Clubs: Times Past

1964.10 Irene Red Cross

© irene waters 2016

Last months prompt generated a lot of memories about toys we held dear to us in our childhood. All generations had those who had a stuffed animal that they loved until they cuddled the hair off it and in one case “the stuffing out of it.” It seemed that this was most likely to happen for the first born child and those whose personal circumstances were different from most. In all I thoroughly enjoyed reading the responses as it generated my own memories of toys forgotten. I can’t however draw any conclusions as far as generation and where one grew up.

This month I want to look at clubs. Clubs bring together like-minded people to carry out an activity together. They offer inclusion which is important in the human psyche. Does the generation in which you were born have a bearing on when you first join a club? My guess is that it does but your responses will let me know if my guess is correct.

When did you first join a club?

Why did you join this particular club?

Do you still belong to a similar club?

Baby Boomer

Rural  Australia

In high school I joined many clubs. There was the tennis club, girl guides, chess club and the ISCF (inter school church fellowship). I don’t remember these clubs being available when I was in primary school but I also don’t know that I would have been interested then. In high school, at least part of the reason I joined these clubs was because I wanted to belong, to be part of something and to be included. Now the reason I belong to the clubs I am part of is because of a passion with the club’s purpose. I don’t have such a need to belong. Or do we all have that need?

In my primary days, however, there was one club I was desperate to belong to. I wanted to be included as I wanted desperately to have company. I wasn’t interested in the club’s purpose – that of making model aeroplanes out of balsa. The club was formed by my brother and his friend Chris and they had been given permission to meet in the old manse in the room that held the printing machine for the orders of service. It was a large room with a huge old desk against one wall. My Father did not use this as he had his own desk in the office of the new manse where we lived. This desk was perfect for the construction of the planes.

It was like a secret club. They would go in and lock the door keeping me on the outside. I begged and begged  to be allowed entry and eventually my brother succumbed to my pleas. But at a price. Membership of the club cost money – a whole months pocket money which we were paid weekly. I had no savings as I normally spent mine at the Popular cafe on lollies but now, so I could have inclusion, I saved all my money for four weeks. 

I paid my money with excitement and was given entry to the hallowed sanctuary. Once. I was informed that the club was disbandoning and a new membership fee would be required to be paid to the new club which was being formed. I threw a sibling type of tantrum and although I can’t remember I’m sure I would have complained bitterly to my parents. I do know that I decided I preferred sweets and loneliness to building model aeroplanes.

City Australia

Various United States of America

Working Class Northern England

In looking for a photo to go with this prompt I discovered that I had forgotten that I had belonged to another club in primary school. (Can organisations such as Red Cross and Girl Guides be deemed clubs?) I was a member for only a short time. I don’t know whether it formed towards the end of my primary school days or whether I was uninterested until then. I don’t know that I attended any meetings but I do remember we were joining the march on Anzac Day and the returned Nurses were very upset that we were wearing veils similar to their own and we had not earnt them. It was hotly contested and we ended up marching bare headed.

I’m looking forward to reading about your memberships in clubs. Leave a ping back for inclusion. The rules are here but above all have fun with your memories.

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
This entry was posted in creative writing, Memoir, Past Challenge, photography, Times Past and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to Clubs: Times Past

  1. What in interesting story, Irene. Love the photo of you in your nurse uniform, but I find it ridiculous that a group of adults would be so bitter as to not allow a group of children, who obviously looked to the adults as heroes, to wear their veils. No wonder you look a bit pouty. You’re probably trying to figure out how adults can be so small even when they’re taller.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Clubs: Times Past | Musings of a Retiring Person

  3. macmsue says:

    Reflecting really does make you think about the person you were and who you’ve become. My contribution for this topic is here:
    Thanks for the inspiration. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. colinmathers says:

    Your brother must have been a real arse-hole as a kid!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Charli Mills says:

    Interesting prompt, Irene and I’ll have to put my thinking cap (unveiled) on for this one! I’m not sure I actually belonged to any clubs. Maybe…can’t recall if Newspaper was considered a club or activity in High School. But one of my own making comes to mind! I’ll mull it over and look forward to joining in. Funny that you forgot the Red Cross club yet nusring became a career choice as an adult. Did that club have any bearing?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great to have you join in if you have the time. You have created the best club – carrot ranch and wrangling with words.
      I don’t think the red cross had any bearing on my career choice but perhaps not being allowed to wear that veil made the rebel in me determined to get one.


  6. Norah says:

    Interesting post, Irene. It’s surprising how intriguing clubs can seem when we’re not allowed. I would have been enjoying the lollies with you – let those boys have their own secret clubs. Who cares? They learned early about the power of exclusive boys’ clubs didn’t they?
    I don’t recall joining any clubs, unless maybe a tennis club.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Annecdotist says:

    How mean of your brother, Irene, but how ingenious! I too was in the Red Cross, but if that’s not a club I’m not sure I’ve any others to add.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Clubs: Times Past — Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist) – Welcome to the World of Ekasringa Avatar!

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  11. julespaige says:

    I’ll be back for this… I hope sooner than later. I enjoyed reading your article.
    I’ve been a bit moody (maybe due to the weather and family matters) and then we went on a mini family vacation.

    When we returned I discovered that some of my tomatoes (only a few containers in my driveway – small garden) have a sort of rot. And then the next day an animal most likely a squirrel destroyed three more tomatoes by ‘tasting’ them. The humidity has been very high… well those are just some of my excuses. Thank you for your continuing to gift us these prompts to write our memories. -Jules

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lovely to have you drop by and look forward to hearing your experiences. That is a disappointment with your tomatoes. We have that problem with humidity affecting them also. The best time (possibly only time) for us to grow them is late winter to middle spring. Luckily we don’t have squirrels to contend with. Hope your vacation picked your mood up. I think a lot of us have felt a bit flat lately. Hopefully we can all write our way up. All the best Jules. Cheers Irene

      Liked by 1 person

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  13. julespaige says:

    The vacation was lovely and some family fences are hopefully mending…
    Here’s the link to my contribution:

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for joining in again Jules. Moving I can see would make joining in difficult in your childhood and interesting that you gave your children an experience that you did not have. Do you think that was because you regretted missing out as a child?

      Liked by 1 person

      • julespaige says:

        I’d have rather driven them to their groups than had them stay on the couch playing computer games. And those groups help and continue to help them in their professional lives. I just thought it was the right thing for them. Adult groups now don’t hold the same attraction for me as they once did. I’d rather be in my ‘family club’ these days.

        Maybe I’ll find an actual writing group or have to start one that meets during the day as driving at night, alone is something I’d prefer not to do.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Computer games seem such an antisocial activity. Certainly being part of girl guides gave me life skills that I would otherwise have missed out on so I understand that it would be the same for your children.
        Starting your own writing group would be a great idea. If you started it you could call the shots as to what type of group it would be (and you could hold it of a daytime). Good luck with it. Finding a good writing group is hard to do.

        Liked by 1 person

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  15. The only club I was able to join was the Girl Scouts, but was not allowed to go away to the summer camp. No money for that. Later I joined the P.A.L. (Police Athletic League) It didn’t cost anything and it was a track and field organization. We used to compete against other P.A.L. groups. I won several gold medals. I was considered a ‘Tom Boy.’ :o)

    Liked by 1 person

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