Scandinavia. The Library at that time consisted of approx. 1000 books, so it can be seen to be a Librarian in those days involved quite a lot of work.

 

At a general meeting held on 6th January 1917, two proposals were submitted to shift the Club rooms, as members for quite some time had been unhappy with their rooms at the 'Sovereign Hotel'. The first proposal submitted by the President Peter Eriksen:-

“The Club to rent a room, area 490 square feet, on the corner of Hope street and Stanley street at a weekly rental of 8/6 per week, including free electric light”.

 

The second proposal by Vilh. Larsen :-

 

“The Club to rent a room at 'Hornsby's Building', Queen street, area 960 square feet, at a weekly rental of 20/- per week plus 7/6 per week for electricity, but including several amenities not available at the Stanley street location”.

 

After a long and arduous discussion, it was put to a vote, resulting in 17 votes for Queen st and 12 votes for Stanley st. This “Hornsby's Building became the Club's new home until it eventually moved into its own home in Grey street.

At the election of officers, Mr. Vilh. Larsen was elected as President for the next 12 months. At the same meeting, it was decided to increase membership fee to 7/6 per quarter to cover the increase in weekly rent (comparing the subscription then of 30/- yearly to $3-00 with our present subscription of $40- yearly. We must today have the best bargain going of any association).

 

 

The rented rooms were open daily 9 – 5 (except Sundays) for members and visitors and on Wednesdays and Saturdays 7.30 to 11, for members and male friends, except on occasions when ladies were invited.

 

During the year it was decided to admit country members. Up until now, Club Members had all been resident in Brisbane. A country member was “ any member residing more than 15 miles from the G.P.O. Annual subscription – 10/- per year.

 

It was also decided the Pastor of the Danish Church, Pastor P. Ligaard, be elected Honorary Member. Likewise the four Consuls for the Scandinavian countries were elected.

 

1918 was of course the year which saw the end of “The Great War”. The war years had affected the Club to some extent. Some had joined the Forces and gone to the Front. Festivities were naturally enough limited. All in all it had been a period of just “hanging on” and hoping for a better future. The President had this to say in his report to the annual general meeting, 11th January 1919.:-

 

“The last 4 years have closed under the shadow of a great war, but 1918 closed with peace on Earth in view and we therefore naturally rejoice on their glorious victories that will bring peace. We hope that those Members' sons who Are still at the Front will soon be able to return and we deeply sympathise with the mothers, widows or relatives of those heroes who have made the supreme sacrifice, or who have been wounded or suffered in health”.

The sentiment and desire for peace in those few words unfortunately were never realised in the years to follow.

 

The year 1919 saw some changes in so far as it was the year when the Club saw 3 different Presidents take office. Vilhelm Larsen declined re-election and in his place, Mr. A. Fjeldsoe was elected. He died in office on 1st May and his place was taken by the Vice President, Mr. A.E. Christiansen. However he returned to Denmark In September and Mr. H.O. Hein was then elected as President for the remainder of the year.

 

During the year a proposal was made which caused quite a lot of discussion- for and against.- “shall we or shall we not accept Englishmen as Associate members”.

 

Up until now, only Scandinavians or descendants of Scandinavians, could be members of the Club.

 

All members were anxious to see the Club grow and prosper. The membership stayed somewhat static around 80 to 85 members. As there was not a great influx of immigrants it was felt membership could be increased only by accepting outsiders. However, concern was expressed that this would mean a loss of the national language. Let it be remembered, since the Club's foundation, only Scandinavian languages were spoken within its four walls. Likewise, its written records. In fact often they were a mixture of all three languages, although predominantly written in Danish. Eventually a vote was taken and by a large majority vote 'Englishmen' could become Members – that is 'Associate' Members with restricted rights. The word 'Englishmen' denoted of course 'British' as well as 'Australian' citizens. At the General Meeting in January, 1920, Mr. H.O. Hein was elected President for the ensuing year and the meeting decided it was now or never if the Club was to establish itself in its own home. A building committee was elected to find ways and means to reach this goal. It must have been a good committee, - they got results. So much so, they could inform members at the half-yearly meeting in July, that it would be possible to obtain a Building Society Loan of 525 pounds, provided the Trustees and the Building Committee would act as guarantors.

 

The spokesman, Mr. C.R.Schriver informed the members a house had been purchased in Grey street, South Brisbane. Tenders for alterations to the house had been called. Five quotes were received. The lowest quote of 387 pounds, tendered by Mr. Schriver, was accepted and the Meeting authorised him to go ahead and make the alterations to make the house a suitable hall for the Club. The official opening of the Club's new premises took place on the 13th November, 1920. It must have been a proud moment for all the Members when they could at last, after 48 years of waiting and planning, to step into their own building, be it ever so humble, and say “ this is our own, our very own”.

