Extracted from Leader Newspaper in October 1988.......
Woodwork fans Unit!
A new club for woodwork enthusiasts was formed at a meeting at the Ferntree Gully Technical School last week.
Mr Alf Stephens, who originated the idea for a local club, had his dreams fulfilled when more than 60 people appeared for the first meeting.
Chaired by Knox's Cr Wally Tew, the meeting unanimously elected Mr Stephens as the foundation president.
Also elected, were Bill Hawley as vice-president, Susan Wood as secretary, Peter Johnson as treasurer, John Fearn as newsletter editor, with committee members Alec Davis and Beate Schutz.
To be called the Ferntree Gully Woodworkers, the club will meet at 6:30PM on the first Wednesday of each month at Ferntree Gully Technical School.
Membership was set at $20 per year (plus a $10 joining fee). Concession rates are available for families and junior members.
Mr Stephens announced that anybody becoming a financial member before Christmas would be known as a foundation member.
The meeting was also given a woodturning demonstration by Rob Ripley.
The generosity of the Vice-Principal of the former Glenfern Secondary College, John Masterton and Bill Whitford when it was known as Ferntree Gully Technical School, made it possible for those early days of meetings in the woodworking rooms of the school after first using the shelter sheds outside.
Moving forward to current days - much has improved, but the underlying philosophy remains unchanged! The fees are still reasonable, and we enjoy the company still, of a number of those fine foundation members! And we still meet on the 1st Wed of the month (now 7:15PM)
To his credit, the late Alf Stephen's aims for the Club remain steadfast:
1. To promote woodcraft by creating an interest in working with wood.
2. To foster communication amongst woodworkers and assist them in
achieving excellence in design and craftmanship.
3. To promote recognition of woodworking skills.
(Extract from the inaugural edition of 'INGRAINED' Newsletter, dated Nov. 1988)
Expanding the facilities.....
It wasn't long till the Club needed a place of its own, and this was found at the Placemakers site at 45 Glenfern Rd, Ferntree Gully in 1990/91. With much fund raising, and sweat of brow by many a qualified carpenter and tradesman from the Club's ranks, a new Clubroom / meeting room was opened in March of 1995.
A further major addition was built in Sept 2008, when the slab was poured for the wood store that faces the front of the highway. All these works had a very significant contribution from Bill Orpen, a long time member and deservedly awarded Life membership in 2009 for his immense help.
Many fine committee people and indeed members who rise to the occasion when asked, have made significant impact on making the KDWC the amazing facility it is today, in terms of facilities, shared knowledge, and beyond that, camaraderie between like minded 'Woodies'.
Pages elsewhere on this website
will outline the Facilities, the Committee,
and activities that have grown out of this
rich background of interest spawned by
Alf Stephens back in 1988, and no
doubt will continue to endure
for decades to come.