The last few months have been a very difficult and distressing time for the Committee, but I am glad to be able to tell you that there is reason to hope our problems may be resolved. We have recovered some of the financial books and certain admissions have been made. An offer of restitution has been received and arrangements for the return of the missing funds are being negotiated. It is hoped that this matter can be resolved within a few months, but at the same time the investigation of our financial affairs is continuing. I would like to thank all of you who rang or sent messages of support and offers of help to the Committee - they were greatly appreciated. The Committee has accepted the resignation of Mrs Olive Coonan as an Honorary Life Member of the Society.
On a happier note, we congratulate Francis Greep who is this year's winner of the Bayreuth Scholarship. Francis is a Repetiteur with Opera Australia and will study in Europe. We are delighted to assist him with a return airfare.
Our Annual Lunch to celebrate the birthday of Richard Wagner, whose music brings us all together, was held at the Women's Club on Sunday 20th May when 50 members gathered to enjoy a delicious meal. We thank the Committee of the Women's Club for making us so welcome and, in particular, Judy Hislop for her patience and helpfulness.
We are greatly indebted to Professor Routley from the Music Department of the University of Sydney, who agreed to be the speaker at our lunch at very short notice. His remarks on 'Parsifal and Ritual' were a great preparation for our Seminar in July at Catersfield and the performances of Parsifal in Adelaide later this year.
As usual, a highlight of the lunch was the raffle. Prizes were a weekend for two at Catersfield donated by Rosemary Cater-Smith and Alec Cater and won by Sandra Beesley, a Bayreuth Scarf donated by its designer, Donald Canpbell, and won by a very happy Leona Geeves. The Wagner watch was won by Robert and Margaret Woodward and a bottle of champagne by Miriam Harris. Our very grateful thanks to Rosemary and Alec and to Donald for their generosity.
Our next meeting is the Annual General Meeting to be held at 1:00pm on 15th July at the Goethe Institut. After the formal meeting we will enjoy a recital by Warwick Fyfe and Stephen Mould and a short talk by Professor Simon Williams from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Several of our members have advised us that they will not be renewing their membership because they find it too difficult to attend meetings. Included in this group are Nancy Williamson, Jack Floehl, John Heathers and George and Susan Amigo. We thank them for their support and wish them well. Their many friends here will miss them.
I would very much like to thank all those members who made a donation when renewing their memberships. Donations are tax deductible and enable us to support performances of Wagner's works such as Parsifal in Adelaide where we are sponsoring Rosalind Martin as a Flowermaiden and Squire. We will make a donation to Opera Australia's Lohengrin.
Barbara McNulty President
22 May 2001