History of the Box Hill Art Group – The first 50 years

In 1952 the then Box Hill City Council instigated the start of the Box Hill City Art Group. A chance conversation between Dorothy and Rea Woodford and Mr C. P. Billot in the library one evening resulted in a meeting between Council and a few interested artists on the 2nd April 1952.

Interestingly Mrs Betty Murphy, first cousin of the first tutor of the Group Professor Theodor Scharf, believed that he might have initiated the Council’s interest in forming an art group in the City of Box Hill. Theo Scharf had returned to Australia from Bavaria bringing his wife and son with him and at the time they were residing in Box Hill.

The Inaugural Meeting of the Box Hill City Art Group

The foundation meeting was held on Wednesday 2nd April 1952 at 8:00 pm in the Children’s Library Community Hall under the Chairmanship of Cr. R. H. L. Sparks. There were some fifteen interested people present and apologies were accepted from seven more. Cr. Sparks introduced the purpose of the meeting as “To consider the proposal to appreciation and the practice of the graphic arts.”

Following an interesting talk on the subject by Prof. Theo Scharf – who was placed in charge of the classes and arrangements for the appreciation lectures – it was decided that the Group should consist of two sections, one for folk interested solely in learning more of the appreciation of art, and the other for those whose interests lay in the practice of drawing and painting. The appreciation sessions would take the form of lectures, trips to the Art Gallery, Melbourne, film shows, etc. Prof. Scharf suggested the development of a children’s Group, and moves to this end were already being made.

The subscription for the Group was set at five shillings (.50c) for adults and two shillings and six pence (.25c) for children per year, but those taking practice classes would be required to pay a fee to be decided upon – possibly in the region of thirty shillings ($3.00) per term of ten weeks. It was decided that the appreciation meeting should be held once a month, and that the practical classes, each of two-hour sessions, would be held each Tuesday in the Irving Avenue Pavilion.

After much animated discussion it was decided to appoint a Provisional Committee to deal with the preparation of a constitution, to work out the fees and details of the weekly classes, and to decide on the essential minimum of materials required by students. This committee consisted of Mr. Nicholas, Mrs. J. Rolls, Mr. Woodford, Miss D. Allen, Mrs. Adams with Cr. R. H. L. Sparks and Mr. C. P. Billot ex officio members.

The next meeting was arranged for 6th May in the Irving Avenue Pavilion, when the Provisional Committee was to report back to the meeting, office bearers elected, and the Constitution considered.

Signed (Chairman) J. Rolls.

Minutes of the 2nd Meeting of the Box Hill City Art Group

The second meeting of the Group was held on Tuesday 6th May 1952 at 8:00 pm. The Chairman, Cr. R. H. L. Sparks, opened with a brief recapitulation of the last meeting followed by a reading of the proposed Constitution of the Group. This draft Constitution was discussed, slightly amended, and carried unanimously on the motion of Mrs. J. Rolls, seconded by Miss Price.

The Chairman called for nominations for President, and Mrs. J. Rolls was elected. The new President then took the chair vacated by Cr. Sparks and the following office-bearers were elected:

Vice-Presidents:                          Mr. Woodford, Mr. Murphy.

Provisional Secretary:                               Mr. C. P. Billot.

Treasurer:                                               Mr. Nicholas.

Provisional Committee Members:  Mrs. Nicholas, Miss Price and Mrs. Woodford.

The elections were followed by a talk by Prof. Theo Scharf, official Tutor of the Group, who was to undertake the instruction of the Art Classes. He proposed that the classes should meet each Tuesday, to begin with, at 8:00 pm in the Irving Avenue Tennis Pavilion, which, he said, was eminently suitable. The purpose of the Group was not to compete with Technical or Art Schools, but rather to discover and develop in each member of the class a growing confidence in their own ability to express themselves. Artistic validity and quality had nothing to do with technique.

A tentative policy for the classes could be to alternate between working, practical evenings, and evenings devoted to discussion of “homework”, work done between classes. Prof. Scharf stated the minimum requirements for the classes as a pencil and paper but members were urged to bring along watercolours, oils, pastels, charcoal or anything else they may possess with which marks could be made! The details of the regular monthly appreciation meetings were left to the Committee to decide upon later.

Following Prof. Scharf’s talk, the President proposed that a letter should be sent to the City Council of Box Hill expressing sincere thanks for its permission to use the Tennis Pavilion for classes.

Provisionally the class fees were set at thirty shillings ($3.00) for a term of ten lessons, and the Secretary was instructed to contact schools, etc. with the object of starting a junior section of the Group which would be able to take Art classes at greatly reduced fees, possibly one shilling and six pence (15 cents) per lesson, or fifteen shillings ($1.50) per term. The annual subscription to the Group was confirmed upon as five shillings (50 cents) for adults and two shillings and six pence (25 cents) for young people less than 14 years.

The meeting closed at 10:15 pm.                                     Signed by Chairman J. Rolls.

The Art Group was admitted to membership of the Box Hill Citizens Committee for Community Activities in August 1952 and the same month held its first exhibition in a corner of the West Hall. The Group was asked to show paintings in conjunction with the exhibition of Children’s Library and Craft movement of New South Wales. This movement was helped a great deal by the splendid work of the then Mrs Lindsay Nicholas (Hepsibah Menuhuin).