 

At the General Meeting, Mr C.R.Schriver was elected President for the year 1921. One noteworthy suggestion during the year was the formation of a youth section, with the idea of attracting the young, who subsequently would later on be interested in joining the Club as full Members. It was accepted

but proved eventually a futile attempt. (Present day Members please note, it has all been tried before and yet the day may come when such an attempt will be a success).

 

The Club members during the year spent a lot of effort into improving the grounds. 250 loads of soil was spread, palms, camphor laurels and jacaranda trees planted. Even rockeries were formed all with the idea eventually to present the Hall in cool attractive surroundings. One may well ask – all this effort and what happened to it all!

 

Apparently the year 1922 was not a very good year for the Club. Mr. Vilhelm Larsen was elected President. This was the year when the Club was going to celebrate its 50th year Jubilee. The Committee hoped that Scandinavians in Brisbane would rally round the Club. Unfortunately, conditions in and about Brisbane had been trying. There were no new arrivals and several of the old members had moved away and quite a few others were so much in arrears they were warned of the risk of being struck off the rolls. Consequently, no special festivities to celebrate the Jubilee were held. However, a Jubilee Dinner was celebrated in the Hall with invited honoured guests from various Brisbane clubs such as 'Royal St. George', 'Caledonian and Burns Club', 'Irish Association','Manx Society', etc. At the meeting in January 1923, Mr. V.

Larsen declined to stand for office and Mr. P. Eriksen was elected as President for the next twelve months. The membership remained constant and members enjoyed their usual social meetings, euchre competitions and normal card evenings. In January 1924 the members decided to have a new President Mr.J.E.W. Knudsen, being elected to take the chair. At the half-yearly Meeting on the 12th July, 1924, it was proposed to change the name of the Club from – 'Skandinavisk Forening “Heimdal”, to -

“Den Danske Forening Heimdal”.

 

It was after long discussion, carried and confirmed at an Extraordinary General Meeting held the following Saturday.

 

Throughout the more than 50 years of its existence, of the various Scandinavian members, the Danes had always been in majority. Apparently this was even more so now. This of course did not alter the rules of the Club which provided men of Scandinavian descent, over 21 years, were eligible to be members.

 

In January 1925, Mr. P. Eriksen was again elected as President. Amongst other things, the meeting decided to purchase a copper coffee set and spoons at a cost of 3 pound 10 shillings. Quite a lot of money in those days. Now, what in heavens name can have happened to that set? -It could not break, so where is it? Yes, that is the question. One can only surmise that during the Club's 'ups and downs', especially the 'downs', things have been stored somewhere or another and gradually lost sight of.

 

During the year the Queensland Railways made a demand to resume a portion of the Club's land. A compensation of 700 pounds was asked for. The Railways offered 625 pound, and after protracted negotiation between the Railways and Mr. Eriksen a compromise was reached and the Club accepted 665 pounds, as the final figure.

 

The resumption meant the Clubhouse would have to be shifted back approx. 10 feet. An application was made to the South Brisbane Council ( in those days Brisbane had a number of local councils). It was granted and at a cost of 265 pounds 19 shillings the hall was moved back.''

 

January 1926, Mr. V. Larsen replaced Mr. P.Eriksen as President. Nothing of special interest took place during the year. It seems one of the highlights of the festivities in the club over many years, was the annual celebrating of the old Danish custom of 'The Bird Shoot'. This year it appears the Committee wrote to the 'Toowong Council' for a permit to have their annual 'bird shoot' at the 'Toowong Quarry'. It was granted. After the shoot came the big social event of crowning 'The Bird King' and 'The Bird Queen'

 

In January 1927, Mr. P. Eriksen was again elected as President and in fact was re-elected each succeeding January until his death in July 1935. In 1928, it was proposed that from now on, in place of a quarterly General Meeting, it will be sufficient to have a Half-yearly and an Annual General Meeting. This was carried and still stands to this day in 1971. In 1929 Brisbane was visited by 'The Dana Expedition', lead by Professor Schmidt. Peter Eriksen and a couple of other committee members who had the opportunity to take the scientific members and Ship's officers on trips around Brisbane and surrounding neighbourhood. The Club Members welcomed the crew at a big social held in the Club premises.

 

The Period 1930 – 1946. :- I would like our members in this year of grade 1971 to give a thought to those few stalwart members who, in spite of all difficulties, managed somehow to sustain and bring their Club intact

through this very trying period. The years 1930 – 1939 – better known a 'The Great Depression Years'. But to those of us who lived through them, there was nothing 'great' about it, for, to a vast majority, merely 'depressing'. And I for one, am glad to see it behind me.

 

So we come to 1930. This was also the year of my arrival in Australia, not that it has got anything to do with the welfare of the Club, far from it. It merely meant that some time in the future one bloke was sufficiently interested to try and record for posterity, the chief events and life of the Club, no matter how inadequate. Just as I hope in the distant future, when the Club nears the 200 year mark, someone, somewhere, will try and record the events of the next 100 years.

