LATE 50's DECLINE and the EARLY' 60's DEMISE.

By 1957 there were obvious signs that the Society was in difficulties. Membership was down and increasing competition from T.V. and Drive In Theatres was having its toll on audiences. Already, despite the efforts of Mary Knuckey and Ted and Ivy Parker all the signs were there of the impending demise. Mr Snelgar assigned to produce the 1957 Concert Party resigned and it was taken over by Jock Pettigrew, assisted by a committee of 3 others, Mrs Knuckey, Green and Hart. The concert was a success - artistically and financially, but it was performed apparently in Kelmscott only. At the A.G.M. of 1958, Ted Parker presided over just 7 members. It was moved that an annual concert be held but at the 13th August meeting a motion was passed which stated, "that in view of the fact that it did not seem possible to have the concert properly rehearsed and in a presentable form by the 19th September, that it be cancelled, and no concert be held this year".
The poor state of the Society at this stage was further reflected by this note which appeared in the local newspaper under the heading Roleystone, Karragullen Notes, (June 1958).


IN FESTIVAL
Roleystone entries for the S.S. Festival this year have been smaller than ever before.
For the first time since the festival has been in existence there will be no play or sketch from the Choral and Dramatic Society, though Karragullen will be represented by a play from the Smailes' Mill Club.
To date. Roleystone has scored a win for every entry. Janice Heame scored a first for impromptu reading and a second for recitation. The CWA. choir' won the district choir section, and three of its members, the ladies' trio.

In that year the Society lost two very active members. Irma Barrett resigned and Mavis Hart (secretary) left the district. Their places proved difficult to fill. It was resolved at the 1959 A.G.M. 'that every effort be made to get more members so that a concert could be put on in 1959'. Mr Brierty agreed to be the producer with assistance from Mrs Green and Mrs Nicholls.
The concert did eventuate and it was apparently a financial success as this minute from the meeting of Aug 10th seems to suggest. "In view of the present healthy state of the Society's finances Mr Pettigrew moved and Mrs O'Connor seconded that the membership fee be reduced to 1/- (10c.)".

However good the financial health of the Society was at that time it was insufficient to prevent the inevitable. The A.G.M. on 2nd March, 1960, seemed optimistic enough, although the secretary/treasurer agreed to continue in the position for 'the time being only'. Plans were made to improve stage lighting, modify the fixing of the stage curtain and to hold a concert before the end of May. However no producer was appointed and a committee consisting of Mrs Rushton, Mr Brierty, Mr Pettigrew and Mrs Parker was formed to arrange a suitable programme.
At the meeting on the 30th March, the view was taken that because of the small number of people available it was regarded not possible to hold the concert in May. The proposal was made to call another meeting in May or early June to see if it would be possible to put one on in September. At that meeting the situation remained decidedly gloomy - the search for new members had so far proved fruitless.
A social evening was organised to which interested people would be invited. This evening was held at the residence of Ted and Ivy Parker but to no avail. After much discussion the decision was taken to cancel the concert altogether. No more minutes are recorded after this date for nearly 7 years and late that year Ted and Ivy Parker left the district.

RESTORATION - A Difficult Process.

On the 31st March, 1967 a meeting was convened in the Roleystone Hall with the purpose of re-activating the Roleystone Choral & Dramatic Society which had more or less been moribund since the middle of the 1960's. Certainly there continued to be a small group of theatre enthusiasts resident in Roleystone anxious to re-instate the Society but the main motive to re-form was the establishment of the Annual Roleystone Spring Festival - a week long series of activities; cultural, social and sporting, involving the whole community.
Mr I. T. Birtwhistle who was responsible for suggesting and planning the whole concept of the Festival enthusiastically and firmly believed that there was a need for dramatic and theatrical arts to be included in the proceedings. At that meeting in March 1967 he nominated Jock Pettigrew as president and an executive

The C.W A. Choir in the early 50's.
Most of the women pictured were also members of the Rolerystone Choral and Dramatic Society.
Included in the photograph are Julia Elliot-Smith, Pat Teague, Ivy Parker, Irma Barrett,
May Hart, Mrs Lina Hart, M. Spencer and D.Hazel,

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