Prof Scharf’s fees were Two Guineas ($4.20) per night. As finances weren’t abundant in the first year, Dorothy Woodford and Mrs Brideson were nominated to arrange evenings to raise money to finance the group.

Professor Theo Scharf
The Irving Avenue Tennis Pavilion


Class fees were increased to 2 Pounds ($4.00) per term payable in advance.

The Group applied to Council for permission to use the pavilion on the 3rd Monday evening each month as well as the usual Tuesday evening each week. Small exhibitions were held on some of the Monday nights when member’s friends were invited to social evenings to view the paintings.


Rea Woodford became President.

A small exhibition of works from the Group was displayed at the Box Hill Library.


The Monday evening exhibitions continued during the year along with other small shows.


On the 17th May, Prof. Scharf left for Germany to take up a position as Professor of Fine Arts at Munich University, and was replaced by Mr. Robert Grieve.

Class fees had to be raised to 3 Pounds 10 shillings ($7.00) for fourteen lessons to pay for the larger fees of 3 Guineas ($6.30) required by the new tutor.


The first public exhibition attempted by the Group was held at the Box Hill Lower Town Hall as part of the celebrations on the occasion of the Centenary of Local Government in the district, 1857-1957. The Group displayed 66 works and the participating artists were;

Eve Arnott, N. Brideson, Gertrude Cook, Win Legg, Barbara Graham, Joan Marks, H. Nixon, G. Matthews, John Murphy, Ivy Whitford, Grace Stevenson, David Pillinger, Kay Pillinger, Cynthia Wallace, Dorothy Woodford, Rea Woodford, Merle Ley and John Ley.


The Group held an exhibition in a small corner of the Town Hall during the Box Hill Centenary celebrations.

Life Classes began and were held on the 3rd Monday evening each month.

With increased membership (21), fees were reduced to 2 Pounds 16 shillings ($5.60) per term.

The one field day per year was held on Cup Day at Warrandyte; quite a large picnic party attended and several interesting paintings were produced.



The Irving Avenue Pavilion was extended and this allowed the group to have some cupboard space for storage. Life classes moved to a private home as, since the extension, it had become difficult to cover the pavilion windows.

The Group had quite a successful showing at the Herald Outdoor Art Show. The Cup Day field day held at Williamstown was well attended.


A very successful exhibition of paintings by members of the group was held in the Irving Avenue Pavilion in July. Guest speaker was Mr Davis, a teacher from Mt. Scopus College, who gave a very interesting talk on painting underwater, which he illustrated with coloured slides.

A gradual increase in the number of members occurred, largely due to the use of the showcase at the library.

An exhibition was on view in the West Hall at the Town Hall during the White Horse Festival.

An exhibition was held at the Ringwood East State Savings Bank over a period of three weeks.


The Manager of F. J. Palmer invited the group to put on an exhibition of paintings to celebrate the opening of the new Palmers Arcade in Box Hill. This was held in a large upstairs room in the new building. A few paintings were sold and several new members signed up. At the request of Palmers the exhibition was extended for another week.


Critique nights proved very popular and arrangements were made to have two per term.

Several members successfully sold paintings at the Herald Outdoor Art Show. The Group also exhibited at the Ferntree Gully Show.

Tutor Robert Grieve spent three months in Japan and Alistair Gray and Mary Macqueen alternated in class instruction.

Membership increased and accommodating tables and easels became a problem. There was a membership of 58 and an average attendance at class of 26.

The picnic painting-day on Cup Day was held at Darraweit Guim. About 5 carloads made the trip.


Robert Grieve returned from his trip to Japan and started teaching at C.A.E. so asked that Mary Macqueen alternate the Tuesday evening class with him.

The tutor’s fees went up to 4 Guineas ($8.40).

The group was invited to exhibit at the first Mitcham Art Show at the beginning of the year and 30 paintings were entered.

Another successful show was held at Koonung Heights Primary School. Proceeds from the show went towards funds for the school library.

Other shows that the group participated in were at Ferntree Gully, Victorian Artists Society and various local shows. The annual field painting-day was at Williamstown on Cup Day.


Ron Morsby became President.

The Group held a display in the Commonwealth Bank, Box Hill, in connection with the Whitehorse Festival.

Later in the year, the Rotary Club of Box Hill held their first outdoor art show at which most members of the Art Group exhibited. This show brought home the fact that the art group was not very well known in its own district, as the Group was inadvertently overlooked when invitations were issued to submit work for the outdoor show. On making the group known to the Rotary Club, they made special arrangements for the inclusion of Box Hill City Art Group entries; this meant much extra work for them, and the Group expressed its thanks for their effort.


Membership was raised from five shillings (.50c) to ten shillings ($1-00) for all members.

Rea Woodford was elected President.

Mr. John Adam was welcomed as the replacement for Mr. John Grieve.

In July, a young Box Hill Art Group member, 16 year old Chris White, won the junior section of the Australia-wide art competition, the National Goya Art Award. He was presented with ten guineas ($21-00) and a sculpture “symbolising the upward surge of creative effort” by the National Gallery director (Mr Eric Westbrook) at the Myer Mural Hall. He also received a commendation in the “Geelong Advertiser” Prize.