 

January 1931, and I come across a name and a handwriting well known to me,- namely 'Aksel Steenberg' became the driving force behind the Club for

more years that any other member. To this day 'Aksel' and 'Rikke' would be the best known Danes, not alone amongst Club members, but also a vast number of younger and not so young Danes, Swedes, Norwegians who, through the years enjoyed their hospitality. Welcome to the Club Aksel! Incidentally, he was elected Vice President that year.

 

1931 – 1932 – 1933 : 'Years of Gloom'. Membership falling, yearly subscriptions falling in arrears, members out of work, and a 'man out of work', existing on the 'dole' with no money in his pocket, does not make a good Club Member. Ashamed of his arrears, unable to buy a drink, he stays away. There were many such Members. The remaining Members must often have dug deep in their pockets to keep things going.

 

At the half-yearly Meeting in July 1933, the President, Mr. P. Eriksen, for the first time raised the question -” can we keep the Club going while we retain the Building. Would it not be wiser to sell and merely rent rooms”.

 

Looking back, it would probably have been the wisest thing to do. Nevertheless, the Meeting would have nothing to do with such a proposal, and carry on they did.

 

The half-yearly meeting on the 13th July 1935 became the last meeting presided over by the President Peter Eriksen. Only a few, in fact, attended. A fortnight later, an Extraordinary General Meeting was held for the purpose of electing a new President, owing to the untimely and sudden death of the Club's President. As both Vice Presidents declined office, the meeting , the best attended for many years, elected Mr. C.R. Schriver as President for the remainder of the year. The same meeting also elected as a member,Thor Eriksen, son of the deceased President. Our Members today know little or probably nothing of him, yet they owe him a debt of gratitude.

 

For more than 30 years, maybe longer, Peter Eriksen had been one of the most active members in the life of the Club. Elected to the office of President for a greater length to time than any other President; such was his record – a very worthy one indeed.

At the Annual Meeting in January 1936, Mr. Schriver declined to carry on as President and requested Vilh. Larsen again take on the position as President of the Club. This was backed up by all the Members present. He agreed and carried on in this position until January 1939. At that General Meeting, he informed members that owing to sickness he wished to retire as President. In his place Mr. J.P.J. Petersen was elected as President for the ensuing year.

 

The question was raised again of the possibility of selling the property and rebuild in a less expensive area. Rates were becoming excessively high in Grey street. The building required constant attention as regards to maintenance etc. Mr. Steenberg suggested not to build but to hire suitable rooms in the city. The final outcome was to keep things going as they were. The new committee wished to confer on the retiring President Vilh. Larsen, the distinction of becoming an “Honours” Member. However, he declined and gave reasons why. Later in July it was announced Mr. Hugo Larsen of Rockhampton, deceased, in his will had donated 100 pounds to the Brisbane club. The money arrived at an opportune moment as the Club was now running at a loss.

 

The next few years proved to be an extremely difficult time for the Club. The 'Second World War' imposing all sorts of restrictions on the population, also affected the Club. Together with a certain amount of internal strife in the Club which so reduced the membership that by July, 1941, it had fallen to a new low of 29 Members.

 

At the Annual Meeting in January, 1940, proposals to alter the Club's rules raised considerable discussions with tempers running high. The results of it all was election of a new President, and a new Committee. Mr.H. Rasmussen being the new President until January 1942, when he left Brisbane to settle in Melbourne. The members elected Mr.J.J.P. Larsen as President, a position to which he was re-elected for each of the next 7 years. He declined in 1949 owing to ill health.

 

BY 1943 the Club's financial position had deteriorated to such an extent it now became essential for the Members to consider selling the Grey street property. A Special Meeting was called in September . Mr. Thor Eriksen moved:

“The Trustees be authorised to sell the Association's property with a minimum price of 750 pounds. The motion was carried and shortly after, the property was sold for this amount, to Mr. A.G. Barrett. Furniture and fittings in excess of requirements at rented premises, were sold for 80 pounds. Mr. C.R. Schriver offered to store books, pictures etc.

 

The next Annual Meeting in January, 1944, was held in “City Buildings”, Edward street. Amongst the correspondence tendered was a circular from “Association of Free Danes in Sydney”, requesting Danes in other states to affiliate with them . The President asked for the Members' opinion, stating :

“This Association was for a matter of 2 years, the only “Free Danish Association” in Australia, and no valid reason existed for merging our Association with N.S.W.”

 

The meeting then proposed they contact Acting Consul for Denmark, Mr. M. Christopherson ( Manager of “Peters Ice cream”, to sponsor the formation of a fund for “Frit Danmark” within the framework of Danish Association, Brisbane.

