In August of 1984, a Basic Woodturning Course was conducted for the local Technical School Woodwork Staff for a week of the school holidays, under the supervision of Bob Harris and Bob Ripley.
At this time, Hunter Fairmaid and Tom Tacey, both from Kialla area, had been discussing the idea of forming a local woodworking club and used the impetus of the training course to call a public meeting of interested woodworkers. This was held in the woodwork room at the Shepparton Technical School the following week. About 33 interested woodworkers turned up and were addressed by the two Bobs, Bob Ripley and Bob Harris. This meeting became known as ‘The Two Bob Show’, which in future years was fondly remembered by the original participants.
Due to the successful initial evening, a formal public meeting was held in the Kialla Hall on the 27th September 1984 with the intention of forming a woodturning club.
The meeting was addressed by Bob Ripley and Frank Willcock who had formed a club at Benalla the previous year. Following questions and discussion, the meeting decided to go ahead and form a club with the name of Woodcrafters and Woodturners of the Goulburn Valley.
The Club’s Home
In 1997, the club leased part of the Mechanics Institute Hall in Shepparton and renovated the rear part of the hall as a workshop area, while retaining the use of the front section as a meeting room. In 2009 the club leased a large building in the grounds of the Wanganui Park Secondary Collage in Packham Street, Shepparton. A large workshop, meeting room, kitchen and dining area have since been established and continues at this location today.
The workshop has been developed with modern machinery and is currently opened three mornings and two evenings a week for the use of members to do some woodworking, share knowledge and ideas or just enjoy a ‘cuppa’ and a chat.
The club supports local charity organisations by regularly providing woodturning demonstrations at fund raising events and has conducted several successful seminars involving prominent guest woodturners and craftsmen.
In 1990 a ‘Fine Furniture, Woodware and Woodworking Show’ was conducted in the Shepparton Civic Centre to show the skills and range of work being done by members. The Show was a great success and has been conducted on Labour Day weekend in March every year since (until 2019).
For many years the club has conducted monthly toy making workshops to make Christmas toys for local charity groups and have presented 500+ toys annually to the Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul and Community Care organisations. From April to November the members devote most open days to the construction of toys and two special furniture making workshops each month.
Several thousand dollars have been donated to a large range of local community appeals from part of the proceeds of the raffle run in conjunction with the annual Wood Show. A guest speaker is usually in attendance at monthly meetings and is selected to interest and entertain the members with a specialist area relating to some form of woodworking.
The Club has awarded Life Memberships during its years of operation and these names are recorded on the Honour Board in the club rooms. Other boards list the Office Bearers, and the annual Most Valued Club Member Award named after the inaugural secretary Tom Tacey (Tom Tacey Award). Photos of all past presidents and award winners are displayed in the tea room to acknowledge their service to the club. The club is still expanding and has a membership of over 100 male and female members.