John Adam and Mary Macqueen alternated the tutoring of the class.

Several ideas were submitted for a letterhead, the selection being a white horse, the symbol of Box Hill, mounted on an artists palette.

The group started borrowing films from the State Film Centre on various aspects of painting by well-known artists.

Joan Marks won the Cato Prize at the Victorian Artists Society.

The Group’s entry in the Whitefriars Exhibition in Donvale at Easter was unofficial runner-up to the winners of the “groups display”. This was most encouraging for its first competitive group entry.


Frank Aston became President of the Group.

Mary Macqueen retired from tutoring and John Adam became full-time tutor.


An exhibition at Bourke’s City Store was successful in stimulating more painting by the members and they were of excellent standard. An exhibition at the A.N.Z. bank was highly commended


In 1969, the first French Day was held on the median strip in Whitehorse Road, Council having given permission to do so. The Group sold about $750 worth of paintings, out of which a substantial cheque was sent to Alkira from the commission on sales, and donations.

Display stands were purchased to better display works at future exhibitions.

In March, a successful exhibition was held in the Tooronga Village Shopping Centre. It was a combined effort with Mitcham and Ringwood taking part. Many sales resulted from this exhibition and bargain sale.


 Two successful French Days were conducted.

An afternoon class commenced on Monday afternoons from 1.30 pm. to 3.30 pm. The tutor was Jean Cumming.

Another first was the publication of a newsletter by Mr. Frank Aston.

Highlight of the year was the Art Show held by the Group at Darrods of Bourke Street, for two weeks. Another show enjoyed by all was arranged at the annual gymkhana at Kingswood College.


Mr. Aston retired as President and Merv. King was elected.

Life Memberships were awarded to Rea Woodford, Cr. R. Sparkes and Cr. K. McIntyre. Associate Memberships were awarded to Heather Oswin, Frank Aston, Jean Cumming and John Adam.

Two successful French Days and an exhibition at Kingswood College were held.

Term fees were $6.00 for a term of twelve lessons and exhibiting fees remained at $2.00.

On Monday nights, once a month, along with film nights, talks on frame making and enamelling took place. The Group held an art show at the Town Hall.

A Donation for $840 was sent to Austcare Pakistan Refugee Relief Fund, and another to Alkira for $210.


Fees were increased to $7.00 per term while those for Exhibiting Members continued at $2.00.

Jean Brewster was nominated for Associate membership.

A French day in October resulted in sales of paintings to the value of about $1250.

The field painting-day was held at Wandin.


Exhibitor’s fees rose to $5.00.

The March French Day resulted in sales of $2513-. As a result of two very successful French Days for the year a donation of $500- was made to Alkira.


Merv King passed away early in the year. He had intended to start tutoring the Monday afternoon class in place of Jean Cumming who was retiring. Dorothy Woodford stepped forward to take over the class. Joe Orden, a picture framer of Ringwood, advised the Group that he wished to donate annually, one picture frame to be awarded to a member of the Group as a trophy in memory of Mr King. Mary Hulbert was the first winner of the memorial award.

Dorothy Woodford was awarded Life Membership to the Group.

Col Waddingham was elected President.

$420- was presented to Alkira.

Class fees rose to $9.00 per term.


Rea Woodford won the Royal Agricultural Show Award. Unfortunately, he passed away shortly after and was greatly missed by the Group.

Another Wednesday night class with Patricia (Pat) Kiernan being the tutor was commenced.

A donation of $220- from proceeds from another successful French Day was made to Alkira.

The paint out on Cup Day was held at Doons Reserve, Launching Place.

Cr. Ossie Lundgren was appointed an Associate Member.

The Group participated in the International Women’s Year Festival of Arts and Crafts, held in the Box Hill Town Hall and proved to be successful.

Dorothy Woodford and Clem Rogers alternated the tutoring of the Monday Class.


Clem Rogers elected President.

It was resolved that a Rea Woodford Memorial Award be given at the end of second term and that all members were to be eligible to enter. Thelma Aujard was the first winner of this award.

Col Waddingham was appointed an Associate Member.

Class fees rose to $12.50 per term.



The 25th birthday.

A membership of 80 started the year.

Resignations were accepted from John Adam and Jean Brewster. Jean was instrumental in the establishment of “French Day”, the Merv King Award and the Rea Woodford Memorial Award as regular annual features of Group activities.

Arthur Markham took over the Tuesday Evening Class and Ian Armstrong the Wednesday Evening Class for a short time followed by George Browning.

1977 was the 50th Anniversary of the “Proclamation of Box Hill as a City.” Our Group along with other hobby groups helped celebrate the Jubilee Year with an exhibition at the Box Hill Town Hall in April. A special display of 9-inch x 5-inch (12.5 x 23 cm) paintings along with other works was on show.

Winner of the Rea Woodford Memorial Award were Mary Hulbert and Valda Palayzi and the Merv King Memorial Awards were won by Hilma Prudden and Meryl Nicol.

A donation of $310 was made to Alkira.

The Group became a member of the newly formed Conference of Art Societies of Victoria.