 

By July 1944, the Association had to find new premises. No easy matter then. The Armed Forces, including the large U.S.A. Forces, requisitioned a lot of space in the city. The Club found a home in Q.N. Bank Chambers, Cnr George & Turbot streets. I believe it was also the offices of Mr. Thor Eriksen. A Special Meeting was called on the 9th September to announce the death of former President, Vilh. Larsen. One of the practical objects was also to appoint a Trustee in place of Mr. Larsen. The meeting appointed Mr. Steenberg as the new Trustee.

 

The death of Mr. Vilh. Larsen brought to a close a long and fruitful life. A lot of effort and time had been spent by him for the welfare of the Club. In office, but at all times, a tremendously active member who gave the Club of his very best.

 

The next couple of years saw the end of the Second World War. Throughout the world, all sorts of things had happened, including the birth of the Atom Bomb, and finally, peace here in Australia. For the Club however, things had been extremely quiet. Meetings, through the courtesy of Mr. Thor Eriksen, had been held in his office. Now came the first initial enquiries from Denmark

about possibility of immigration. For some reason or another, these were directed to the Danish Club, who undertook quite a considerable amount of correspondence between the Federal and State Government Departments and all material mailed to Denmark.

 

September 1947, saw the Club celebrating its 75th Anniversary. 90 people attended the Dinner, at a charge of 7/6 per head. Through some “skulduggery”, the caterers wanted to charge for 106. ( a little extra profit comes in handy). It was left in the capable hands of Mr. T. Eriksen to sort out the discrepancy.

 

In the July report of 1948 is mentioned as an expense item “ wreath for funeral of Mr. C.R Schriver, 1 pound 30 shillings; for some strange reason our records omit completely his death, nor is there any mention of his past activities; yet Mr. Schriver undoubtedly had for many years been an extremely active member in the Club. As President for a short period,in other words, occupying key positions, this omission seems very strange. Maybe one of our older members can throw some light on it, only a very few of our members will know the circumstances.

 

Owing to ill health, President J.Larsen declined re-election at the Annual Meeting in 1949. In his place, Mr. J.P. Petersen was elected as President.

 

From 1949 onwards, the first small trickle of Danish immigrants arrived in Brisbane. Some of them decided to join the Club. The result was a severe shortage of space. The Club was still meeting in Mr. Eriksens office, but now it became essential to find more suitable rooms. A new home was eventually located in Anzac House, Wickham Terrace.

 

In 1951, a proposal to increase the annual subscription from1 pound to 2 pound was proposed. After lengthy discussion and on show of hands, the increase was agreed upon.

 

In December 1951, “ The Galathea Expedition” visited Brisbane. The Club set aside a special fund so that its Members could be entertained in the proper manner. The ship reciprocated and invited Members to visit the ship. Amongst the many Members who called was Henrik Janus who turned up in

full working uniform, blue trousers, blue tunic with shiny buttons, the famous “Foreign Legion” white peaked cap. In other words, the uniform of a Brisbane “trammie” of that time. He was received with full Honours and piped aboard, much to Henrik's surprise

 

At the General Meeting in January 1952, Mr. J.P. Petersen declined re-election as President. In his place, Mr. Aksel Steenberg was elected to take office. He occupied the chair for a number of years until 1962. Mr. Steenberg became a Member in 1930. Apart from his absence from the Club for a couple of years, he had served the Club in every possible capacity on the various Committees. His election as President was both well deserved and popular. Furthermore, he took office at a time when the prospects of new expansion

for the Club seemed imminent.

 

On Saturday 10th May, 1952, an Extraordinary General Meeting was called. The main item on the agenda was “shall we buy land”.

 

21 members turned up for this meeting. President Steenberg opened the meeting. He first called to the attention of the meeting, the powers exercised by the Committee under the then existing Rule 31. Namely, the Committee had powers to purchase, and without actually referring to the Members in general. However he felt such a vital move should be discussed and voted upon by all Members. He then called on Mr. T. Eriksen to give a report on a block of land situated at Cleveland Street, Stones Corner . Size 16 perches, Zoned “C” area, which meant the Brisbane City Council would permit the erection of a hall. The original price asked for the land was 650 pound, but had now been reduced to 500 pound. An option had been taken with a payment of a deposit of 5 pound. The Meeting was informed yearly rates amounted to approx. 22 pounds, and it was stressed the matter was urgent as the option would expire on a certain date. The President then called upon Members to express their views. It soon became apparent Members were overwhelmingly in favour of purchasing the land. A motion was moved by Mr H Bang and seconded by Mr O Goldschmidt, worded as follows” : “This meeting called for the special purpose instructs the Trustees to release sufficient funds from ' The Building Fund Trust Account' for the purchase of a block of land situated at Cleveland Street, Stones Corner, with the view of at a later date to erect a suitable Hall thereon.”

The motion was put to the vote and passed by a majority of 20 votes to one.

