On Saturday 11th June 2016, Wild Frontier and Kanella Squares celebrated Jeff’s 50 years of square dance calling. Poor old sod, life has certainly worn him down, not long now for his first Zimmer frame. I hope the club is flush with money, his next gift will have to be a mobility scooter and they are quite expensive.
The way we are all going, we will need to change the club logo to this.
From the look on his face, Jeff is plotting an evil hoedown
We had a magnificent turn out to witness our Golden Man’s milestone, Around 100 people turned up to celebrate this epic event, we managed 9 squares up on the floor which was a bit of a squeeze at our Chapel Street venue. Many dancers were sitting out flapping their gums, whilst many more were in the foyer seeking refreshment (tasting the wine).
Our Chapel Street Venue was overflowing
Whilst many people attended, our Golden Boy’s dance, his minder couldn’t make it
Callers assisting our “Golden Man” were: Janet Cook, Stradbroke Squares, Melbourne; Les Tulloch, Sunset Twirlers Noarlunga and Paddle Steamers Victor Harbor; Peter Scott, Yorky Promenaders, Kadina; Ian Rutter, Scoot Back Squares, Adelaide and John Casey, JVC Squares, Victor Harbor. All attending callers and presidents of the visiting square dance clubs, gave a brief address and congratulations to Jeff.
Janet Cook called
Les Tulloch called
Leon from Paddle Steamers thanked Jeff, (Les often calls at his club)
Peter Scott called
Ian Rutter called
John Casey called
Old Gold also put on a good show
Malcolm from Scootback Squares thanked Jeff
Jan Woodget and Heather Couts birthdays were organized to coincide with this event
Wild frontier’s El Presedente’ Jenny Battersby delivered a magnificent speech on behalf of our two clubs, recognizing Jeff’s unique achievement. I was very lucky she didn’t rattle it off too fast because my shorthand is a bit rusty these days, but I reckon I got it all down OK and this is exactly what she said:
“Firstly, thank you all for coming along tonight to help Jeff celebrate this milestone and I would also like to take a moment now to thank the committees & helpers for their work putting the night together – especially Pal Chesney and also Doug, Heather Coutts & Anne Tuckfield.
Wow, 50 continuous years of square dance calling – what an amazing achievement.
There are still one or two dancers around that remember a young Jeff Seidel visiting Alan Frost’s club and everyone saying how fast he called.
Even at an early stage his calling talent was recognised and over the years Jeff has been acknowledged for his authority on the technical aspects of square dance choreography. Jeff has attended and conducted many caller clinics & workshops and was a founding member of the Australian Callers Federation & South Australian Callers Association.
Jeff’s passion for & dedication to square dancing has not only taken him around the country but also around the world and over the years he has devoted many hours to introducing thousands of people to the joy of square dancing. Not only calling for a learner’s class on–a regular basis but also calling & teaching Plus and Advanced through to Challenge levels; as well as doing many demonstrations.
Unlike we dancers who go on holiday for as long as we want, when we want or if we’ve had a rough or busy day or the weather is miserable – we just decide to give it a miss that night – but Callers don’t have that luxury and with few exceptions Callers have to be there every club night, come what may.
For several years Jeff was calling 4 club nights a week, a monthly Saturday and also other functions including Society dances, club birthdays and Conventions; as well as other caller and club responsibilities and working full time.
In fact, over such a long time Jeff’s commitment and dedication would have meant many sacrifices of time spent with family and friends.
We are lucky that Jeff loves what he does and as a consequence we have one of the best callers in the country on a weekly basis.
So, on behalf of Wild Frontier, Kannella Squares and everyone here I would like to thank Jeff for his long time commitment to Calling and present him with this plaque as a token of our appreciation.
We would also like to present you with a Memory book to mark the occasion.”
Jeff with his plaque.
Lucky Jeff got a memory book, because his memory must be slipping a bit these days, what with his age and decadent living.
I didn’t take a proper picture of the plaque but this is what was inscribed on it (plus Jeff’s caricature)
Presented to: Jeff Seidel, 11th June, 2016.
Celebrating 50 Years Square Dance Calling,
With appreciation from those you have taught encouraged called for and cared for,
in Sunraysia, South Australia, around Australia and around the world.
Wild Frontier & Kanella Squares.
After Jenny’s thank you and presentation of the plaque, Jeff cut a cake made by Heather Couts, especially for the occasion.
Most of the dancers in the hall had learned with Jeff, including one of the callers, Janet Cook. Also, Jan Woodgett’s, daughter Alison, learned to square dance at Jeff’s when she was a kid. In fact Jan and the whole family learned at Jeff’s when they arrived in Australia, I assume like me as £10 Poms.
Alison with Joan (isn’t she grand OBN and still dancing) and Jan Woodget
Les and Anne, were the only two SASDS board members present, but I felt they were representing Sunset Twirlers. Sadly no one turned up to represent the Society. Whilst congratulating Jeff on his achievement, Les made what I thought was a very personal thank you. Les said that when he was a square dancer, he danced to, “a young Jeff” and seven other callers, all up on stage at once calling a hoedown. You know the sort of call, one caller calls one part, then another caller calls another part etc., usually ad-libbing the calls. Les said he was so impressed that it was there and then that he decided “I want to be a square dance caller”, which he has been with success for the past 30 years.
Then it was back to dancing
And more dancing (Les is thinking what do I call next?)
There was a lot of happy dancing
But many just sat out and watched
Took a break
Some talked about the good old days
Others clowned around
Some hid in the kitchen claiming they were rostered on
I left at around 9:30 supper was on its way and the joint was still jumping. It was rather hectic in the kitchen, there were two Heathers and many more. Heather Couts was cutting up the lovely cake she had made. I did manage to scrounge a morsel before I left. Yum!
But there was no escaping, it was a golden event!
It was a very successful, well attended, well organized dance and a big thank you goes out to the committee, the visiting callers and especially our Golden Boy. Well done all involved.
Posted on June 20th, 2016 by Roger M
Filed under: Activities, Dance, Interstate And Overseas Visitors, Kannella Squares, Personalities, Photos, Square Dancing, Wild Frontier | No Comments »