An art show was held in the Box Hill Shopping Plaza. Other exhibitions were at the A.N.Z. Bank and two “French Days’ were conducted. Donations were made to Alkira $400-, Red Cross $50- and the Box Hill Film Society $30-.

Councillors Thorpe and Richardson were appointed as Council members of the Art Group Committee.

Winners of the Rea Woodford Awards were Joan Moore for Oil and Pete Findlay for watercolour. Winners of the Merv King Awards were John Oswin for watercolour and Margaret Cromb for oil.


 An annual subscription of $5- for all class members began this year.

Donations were made to Alkira of $345-, Red Cross $50-, Year of the Child $50-, Box Hill Horticultural Society $25- and Box Hill Film Society $20-.

Exhibitions were held at the Box Hill Plaza and Moomba and two French Days were held.


John Oswin was elected President.

Class fees increased to $15- as from second term.

The Group held Art Shows at St. Mary’s Mount, Whitehorse Plaza, Maroondah Gallery (commission going to the Maroondah Hospital), Alkira and two French Days.

A donation of $270- was made to the Civic Heart Appeal.

A new Monday morning class was commenced and Martin Harts was appointed as tutor.


Fees for Exhibiting Members were increased to $10- and class fees to $20- per term.

Ray Drayton was appointed the new tutor for Wednesday evening.

 A donation of $1,225- was made to Alkira.

Two French Days were conducted and Art shows were held at the Whitehorse Plaza, Box Hill Town Hall, Box Hill Hospital.


 Mary Hulbert was elected President.

Clem Rogers became an Associate Member.

The March French Day was the worst ever with only $4.50 taken.

The Elgar Nursing Home asked the Group to display paintings in the Nursing Home, with the Home to retain a 20% commission from any paintings sold. (This arrangement lasted nearly 18 years until the Home was bulldozed to make way for townhouses to be built.)

Donations of $600- and a painting by Col Waddingham were made to Box Hill Hospital, and $100- was donated to Alkira,.


John Oswin became an Associate Member.

New Tutors for the year were Mary Hulbert for Monday morning and Meg Heres for Monday afternoon. While Arthur Markham was away in Western Australia, Clive Trewin was in charge of the Friday morning group.

Proceeds from the March French Day were donated to the Salvation Army for the victims of the bushfires. A donation to Alkira was made for $535.

An auction was conducted at the October French Day and it was decided that next year a limit of three paintings per artist would apply.

A paint-out to the You Yangs was held on Cup Day.


 Alison Hall was elected President.

Ray Drayton retired as tutor for Wednesday evening and Peter Wegner took his place.

Class fees were increased to $30- per term.


A Workshop was commenced on Wednesday afternoons for those who wished to expand their painting talents in a social atmosphere.

The Box Hill Golf Club invited the Group together with the Weavers, Spinners and Sculptors to mount an Exhibition in January, and this was accepted.

The March French Day was held at the Polly Woodside with 21 members turning up to paint on a grey day.

An exhibition of paintings was held in the Commonwealth Bank, Box Hill.

Mary Hulbert produced a small book on the history of the Group.


Ken Emmett was elected President.

Meg Heres began tutoring both Monday morning and afternoon classes.

A donation of $1000- was made to Alkira.

A paint-out was held at Warburton


An exhibition was held at 40 Dorking Road, Box Hill.

Fees rose to $35- per term.

The Group became an Incorporated Association.

New tutors to the Group:

Paul McDonald Smith, who was the 1986 Camberwell Rotary Scholarship winner, was appointed to the Wednesday morning oil class and commenced in the 3rd term;

Rick Rowton, who had graduated from the Slade School of Art, London, commenced a new Friday watercolour class.             Meg Heres and Pat Leonard resigned as tutors and were replaced by June Dudley (Monday morning and afternoon classes) and Peter Wegner (Wednesday evening class).

The Group changed premises to 470 Station Street (the old Electricity Commission Building) in August.



Keith Dow was elected President.

Tutor Arthur Markham passed away. Wallace Robertson took over the Friday afternoon class.

Jenni Mitchell, who was also taking the Tuesday morning drawing class, replaced Peter Wegner for the Wednesday evening oil class, as Peter was unable to continue at the time. Peter Lorkin took over the Tuesday Drawing class.

The Group, being unhappy at 470 Station Street, moved back to the Irving Avenue Tennis Pavilion.


Class fees increased to $45- per term.

A new tutor, but already a member of the Group, Joan Richard, commenced a watercolour class on Tuesday afternoon. Barbara Better retired from tutoring the Tuesday night watercolour class at the end of the year. Alan Day commenced tutoring a Thursday watercolour class.

It was resolved to commence an Arthur Markham Memorial Award for watercolour to be presented in conjunction with the Merv King Memorial Award, which would changed from watercolour and oil to be for oil paintings only.

Exhibitions for the year were—Commonwealth Bank for two weeks; Annual Exhibition with a 9-inch x 5-inch (12.5 x 23 cm) section.


Alison Hall was elected President.

Jan Jamieson commenced tutoring the Friday watercolour class in place of Rick Rowton with Herman Pekel taking over the Tuesday evening watercolour class. Peter Wegner returned to replace Jenni Mitchell for the Wednesday evening oil class.