 

The Club's 80th Birthday was celebrated with a Buffet Supper and Dance held at “Whytcliffe”. The good food, pleasant surroundings and well attended Social proved this evening was the social event of the year.

 

The Annual Meeting in January 1953 was opened. President Steenberg requested the meeting to observe silence in memory of our late Club Member and Trustee, Mr. P. Christopherson, Danish Consul in Queensland. During the meeting, initial discussion took place on ways and means to start building on the block in Cleveland St. By the time the half-yearly meeting was held in July 1953, progress had been made to some extent. Mr. Jonasson (Member of the building sub-committee) presented the meeting with plans and specifications submitted by Architect Hammerswchmidt ( a club Member). However, he stated he considered the plans far too grand for the Club to attempt building at the cost involved. He suggested new plans be drawn up and, if approved at another meeting , then submit them to the Council for approval. At the next meeting in January1954, Mr. Jonasson informed Members new drawings and plans were ready for submission for Council approval. The new Club House to be finished by builder in such a manner that interior lining, electrical installations, painting work etc. could be completed by Club Members. A Special Meeting was called in June 1954. Mr. Steenberg reported tenders had been called. Four were received ( one subsequently withdrawn). Prices ranged from 2,150 pounds to 2,550 pounds. Mr. Eriksen was authorised to contact the Bank regarding finance for the new building, before acceptance of tenders. He again reported to the Annual General Meeting in July, his discussion with the Bank of N.S.W. had been successful. The Bank was prepared to grant a loan of 2,000 pounds up to 2,500 pounds. Interest at 5% and Trustees and Members to sign as representing the Club.

 

A motion moved by President Steenberg seconded by H. Bang, namely:

 

“ This meeting had decided to raise a loan of up to 2,000 pounds from the Bank of N.S.W., Roma St, to finance the erection of Club House on land at Cleveland St, Stones Corner. The 13 Members namely: S. Steenberg, J.F. Petersen, T. Eriksen, G. Petersen, H. Ryde, O. Goldschmidt, H. Bang, H. Junget, F. Larsen, N.P. Nielsen, R. Fromyhr, P. Hansen and Ib Hells-

Rasmussen, have signified their willingness to sign on behalf of the Association for such amount.”

 

Subsequently Mr Eriksen informed Members the Bank had notified him that individual guarantees were not required as the Club's assets were sufficient.

 

In March 1955, Mr Steenberg requested leave of absence, owing to his early departure for an overseas trip. Mr. Eriksen to act as President during his absence. Shortly after, ( sometime in April) the new Club House was finished and ready to be the home of “The Danish Association “ Heimdal”.

 

I have gone into a great deal of detail of all the preparations made for the building of our new home. It will give present day Members some idea of all the hard work which laid the foundations for today's Club House.

 

The actual erection of the Hall was completed, now came the question of furniture, kitchen equipment and all the various equipment needed for successful catering. A number of different people were involved, bearing in mind the Club was operating within very strictly administered finance. This meant suitable equipment at the right price had to be searched for, all over Brisbane. But it also meant the people concerned had to spend a good deal of time to find it.

 

Numerous working bees were called. Cleaning up the land, filling in underneath the Hall, planting suitable plants and all the other odds and ends of jobs on a new place. There was, however, one consolation for the willing workers, Aksel and his well-worn brown Gladstone bag, always turned up. What that bag has carried of good Bulimba brew, beggars description. Nor how many thirsty Danish throats he has helped to quench, aided by his trusty bag. Needless to say, Aksel was a very active Member and a very popular one. So I would like here and now, to record a vote of thanks to all those old members, some now living in Denmark, others long dead, a few still Members, for the hard work and enthusiasm shown the Club in those days. There are too many to individually record their names, so thank you all, “thirsty ones”.

 

The question now arose : how was the Club, with its small membership, to repay the balance owing on the Hall, to the Bank of N.S.W. Our internal

resources from membership fees, social, donations and so on, certainly would not meet our obligations. However we had a new Hall, placed in a good central position and suitable for letting. So it was decided. We retain one Saturday evening a month for the Club's own social meetings. All other days, if possible, for letting. Someone had to be placed in charge of hiring of the Hall. The writer of the Club's past events, was the one selected to start the ball rolling. I was also the one living in close proximity to the Hall, so was “it”. Gradually, bookings for the Hall increased. Saturday nights, Sunday afternoons (church meetings) and ordinary week-days. Ladies social clubs etc, all helped to swell the coffers and enabled us to meet our commitments and repayments. To overcome the problem of clearing up after each and every event in these early stages, we were fortunate enough to secure the services of Mrs Boyland, our next door neighbour. She undertook to act as caretaker and cleaner, and despite certain difficulties, her help was much appreciated.

