The need for organised Social Functions catering for the Ceylonese community in Brisbane was felt in many quarters and in Eric Ferdinands, we have a pioneer who organised a New Year’s Eve Dance in Redcliffe in 1960. Following Eric’s footsteps was Fred Foenander who organised Socials and New Year’s Eve Dances on the Southside.
In 1969, a committee consisting of Eric Ferdinands, Fred Foenander, Eustace Fernando, Frank Vander Straaten, Denis Noble, Ivor Ephraims, Stanley Anthonisz and Leslie Ephraims, was responsible for organising several socials and a very successful New Year’s Eve Dance.
Early in 1970, at the request of many interested people and at the realisation of the above-named committee itself, it was decided that the committee go ahead with plans for the formation of a Club. This Committee could be referred to as the founder members of the Club.
At a meeting of the founder members on the 30th May 1970, at the residence of Eustace Fernando, after much deliberation, it was decided to name the organisation “THE SILVER FAWN CLUB”.
At the first meeting of the founder members of the Club held on the 10th June 1970, at the residence of Stanley Anthonisz, the following Office Bearers were elected for the charter year of the Club:
Eric Ferdinands & Fred Foenander
Frank Vander Straaten, Stanley Anthonisz and Ivor Ephraims
The Office Bearers of the Club were presented to many prospective members at a dance held on the 13th June 1970, at the residence of Frank Vander Straaten and those interested were invited to join the Club.
At the end of the first year of the Club’s existence, 108 members had been enrolled and this figure was doubled in the next year and the membership at present stands at over 350, the majority of which are family members.
Apart from the three main dances held during the year, several other forms of social entertainment are organised by the Club each year. Our main feature dance has traditionally been our New Year’s Eve Dance, however, through the years, the Club has organised many functions such as Club Nights, Bus Trips, Car Rallies and Picnics, Sporting Tournaments, Christmas Carols Concerts and Curry Nights to name just a few.
A Senior Citizen’s Party to entertain senior members of the Club was introduced in 1981, with a name change to the Golden Years Party in 1984. Our popular Have a Chat Parties (Meet and Greet) commenced in 1987, with our Annual Children’s Christmas Party commencing in 1970. These functions are still part of our social calendar each year.
In 1972, the Club extended its activities to Sports and a Table Tennis Tournament was conducted for members, which has proved to be a popular annual event. It also marked the entry of the Club in the Netball Tournament conducted by the Brisbane Netball Association. Our girls performed very creditably, winning the Premiership in 1973, being Runners Up in 1974, winning the Knock Out Tournament in the A Seniors in 1974 and finishing as Runners Up once again in 1975. However regretfully due to a lack of players, we had to withdraw from the competition from 1976.
The Silver Fawn Cricket team entered the Q.C.A. Warehouse Division Cricket Tournament in 1973 and has acquitted themselves very well, becoming Premiers in 1974 and Runners up in 1976. Squash and Snooker Tournaments were introduced to the Club Activities in 1973 and Tennis and Carrom were added in 1975,
A feature of the Club is that it caters for members of all ages, creed or races and people of all walks of life, and it could be described as a family club.
The Club has progressed from strength to strength through the years and was incorporated on 11 June 1987 giving endless hours of entertainment, fellowship and enjoyment to all members. The Club is most fortunate that through the years the Committee has consisted of office-bearers who have to be very devoted, freely giving their time and best efforts.
A Club’s existence depends not on the abundance of the things it possesses – a ground, a clubhouse, furniture and equipment, money in the bank, etc – but on the individual efforts of its members, living human beings. Give then, my fellow members, of your time, your energy, your specialised knowledge, your sporting talents to enable the Club to go on from strength to strength.
Frank Vander Straaten
1987- Stanley and Therese Anthonisz
1988- Lesley Ephraims
1992- Ivor Ephraims
1995- Albert and Cherry Schokman
2001- Audley Fernando
2003- Eric Ferdinands
Rena and Jeremy Henderling
Frank Vander Straaten