Bill Coleman gave a demonstration for the Rea Woodford Award evening at the Whitehorse Room at the Town Hall. The Annual Exhibition was at the Town Hall in September and only one “French Day” was held in March.

September saw the big move to the Group’s present premises at 470 Station Street, but this time it was a brand new award winning Community Arts Centre. The official opening was in October with all of the varied tenant groups displaying their works.



Joy Moore elected President.

Alison Hall, Pete Findlay and Ken Emmett were appointed Life Members.

Arrangements were made to have demonstrations once a term from the tutors.

Paint-outs were held at Yarran Dheran Reserve, Warrandyte, and the Fairfield Boatsheds.

Part proceeds from the Annual Exhibition were intended for the Box Hill Hospital but as no great profit was made, a donation of $200 was decided upon in lieu.



The 40th Anniversary

The 40th Anniversary of the Group was combined with the Annual Exhibition. Heather Oswin made and decorated the cake. The caterers used serving trays especially made to look like artists palettes with brushes attached through the thumbhole. These acted as handles for them to hold on to.

Term fees were $65-.

Paint outs were at Westerfold Park, Williamstown, Studley Park Boatsheds, (where the geese joined us for lunch), Abbotsford on the Yarra and Princes Bridge in the City, which also included viewing the Rubens Exhibition by some of the Group, and then at Como. The last paint out for the year was at Kalorama opposite Five Ways Gallery which was visited before the Group headed home.


 Dorothy Deans elected President.

This year saw the “French Day” changed to “Art in the Mall” on Saturdays.

Paint outs were held at Ricketts Point, near Wesburn, Yarra Valley, and Healesville.

Ken Emmett made a still life stand which was a real masterpiece in itself.

Due to lack of numbers the drawing class ceased, and after six years with the Group, the class tutor, Peter Lorkin, left Melbourne to reside in the hills near Foster.


Class fees rose to $75- per term.

Some members took part in the street parade for the Whitehorse Festival. Members dressed in bright smocks and berets and carried palettes. The Group then set up an exhibition at Surrey Dive.


The Group was invited for the first time, to exhibit at the Australian National Flower Show at the Exhibition Buildings in Carlton. All paintings were required to have a “Floral Theme”.

The Group was also invited by the Melbourne Society of Women Painters and Sculptors to exhibit portrait painting at the Victorian Artists Society and three members participated.

Mon dieu!

The Annual Exhibition was held in the Whitehorse room at the Town Hall to try and cut down on expenses.

Tutors Meg Heres (Monday morning) and Jan Jamieson (Friday afternoon) resigned at end of year.


Mrs Joy Moore elected President.

New tutors were Robert Stemp for Monday morning oil and Glenys Schumer for Friday watercolour. The Friday class finished at the end of the year due to a lack of students.

As a result of amalgamation of Councils, the Box Hill City Council became part of the City of Whitehorse. The word “City” had to be dropped from Box Hill so a change of name to “Box Hill Art Group Inc.” was registered.

The National Flower Show at the Exhibition Buildings was an outstanding success for the Group.

Peter Wegner resigned at the end of the year to spend more time at Portrait painting.

A paint-out was held at Ricketts Point.            Art in the Mall was quite successful.

The Annual Exhibition was held in the Lower Town Hall again as Council reduced charges for us.


  Mariese Vivian elected President.

Tutor Mr. Robert Stemp changed to Wednesday evening class to fit in with his work. Fiona McKinnon filled in as tutor of the Monday morning class until Farimah Eshraghi was able to take over.

The International Flower Show Art Show at the Exhibition Building was again very successful.   The Annual Exhibition at the Lower Town Hall was not a profit-making venture even though the standard of work was very high.


Group participation in the International Flower Show Art Show was again successful.

The Group also took part in a “Hats on Parade” at the Town Hall in which each group was encouraged to make a hat resembling its hobby. Members worked on a design and the finished components were assembled at the Art Centre. The creative work of Thelma Oliver greatly assisted in design of the Group’s entry.

The Group took part in a Trash and Treasure day at the Arts Centre. The November Art in the Mall resulted in $1000- in sales.


Mariese Vivian re-elected President.

Ken Emmett, a Life Member and Past President, passed away at the beginning of the year. In memory of Ken, an exceptional supporter of the Group, it was decided to create The Ken Emmett Award for “Special Themes” to be presented at the Group’s Annual Exhibitions. The award decided upon for 1998 was a “Water Theme”.

The Annual Exhibition was held at St. James Uniting Church in Riversdale Road, Box Hill South due to the cost of the Town Hall being too expensive for the Group.

The International Flower Show at the Exhibition Buildings was another success for our Group.

Together with the Clay Workers, Hand Spinners and Weavers the Group held an exhibition called Passion for Colour at the Arts Centre in May.

Term fees increased to $85.


Tutor Robert Stemp resigned from the Wednesday Night Class at the end of 1st term and was replaced by Maree Holt, a past member, in the 2nd term. Herman Pekel resigned from the Tuesday Evening Watercolour Class at the end of the 3rd term and Col Waddingham replaced him. Col is a past member, past President, and an Associate Member of the Group. The Thursday evening class ceased at the end of the year due to a lack of students. Tutor for this class, Alan Day had been with the Group for ten years and for the past 2½ years had donated his services to the Group.