 

Another innovation at our socials was the introduction of “Ladies Night”, where one lady was appointed “Hostess” for that evening. It was proposed that my wife be “hostess” at this first trial. It was held in February 1956 and took form of a social evening, centred around a table laid out in the traditional Danish fashion of “Koldt Bord” ( Smorgasboard). The Secretary's comments are short and to the point:

 

“February Meeting – Ladies Night. A very good evening”. Subsequently quite a few such evenings were celebrated. “Hostesses” to name but a few:

Mrs A. Steenberg, Mrs J.P. Petersen, Mrs O. Nielsen, Mrs A Andersen and others.

 

It was possible to celebrate in such a manner at that time. The Membership was only slightly more than 50 plus a few country Members. To have 40 people, including Member's wives, was a good turn-up. Compared with today's attendance, it was very small, but probably also more intimate. Furthermore, quite a lot of us had been living in Queensland for a number of years and the total number of Danes living in Brisbane was small.

 

In September 1956, the Club received advice from the Public Curator that one of its Members Viggo Mortensen (now deceased) had left the Association 110

pounds, free of death duty, in his will. He is one of the very few who had bequeathed a sum to the Club. And it came at a time when every penny counted. For it was at this very moment that an influx of newly arrived Danish immigrants turned up at the Club. The Secretary recorded – September Meeting, 21 members including wives and approximately 43 visitors. And to put it bluntly, we were overwhelmed. None of us had any idea of the numbers of new arrivals. Needless to say, we were short of food and drink.

 

At the General Meeting in January 1957, it was proposed to alter Paragraph 7, reading:

“Associated Members. Word “men” to be deleted and the word “persons” to be inserted instead.”

 

This was confirmed at a Special General Meeting held in March. From now on each month saw an increase in number of Members. So much so, that by the time the Annual General Meeting was held, it had risen to 77 members.

 

Elected to the Office of Librarian (after a ballot) at that meeting, was a man all of you today know very well. - One J. Maymann. All of us have to start somewhere. Jørgen started as Librarian in 1957.

 

In May 1958, it was decided to start “Club News”, the forerunner of what is today our far more elaborate “News Letter”. It was just one typewritten page sent to Members. The original idea was catering for our Country Members, to give them some idea what the Club was doing, and to encourage them when in Brisbane, to attend our Meetings, if possible. Later, it was decided for intending new Members to have their names inserted, and if elected, to have this confirmed in the next issue.

 

With the influx of newly arrived Danes, the same old question cropped up, as it had in the past, namely - “ Why is 'Danish' not the official language in the Danish Club?”

 

Well it is not an easy question to answer. Firstly, of course, all official records must be in English, because the Club is registered under “The Friendly Societies Acts”. However, this does not make it any easier for the “New arrival” who naturally enough, feels he can express his opinions better

in his native Danish. On the other hand, the Member who has lived in Australia for many years, often without an opportunity to speak Danish, prefers to express himself in English, and defends his right to express himself in the language he knows best. There is also the second generation Member, who does not speak Danish. He would be a complete loss to the Club, if asked to speak Danish. This situation evens out as immigration slackens, to become prominent again when a new influx starts. The sensible attitude, as now practiced, namely to let each speak in whichever language he prefers, is a good one. I hope it will never be changed.

 

In April 1960, at a very large gathering in the Club House, President Steenberg was honoured by the Danish King, represented by the Danish Consul General in Sydney, Mr. F. Henning Hergel, who presented him with the Order of “Ridder af Dannebrog” ( Knight of the Royal Order of Dannegrog”.), an honour we all felt was thoroughly deserved. This was the second occasion this honour was bestowed on a President of the Danish Club. The first was past President J.P. Petersen, for his work during the war years and subsequent work for Danes in Brisbane and for the Danish Club.

 

A Special General Meeting was called in June 1962. There was only one subject on the Agenda -Sale of the Club premises.” Surprisingly, as it seems, after having been established in its own home for such a relatively short time, an offer was made for the property. Furthermore, the Committee apparently was in favour of accepting the offer. But of course, the final say was in the hands of the Members, or rather, those who attended the Meeting. A cash offer of 6,000 pounds ($12,000), had been made. After paying off the remainder of the loan to the Bank, 1,000 pounds ($2,000), the Club would have a capital of 5,000 pounds ($10,000)., representing a substantial increase during the last few years. It was also pointed out, attendance at the social evenings had dropped alarmingly in spite of efforts of the Committee to get Members to attend. And if this trend continued, what was the use of the Club having its own home, with all the attending worries. It was then left to the Members to have their say.

 

Member after Member rose to speak. Each and everyone expressed their opposition to selling out their Club. A vote was taken, and strangely enough,

a unanimous decision was reached Not To Sell, followed by a toast – drinking to the future prosperity of the Club.

