Sam has always been impressed with Country & Western Music and in years gone bye, won many Talent Quests singing the Slim Dusty, and daughter duo's with his young daughter Ann. A keen viewer of the Reg Lindsay TV program where Square Dancing was featured, (Nev McLachlan , calling) caught his eye and he wanted to find out more about this sort of dancing fun. All inquiries re being able to learn Square Dancing proved futile.
During February 1979, David Smith, a young learning Caller, from Atherton, and commuting to Innisfail Friday nights for his job, placed an ad, in the local paper re interested wishing to learn Square Dancing and it was March 1979 that Sam and Nan took up the challenge and went off to a beginner class in Innisfail. This was it, they were hooked.
Nan always loved dancing, and together with Sam attended a welcome dance for N.Z. group, caller couple Art & Blanche Shepherd, held in Cairns. During the evening Round Dancing was programmed, with Art, cueing, Nan knew right away Round Dancing was for her, even though, at this stage, it was amusing to hear some of the cues, for example a scissors representing a move.
In July of 1979 Nan & Sam commenced travelling to Cairns for beginner Round dance classes conducted by Bill and Glady Browning, President couple of Coral Coasters, of Coral coasters Square and Round Dance Club, Edmonton, N.Q.
With cued tapes supplied for practise, interested dancers from Innisfail Grand squares were introduced to the Basics of Round dancing. Nan progressed to Cueing, with much trial and error and lots of practise.
Travelling to Cairns, some 86 klms away became a weekly event.
For two years Square Dancing and Round dancing as much as possible, supporting local Club "Innisfail Grand Squares", and "Coral Coasters", Edmonton, weekly.
Attended many combined Saturday Night Dances and the NQ. Conventions.
In 1980 Sam responded to an invitation to anyone wishing to Programme with Tapes and Records at "Coral Coasters", Sunday night dances, alternating with established Sunday night Programmers. Bill Browning, and Claude Vautin, (now both deceased). Sam began practising Calling and putting efforts on Tape. After playing one of the numbers at a Sunday night in Edmonton, Sam was invited to call same live. From then on he attended any Callers Seminars, at the NQ Conventions and NQ Delegates dances, and spent a week-end at Brian Hotchkies, home, where Brian was very helpful. Jack Dalziel, assisted with Tapes and Cards, as did Don Proelocks, forwarding a set of Caller learning Tapes and Instruction sheets. He began a beginners group, and assisted David Smith, where possible in the local Club, now having his own Equipment, also sharing calling, this led to a good relationship with David, which lasted over the years, and was also encouraged by Bill McHardy, and Don Proelocks, on one of their trips up North in earlier years.
In 1981 Sam was elected Northern Vice President of the Square Dancing Society of Qld, and held this position till his retirement in November 1988.
Sam and Nan Hosted two International Caller weekends and attended Caller schools, in the North with Vaughn and Jean Parrish, in 1983, and John and Freddie Kaltenthaler in 1985. Attended Caller School in Brisbane, conducted by Vaughn and Jean Parrish, in 1983, calling on the Programme of these weekends.
For some years Sam, taught Square Dancing, to the local people from Ben-Bunda Activity Therapy School. When work took David, back to the Tablelands and time didn't allow him regular attendance to Innisfail, Sam, and Nan, took over running the "Innisfail Grand Squares", with Nan, teaching Rounds, since 1979. Sam, has conducted beginner classes each year since taking over. Together with Nan, from 1983 to 1987 travelled to Trinity Round Dance Club, for round Dancing, at first weekly, and later fortnightly. Home became a base for teaching, both in Squares, and Rounds, from beginner classes, to progressing as required.
From 1983 along with the Dancers, we presented Square Dance Demonstrations, at the Rain Festival, in Tully, these were an annual event and we took part for quite a number of years.
February, 1987 started teaching Square Dancing, in Tully, and this led to formation of Tully allemanders Square and Round Dance Club, with Nan, teaching Rounds.
The Club was very strong for a number of years. Assistance was given first by John, and Deslys Kirkman, and after they moved to Brisbane, (early 1992,) by Bill, and Betty Rankine, for conducting practise nights and alternate Club nights with workshop material prepared by Sam. 199 l Deslys Kirkman, now being the local contact for the Rain Festival, organised a large Squares Demo at the Show Grounds, and invited all Northern Clubs to take part, this received a great response, as it also marked Sam's 60th Birthday on the same week-end. Sam, felt pretty privileged, and had a great time calling for the demo, and later a Dance, to celebrate his Birthday followed, (at one of the local Halls).
Life was pretty busy, calling Friday's weekly, Innisfail Grand Squares and Round Dance Club, with extra nights for Plus and Basic, also varying levels in Rounds, taking one week night, as well as Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings.