Art in the Mall took place in March.

The International Flower Show Art Show at the Exhibition Building in April was another success.

Fashion and Fantasy, a combined art and craft show at the Box Hill Community Arts Centre in May incorporated the efforts of the Clay Workers, Hand Spinners and Weavers and the Group.

The Annual Exhibition was held at St. James Uniting Church in Riversdale Road, Box Hill South.


Mariese Vivian was re-elected President.

Term fees increased to $90- per term.

 Clay, Cloth and Canvas, a combined exhibition with the Clay Workers and Hand Spinners and Weavers was another worthwhile venture at the Arts Centre in May.

The International Flower Show, Art Show was again a success.

Mitcham Arts Association invited the Group to participate in an Art Exhibition as part of the Arts on Parade fair organised by the Nunawading Arts Council. This was conducted at the end of June.

A combined Art Exhibition with Cameron Close Artists was conducted at Cameron Close Retirement Village, Burwood. This was a great success.

Annual Exhibition held at St James Uniting Church, Box Hill South, ran at a loss. Extremely bad weather was experienced and attendance suffered due to telecasting of the Olympic Games.


The Group hosted the Combined Art Societies of Victoria (previously the Conference of Arts Societies of Victoria.) conference at the Box Hill Community Arts Centre.

A small display of works combined with painting demonstrations was conducted at the Box Hill Central Shopping Centre every Thursday for a period of five weeks to promote the Group.

Harry Frencken constructed an overhead mirror for use at demonstration sessions.

Another combined art exhibition was conducted with Mitcham Arts Association for Arts on Parade. Group tutor (Wednesday Evening) Maree Holt won the pastel section.

Another combined art show with the Cameron Close Artists was conducted at Cameron Close Retirement Village.

The Annual Exhibition only just covered costs. The standard of work was really good and received many favourable comments from the public.

In view of the growing interest in pastels, it was resolved to create an annual end of year award for this medium.

A Twilight Fair was held at the Box Hill Community Arts Centre for five days in December. Unframed and framed works along with hand painted cards produced by members of the group were on sale. The Potters, Hand Spinners and Weavers, Tapestry Guild, and other artists connected to the centre all had work their work for sale, but the customers were lacking.


The 50th Anniversary.

Mariese Vivian re-elected President

Life Membership was awarded to Mariese Vivian and Joy Moore.

The International Flower Show Art Show was held in April at the Exhibition Buildings, Carlton. From the 85 paintings entered, 16 were sold.

A combined art and craft exhibition with the Hand Spinners and Weavers and the Cloth Doll Society was held in May.

The Annual Exhibition and 50th birthday celebrations took place at the Box Hill Town Hall in June. This was a very successful weekend and owed much to the response both in entries and attendance, to present and past members and tutors.

A combined exhibition with the Cameron Close artists was again held at Cameron Close Retirement Village in September.

The Governor of Victoria, Sir John Landy, visited the Art Centre in September and came in to see the workshop group busy painting. He showed great interest in the artists at work.

The Group was invited to exhibit at the Box Hill Horticultural Society Flower Show at the Box Hill Town Hall in October. Seven paintings were sold along with quite a few hand painted cards.

A paint-out was held at Yarra Bend Park in October.

Office Bearers.

Listed below are the office bearers appointed over the first 50 years of the group.


Honorary Presidents.

Mrs. J. Rolls (1952-1954)

Mr. Rea Woodford (1954 –1963) (1965 – 1967).

Mr. Ron Morsby (1964).

Mr. Frank Aston (1967 – 1971).

Mr. Merv King (1971 – 1974).

Mr. Colin Waddingham (1974 – 1976).

Mr. Clem Rogers (1976 – 1980).

Mr. John Oswin (1980 – 1982).

Mrs. Mary Hulbert (1982 – 1984).

Mrs. Alison Hall (1984 – 1986) (1990-1991)

Mr. Ken Emmett (1986 – 1988).

Mr. Keith Dow (1988 – 1989).

Mrs. Alison Hall (1990 – 1991).

Mrs. Joy Moore (1991 – 1993).

Mrs. Dorothy Deans (1993 – 1994)

Mrs. Joy Moore (1994-1996)

Mrs. Mariese Vivian (1996-2005)

Mr Robin Guthrie (2006-2011)

Mr Ray Jones (2012-


Honorary Secretaries.

Mr. Billot (1952).

Mrs. Nancy Brideson (1953-1960)

Mrs. Dorothy Woodford (1960-1964).

Mrs. Jean Cumming (1964-1968).

Mrs. Jean Brewster (1968-1970).

Mrs. Joan Oakes (1970-1974).

Mrs. Dorothy Bale (1974-1976).

Mrs. Mary Hulbert (1976-1980).

Mrs. Jan McDonald (1980-1982).

Mrs. Margaret Kettels (1982-1985).

Mrs. Jenny Parker (1985-1986)

Mrs. Dee Harmsworth (1986-1987).

Mrs. Yule Millard (1987-1990).

Mrs. Pam Worswick (1990-1992).

Mrs Verona Richmond (1992-1993)

Mrs Pam Worswick (1993-1994).