 

The General Meeting in July 1962 was not very different from many others, except the time had arrived when Aksel Steenberg was no longer prepared to stand as President (for very good personal reasons). Some months earlier, he had told the Committee, he would be unable to carry on. So after nearly 30 years service as a Committee Member, the last 10 years as President, he now joined the ordinary Members. To some of us, it was the end of an era. A time that had seen the Club grow and prosper more than at any other time in the Club's history. Speaking personally, I am glad I was a Member of the Club, glad I was elected and served as a Committee Member with Aksel Steenberg as President, guiding the Club to better and better things.

 

The Meeting elected Frank Nissen Viis as President, a position he occupied for the next seven years. The first big social event coming up was celebration of the Club's 90th birthday. This event was to be a sort of trial balloon for the big event to come 10 years later. It was held Saturday 22/9/62 at the Bamboo Rooms. Incidentally it was their opening event. Well over 200 guests attended this social, including Consular guests, Federal Department. All in all, the biggest event in the Club's 90 years of existence. Unfortunately, towards the end of the evening, a most successful event was marred by an unfortunate incident caused by a few imbibing too freely and losing their sense of responsibility. Fighting took place and the evening closed in a most undignified manner, disgracing their Club, themselves and their fellow countrymen.

 

During the next few years, each succeeding Committee put in a tremendous amount of work on each social event. Special evenings with the Hall decorated to suit the occasion, such as St.Valentines evening, Fastelavn, St. Hans evening (Sct Hans Fest), Harvest Festival ( Høst Fest) on September, New Year's Eve party, just to mention some of the special events celebrated each year. Despite the efforts and expenditure on music, orchestra etc. the Membership remained constant and attendance at the social evenings so low, the Club showed a loss. Consequently, when the L.J. Hooker organisation indicated they might be prepared to buy the property, the Committee placed the proposition to the half yearly Meeting in January 1964.

The tentative offer was in short, to purchase the land for $10,000 pounds ($20,000). The Club had the right to shift the Hall. The offer was subject to Hookers being able to purchase the two adjoining house properties at a reasonable price. It was put to the Members attending the Meeting. The general feeling was, at that price, it would pay the Club to sell. A vote was taken. It showed 20 in favour of selling, 4 against and 2 informal. The Committee was authorised to go ahead with the proposition. However, in March, Hookers advised they were unable to buy the other two properties at a reasonable price and dropped the offer to buy.

 

Financially, the Club was growing stronger, the income from hiring out the Hall was increasing from year to year, while the bank overdraft was growing smaller. For instance, the income from the Hall hire for the financial year ended 30th June 1967, was $1,179, but the average attendance at the Club's socials had dropped to only 30 Members.

 

Over a period of years, the various Committees had discussed the possibility of cementing the whole floor area underneath the Hall and replacing the original tables and chairs with new modern furniture. By the end of November 1969, the Club's finances were in such a healthy position, it could afford to ask the bank for a further loan of $1,000.00 to achieve this object. An offer from a Club Member to do the concreting for $700.00 was accepted and new tables and chairs at the cost of $246 were installed, greatly enhancing the interior look of the Hall, plus providing extra comfort for Members.

 

The Annual Meeting in July 1969, saw the largest attendance of Members in living memory for such an occasion. Usually it is very difficult to persuade Members to attend a General Meeting. It appeared we were to have a new President.

 

Our President, Frank Nissen Wiis, was proposed for re-election. However, he declined. Mr. Jørgen Maymann was proposed, seconded and elected by acclaim, as President for the ensuing year. A new Committee was elected, each one proposed by Mr. Maymann.

 

For 7 years, Frank N. Wiis and various Committees had worked hard and conscientiously for the Danish Club. Financially, the Club had progressed. The Membership had remained constant, yet the monthly socials, in spite of every effort, were attended by relatively few people. Apparently a new management was required. Jørgen Maymann saw this and gained the approval of a large number of prospective new Members. From now on a new management had taken over.

 

The new Committee certainly had the backing of a number of prospective new Members, and of course, the majority of existing Members. A good example of the popularity was shown at the first big social event “Høstfest” (Harvest Festival) 140 people attended. Needless to say, the evening showed a handsome profit for the Club.

 

Another innovation was the establishment of a Youth section. The idea was good, but very soon it failed to attract young people and had to be disbanded.

 

Another innovation was the Club's attendance at the Brisbane “Warana” Festival. For several years, J. Maymann had been keen on the idea of the Club being represented. The Committee agreed and willing workers built a handsome Viking Ship , manned by Club Members dressed in the best traditional Viking outfits, including swords, shields and helmets. It was a big success. So much so, that 3 Members were invited to appear on a Brisbane T.V. Programme.

 

In September 1970, the Committee was informed the corner block of land with house, on the corner of Cleveland St. and Jeavons Lane, was for sale at a price of $10,000.00.

 

The half yearly Meeting in January 1971, was well attended. It was disclosed that 19 new Members joined the Club in the past 6 months. The Meeting was told a number of blocks of land had been inspected, and found unsuitable.