Fortnightly Saturday nights at Tully Allemanders, Square and Round Dance Club, Fortnightly Sunday nights at Coral Coasters, Edmonton, maintaining a good relationship, with President Couple, members, and Tape and Record Programmer, Roy Anderson, and on his retirement, Gordon Williams, and Bill Armbrust.
Have attended all NQ. Conventions since 1980 the only one Sam. could not attend was in 1985 when he had major surgery.
Attended all twice/annual Cardwell, NQ. Delegates Dances, since I979 and organised and called at all since 1981. These in more recent years became annual, and current Nth. Qld. Vice Presidents organising. Nan, and Sam, attended all till the year 2000 and continued to be in charge of the Programme.
For many years, Nan, has conducted workshops at annual Northern combined Dances at Cardwell, also programmed Rounds at NQ. Conventions, and organised workshops where require. Together attended all National Conventions, since Brisbane, 1982 Sam, calling at all since Adelaide, 1986, Nan, cued at all since 1987, up to Tamworth, June 2001.
Together proudly presented the Showcase for Queensland, ( own choice), "Twilight Time", in Hobart, Tasmania, 1989, at that stage danced with no cues.
Also have been presenters with Foxtrot Rhythm, at Rounds Seminar, at National
Convention, in Adelaide 1992, and Perth, 1993, with own Choreography, to "Never Say Goodbye", also a Foxtrot.
Experience gained at National was a plus, for us being so far away, it also assisted us with our teaching, made some wonderful friends over the years.
Hosted John and Bertha Stallard, for Rounds workshops at lnnisfail, annual Dance, August 1992. Pleasing to be able to graduate Round Dancers, and John, doing the honours of handing out the Certificates. Some of these dancers had been travelling from Cairns, to join Innisfail Classes, as by now there was no one in Cairns, teaching Rounds.
Both travelled to Buderirm, South Qld. September 1992 for Seminar and workshops, with Helen and Bill Stairwald, Texas USA
1996 commenced a beginner Round Dance Class at Edmonton, (near Cairns), for interested dancers, from the area, there had been many requests re same. As time went on another Class was catered for. This continued in Edmonton till 2001, when Nan, and Sam, retired from Calling and Cueing.
1996 were pleasantly surprised and very honoured to receive the Qld. Square Dancing Society's "Silver Spur", Award, at the Nth. Qld. Convention in May, at Gordonvale. July 1996, Nan, attended "Carol & Bill Goss", USA. Teachers weekend at Caboolture, hosted by P.K. Rounds. Nan, having won a Scholarship, to the school weekend.
Sam has felt very honoured as over the years he has been invited as Guest Caller, at so many of some Northern Club, combined dances. 1996 when Sam, reached 65 years of age, Seven, Squares of Dancers attended the Friday night Club, dance to help him celebrate.
On March 21st, 1998," Tully Allemanders", held the last Dance, being the 11th Birthday, of the Club, Sam, and Nan, being there fortnightly the whole time. The running of" Innisfail Grand Squares" Fridays weekly continued, as did Fortnightly Guest Calling, at “Coral Coasters”, Edmonton, and all teaching classes, Special nights Plus-Al at Deeral, (which had been running for many years), and any Clubs, Special Dances, some Sam, being Guest Caller for.
After 18 months thought, Sam, and Nan, made the 18th August 2001, a last Dance, deciding it was time to retire from Calling and Cueing. This coincided with Sam's 70th Birthday, and what a night, totally overwhelmed by the attendance, and acknowledgments. Innisfail Clubs gift a night at the Casino with Dinner and show and Breakfast, Flowers and Wine, from Wednesday Rounds, Plaque from Nth.
Delegates, Plate Plaque, from "Sun City squares"' Townsville, and so many gifts, and Cards, with well wishes too numerous to mention, and from near and far.
The Saturday previous Sam, and Nan, had been Guest Caller, & Cuer, for Annie's Dance, hosted by "Cairns City Squares", and at the end of the night a wonderful surprise, Thank you Speech, Photo Frame Gift, Flowers and a lovely Cake to cut.
After the two previous nights, a Chinese Banquet, was hosted by the Edmonton Round Dancers, this was very enjoyable.
"Coral Coasters", organised a Dinner Dance, on 2nd sept. the ladies really excelled themselves with their cooking.
Sam, and Nan, gave a Rounds Demo,of the Bolero Rythmn, and once more were taken aback by the beautiful presentations, a lovely Plaque, Flowers, and Card so well worded, Eddie, had gone to a lot of trouble, organising the Programme to Tapes, and added to the atmosphere by dressing up as an imported Guest Caller. Great night.
Both agree that a big plus with Square and Round Dancing, is all the many wonderful friendships that are gained over the years. A big Thank You, to all who have assisted m so many ways.
Nan, and Sam, will continue to Dance, from time to time, and look forward to meeting up with so many friends on the Dance Floor. Friends will never be forgotten.
10th October 2001.