M/s Margaret Bell (1995)

Mrs Joy Moore (1995-1996)

M/s Chesa Stumbles (1996-1999)

Mr. Cliff Sawkins (1999-

Mr Eric Harvey (200


Honorary Treasurers

Mrs. L. Legg (1954-1964).

Miss C. Letts (1964-1968).

Mrs. J. Lay (1968-1970)

Mr. Colin Waddingham (1970-1973).

Mrs. Heather Oswin (1973-1982).

Mrs. Pete Finlay (1982-1990)

Mrs. Marjorie Tredrea (1990-1997).

Mrs. Thilly McLean (1997-1999)

Mr. Ken Ward (1999-2000).

Mrs. Joy Moore (2000-

Mr Jim Shelley (200

The following lists those persons who have been formally recognised for their services to the Group:


Associate Members.

An associate member: is any person or body of persons who are not Full Members and who have been deemed to be worthy of the title by General Committee. A fee may be imposed at the discretion of the General Committee. An Associate member may be granted full facilities at the discretion of the General Committee and may be granted voting power.

Mrs Jean Brewster.

Mrs Jean Cumming.

Mrs Mary Hulbert.

Mrs Heather Oswin.

Mr. John Adam.

Mr Ossie Lundgren.

Mr. John Neal.

Mr. Clem Rogers.

Mr. Col Waddingham.

Mr. Frank Aston.

Mr. John Oswin.


Honorary Members.

An honorary member is any person or body of persons who has been elevated to this title by a three-fourths majority vote at a General Meeting, in recognition of outstanding service rendered to the Group. No fee shall be required of an Honorary Member. No voting power pertains to this title.

Mr. Lewis, Librarian Box Hill Council.

Cr. Mr. R. L. Sparkes.

Life Members.

A Life Member is any Member or past Member who shall have been elevated to that distinction by a three-fourths majority vote at a General Meeting in recognition of outstanding service rendered to the Group. Full facilities and voting power shall be granted to a Life Member.

Mrs. Dorothy Woodford.

Mr. Rea Woodford.

Cr. R. H. L. Sparkes.

Cr. K.G. McIntyre.

Mrs. Pete Findlay.

Mrs. Alison Hall.

Mr. Ken Emmett.

Mrs. Mariese Vivian

Mrs. Joy Moore

Mrs Rina Wilcox

Mr Robin Guthrie

Tutors of the Group

Prof. Theo Scharf (1952-1956)

Mr. Robert. Grieve (1956-1965)

Mrs. Mary Macqueen (1963-1967)

Mr. Alistair Gray (1963)

Mr. John Adam (1965-1976)

Mrs. Jean Cumming (1971-1974)

Mrs. Pat Kiernan (1975-1976)

Mrs. Dorothy Woodford (1975-1980)

Mr. Clem Rogers (1975-1983)

Mr. Col Waddingham (1976-1977)

Mr. Ian Armstrong (1977)

Mr. Arthur Markham (1977-1988)

Mr. George Browning (1977-1983)

Mr. M Harts (1980-1983)

Mr. R. Drayton (1981-1983)

Mr. Peter Wegner (1983-1988)

Mrs. Mary Hulbert (1983-1985)

Mrs. Meg Heres (1983-1987)

Mrs. Pat Leonard (1986-1987)

Mr. Paul McDonald Smith (1987-

Mrs. June Dudley (1988-1989)

Mr. Wallace Robertson (1988)

Mr. Peter Lorkin (1988-1993)

Mrs. June Dudley (1988-1989)

M/s Jenni Mitchell (1988-1989) and then filled in on several occasions.

Mr. Keith Dow (1988)

Mrs Margaret Cowling (1988)

Mrs. Joan Richard (1989-

Mr. Alan Day (1989-1998)

Mrs. Barbara Better (1989-1990)

Mr. Rick Rowton (1987-1990)

Mrs. Meg Heres (1990-1994)

Mr. Peter Wegner (1990-1995)

Mrs. Jan Jamieson (1990-1995)

Mr. Herman Pekel (1990-1999)

Mrs Lyn Hahn (1991 as a fill in).

Mrs Peg Hyville (1992/95 as a fill in on several occasions).

M/s Petra Reece (1994/95 as a fill in).

Mr Ray Woods (1994 as a fill in).

Mr. Robert Stemp (1995-1999)

M/s Glenyce Schumer (1996)

Mrs Farimah Eshraghi (1997-

Mrs Fiona McKinnon (1996 – fill in).

Mrs. Maree Holt (1999-

Mr. Col Waddingham (2000-

Mrs Lorraine Wigraft (2002 – fill in).

Mr Ivan Dinsdale

Mrs Lorraine Wigraft


Award Winners


Rea Woodford Memorial Award Winners.

Rea Woodford was a foundation member and the second President of the Group. He was subsequently awarded Life Membership of the Group and his involvement is recorded throughout this history.