Discussion followed that maybe our present premises could be extended. It was left in the hands of the Committee to explore ways and means.

 

It was proposed and adopted the annual subscription be increased by $2.00, to $6.00.per annum. It can be fairly said this increase was overdue, as it had

not been changed for apx. 20 years, in spite of enormous increases in costs during that period.

 

The next few months saw some very well attended socials showing handsome profits. A few, not so well attended inevitably showed a loss. It always has been, and forever will be, in the hands of Members. Turn up, and the Club will benefit, stay away and the Club must lose revenue. It is entirely in the Members' hands.

 

Before the General Meeting in 1971, the Committee had a further offer of the corner block – the price reduced to $9,000.00. An approach had been made to our bank. It indicated, on certain terms and conditions, it looked favourably on the proposal. An initial option of $20.00was paid to the agent. A contract was drawn up to the approval of Members at the General Meeting and bank finance made available. An announcement was made in the Newsletter of the proposal to buy the property, inviting Members to turn up at the General Meeting so that they could vote on this very important step.

 

The Meeting was attended by 52 people of whom 46 was entitled to vote. President Maymann outlined the past year's performance. It had been a successful year, both socially and financially. Hall revenue stood at an all time high of around $1,900.00. Thereafter, Members voted for a new Committee. J.Maymann was re-elected President unopposed. Tho positions on the Committee had to be balloted for.

 

The re-elected Vice President, S.E. Nielsen, then outlined to Members the background for the proposal to buy the property under discussion. He gave detailed information of finance required and how to obtain it. Repayments required on a 9 or 7 year plan and finally the advantages accruing to the Club if the Meeting approved the purchase. Mr. Steenberg, on behalf of the Trustees, indicated they were in favour of buying. Mr. Nielsen moved and seconded by Mr. Steenberg, the following motion:

 

“This Annual Meeting empowers the Committee of Management to instruct the Trustees to obtain a loan of $9,000.00 for the purchase of the property described as Sub 182 of Portion 107, situated on the corner of Cleveland St and Jeavons Lane, Stones Corner.”

After discussions, the motion was put to a vote. A show of hands revealed it was carried unanimously. This same evening, an Anniversary Committee was formed to work and plan with the Committee for the coming Centenary celebration. It's Members were:

B. Thorp-Olesen, Hanne Hansen, Jorgen Jensen and Clarence Davies.

 

Finally, by acclaim, the Meeting elected Mrs Steenberg ( Rikke to her friends) as the Club's Honorary Member.

 

During the next month, after the bank had approved a loan of $9,000.00, voluntary helpers helped in many and various ways, to get the old house put in ship-shape, ready for letting. Apart from all the labour, the Club was also involved in additional expenditure of apx. another $1,150.00 . So all in all the

new property cost the Club little over $10,000.00. I understand the house was let at a weekly rental of $25.00, furnished.

 

At the half-yearly Meeting in January, 1972, the Centenary Committee reported the function will be held at Park Royal Motel. The price per person $10.00., and a very large attendance is expected.

 

It is intended a lottery be started, at a $1.00 per ticket. First prize – a return ticket to Copenhagen, donated by SAS/Thai International, plus a number of other donated prizes. This proposal is yet to be approved by the Authorities.

 

In a couple of months, the Club will meet for the next Annual Meeting, a new Committee will be elected. It is in the hands of those Members attending that Meeting who shall preside over the Club for the following 12 months. And, of course, also preside over the Club's largest ever social event, the 100 years birthday.

 

The time has now come when there are no further reports to delve into. Ahead of me, only blank pages. What shall be recorded there? - Progress – decline? Followed by further progress. Who knows? If history repeats itself, and I believe it does, there will be further progress so long as Danes follow the age-old urge to leave home and follow the Sun. And this is one thing Queensland can offer them.

 

For the last time, take a look again at that old, faded Minute Book where-in was recorded the first meeting of those few men and women, who in 1872 decided that the town of Brisbane was big enough to support a Scandinavian Club. I think of those courageous Club Members who, in time of adversity and war, managed to keep their Club going, waiting for better times – and not in vain, I dream of the future. The Club as it now is, built on a firm foundation. I can visualize in the future a building on 48 perches of land, the ground floor occupied by a Restaurant specialising in serving Danish and other Scandinavian food and drinks. The first floor reserved for the Club, with full amenities, reading room, card room, and of course a large assembly Hall. The second floor reserved for letting of professional rooms and a caretaker's flat. Revenue will come from the Restaurant and hiring of offices. A pipe dream – perhaps??

 

I wish to thank our Club Members for entrusting to me the task of recording the past events of your Club. My one regret is my lack of literary talent, entrusted in abler hands than mine, it could have been made into quite a story. Yes, maybe even a Hans Christian Andersen fairytale.