1976     Thelma Aujard    (oil)

1977     Mary Hulbert                  (oil)

Valda Palayzi                  (w/c)

1978     Joan Moore                    (oil)

Pete Findlay                   (w/c)

1979     Kath Holt                       (oil)

Margaret Cromb  (w/c)

1980     Irene Murray                   (oil)

1980     Joan Vassie                    (w/c)

1981     Thelma Aujard    (oil)

Lorna Thorne                  (w/c)

1982     Pat Leonard                    (oil)

John Oswin                    (w/c)

1983     Margaret Kettels  (oil)

Joan Richard                   (w/c)

1984     Pat Leonard                    (oil)

1984     Margaret Dacy     (w/c)

1985     J. Osborne                      (oil)

Joan Richard                   (w/c)

1986     Victoria ?                       (oil)

1986     Ann Sutherland   (w/c)

1987     D. Connell                     (oil)

Don Townsend    (w/c)

1988     Alison Hall                    (oil)

Hans Schajermann           (w/c)

1989     G. Frank                        (oil?)

Jan McDonald                 (w/c?)

1990     Eve Davis                      (oil)

Rosemary Robb  (w/c

1991     Marjorie Tredrea  (oil)

Betty Tait                      (w/c)

1992     June Henning                  (oil)

Peter Veal                      (w/c)

1993     Frank Job                       (oil)

John Greaves                  (w/c)

1994     Joy Moore                      (oil)

1994     Marjorie Tredrea  (w/c)

1995     Thelma Oliver                 (oil)

Maria Highfield   (w/c)

1996     Peter Young                   (oil)

1996     Harry Frencken    (w/c)

1997     Eric Harvey                    (oil)

Maria Highfield   (w/c)

1998     Jenni Henry                    (oil)

Dianna Jackson   (w/c)

1999     Joy Moore                      (oil)

1999     Mariese Vivian   (w/paper)

2000     Peter Young                   (oil)

Rina Wilcox          (w/paper)

2001     Mariese Vivian    (oil)

2001     Harry Frencken    (w/c)

2002     Jenni Henry                    (oil)

Rina Wilcox                   (w/c)

Elaine Burrows   (Pastel)


The Merv King Memorial Award.

Merv was elected President of the Group from 1971-1974 and was about to commence tutoring the Monday Afternoon Class when, he unexpectedly passed away.

Merv. King Award Winners

(Became an Oil Award only from 1990).

1974     Mary Hulbert                  (oil)

1975     Clem Rogers                  (oil)

1976     Mary Hulbert                  (oil)

1977     Hilma Prudden    (oil)

Meryl Nichol                  (w/c)

1978     Margaret Cromb  (oil)

John Oswin                    (w/c)

1979     Mary Hulbert                  (oil)

Lorna Thorne                  (w/c)

1980     Molly Hall                     (oil)

Margaret Cromb  (w/c)

1981     Mary Hulbert                  (oil)

Hilma Prudden    (w/c)

1982     Elvie Flood                    (oil)

Joan Richard                   (w/c)

1983     Margaret Kettels  (oil)

Mollie Hall                    (w/c)

1984     Pat Leonard                    (oil)

Margaret Dacy     (w/c)

1985     Margaret Kettels  (oil)

Joan Richard                   (w/c)

1986     No Record

No Record

1987     No record

No Record

1988     Enid Grundulis   (oil)

Jenny Cross                    (w/c)

1989     Pam Worswick    (oil)

Freda Surgey                  (w/c)

1990     Elvie Flood                    (oil)

1991     Mariese Vivian    (oil)

1992     Thelma Oliver                 (oil)

1993     Glen Farhall                   (oil)

1994     Thelma Oliver                 (oil)

1995     Jenni Henry                    (oil)

1996     Thelma Oliver                 (oil)

1997     Joy Moore                      (oil)

1998     Mariese Vivian    (oil)

1999     Joy Moore                      (oil)

2000     Noela Ralph                   (oil)

2001     Peg Forsyth                    (oil)

2002     Joy Moore                      (oil)


The Arthur Markham Memorial Award Winners. (For watercolour).

Arthur Markham was another staunch supporter of the Group, having been a tutor for eleven years. He was highly regarded by his students and was taking three classes at the time of his death. His accomplishments are detailed in the section on tutors.

1990     Hans Schajermann           (w/c)

1992     Margaret Dacy     (w/c)

1993     Peter Veal                      (w/c)

1994     Harry Frencken    (w/c)

1995     Harry Frencken    (w/c)

1996     Maria Highfield   (w/c)

1997     Margaret Dacy     (w/c)

1998     Maria Highfield   (w/c)

1999     Mariese Vivian    (w/paper)

2000     Thelma Oliver                 (w/c)

2001     Joy Moore                      (w/c)

2002     Val Minter                     (w/c)


End of Year Pastel Award.

(Created in response to a growing interest in this medium.)

2001     Monique McConaghy

2002     Mariese Vivian


The Ken Emmett Memorial Award Winners.

(A Special Theme Award Presented at the Annual Exhibition).

The Group has seen no stauncher supporter than Ken Emmett, a man who went out of his way to encourage all he came in contact with to develop their talent. Reminders of Ken are ever present in the classroom in the equipment that he made.

1999     Maria Highfield   (9×5)

2000     Mariese Vivian    (Spring)

2001     Joy Moore          (Still Life)

2002     Margaret Bell      (Australiana)


The information on this page is based on the book
“The First Fifty Years of the Box Hill Art Group Inc.
A Celebration of the People and the Art.”
compiled in 2003 by the late Joy Moore, a very gifted artist and a tireless worker for the group.