Nev & Bev McLACHLAN
Suncoaster Rounds, Sunshine Coast
Started square dancing in 1973 after being convinced by parents this was an excellent activity to be involved in. They were right and I have not looked back. Started teaching Round Dancing in February 1978 at the CCSA Hall in Caloundra. Nev conducted the Square Dance Class in one section of the Hall and I conducted the Round Dance Class in the other section of the Hall. I have continued with this pastime and extended my knowledge of this activity.
Initially Nev was recording his cues onto a cassette. I would teach the dances but then use Nev's cues. This proved very useful as it enabled me to dance and/or watch the dancers and not have to concentrate on the cues being delivered on time.
In 1982 we travelled to America to attend the Callerlab Convention. At this Convention we had the privilege of meeting Harmon Jerritsma and wife Betty, who was Chairperson of Roundalab. We immediately set up a close relationship and after the Callerlab Convention returned to Los Angeles and stayed with Harmon and Betty for some time visiting their numerous Round Dance Clubs and Special Social Dances. This really got me very enthused and on return I started concentrating more on my involvement in the Round Dance Activity. At the 23rd Australian National Square Dance Convention held in Brisbane in 1982 it was approved to use cue cards when cueing at the Convention. Prior to this, cue cards were NOT permitted and you had to know the dance cues off by heart. My belief was that I was not in this activity to improve my memory but to help the dancers dance more dances by not having to remember the dances off by heart also. This continued with the introduction of the Standardised Cue Sheet, an innovation of the Queensland Round Dance Association.
Suncoasters Rounds, my Round Dance Club, has run continuously since 1978 and has incorporated many levels of dancers. At present I am running a Workshop session on Monday Nights teaching Convention Dances Phase III and up. On Wednesday mornings I run a Workshop session that goes from 8.30to 9.30 am Sunday afternoons there is another workshop for non-convention dances Phase IV and above.
I have been invited to attend many North Queensland Square Dance Conventions and conduct the Round Dance Workshops at these functions. I have also been invited to be the Round Dance Clinician at special Round Dance week-ends organised in Townsville Nth Qld. I have choreographed a few original dances.
I have attended National Square Dance Conventions in 1974, 75, 77, 79 and each year since with the exception of 2001 when our daughter, Jaylene, had her Year 12 Formal on that week-end. I started cueing in 1982 and have cued at every National again with the exception of 2001.
I have been a member of the Queensland Round Dance Association since its inception and was on the Executive Committee for many many years.
I have been a member of the Australian Round Dance Association for a long time and have served as its Treasurer, Historian, Education Officer, Secretary and at present its President.
I have been a member of Roundalab since 1982 and am currently a member of the Phase III Committee.
I have attended special Round Dance week-ends together with Minilab Conventions which involved sections for Cuers and also attended the Australian Cuer/Caller conferences.
I attended both the 1st and 2nd Southern Hemisphere Square and Round Dance Convention in New Zealand and was privileged to cue at the 2nd.
My time involves conducting a clogging club and a heavy involvement in the Conservation of Marine Turtles. In June 2008 Nev and I were awarded the EPA Excellence Award in recognition of our valuable contribution to the Environmental Protection Agency in the "Volunteering" category. For over 30 years we have spent out Christmas vacation at an area called Wreck Rock (north of Bundaberg) monitoring Marine Turtles. This involves patrolling 22 km of beach, now on 4WD quad bikes, from dusk through until dawn. This award recognises volunteers for their dedication, commitment and hard work for the environment and for the people of Queensland. I also assist Nev with the running of his square dance commitments and also the running of the Sunshine Coast Square Dance Centre, a purpose built hall for our wondrous activity of Squares, Rounds and of course Clogging.
We have 2 children, our daughter Jaylene and our son Ben. Both have learnt to square dance, round dance and clog. Unfortunately Clogging has won out for them.
In 2010 Bev became a full time student and obtained her Diploma of Accounting.
On the 23rd November 1991 Nev and Bev were presented with the prestigious "Silver Spur Award" by the Square Dance Society of Queensland.
ARDA Life Membership
At the 2010 National Convention , held at Wodonga, Bev was awarded Life membership of ARDA. Among the many contributions she has made to ARDA and round dancing, the following were mentioned by the proposer and seconder of the award:
- Bev has been at the least 22 National Conventions, represented Queensland in the Showcase and Experimental sessions on many occasions
- Bev has conducted education sessions
- Bev and Nev have Co–Convened two National Conventions
- Bev is a member of the Advisory Board
- Bev has been involved with ARDA for many years and has held the position of and is currently President.
- Bev is also on the Phase 3 Roundalab Cue Sheet Committee.
A fitting tribute to someone who has contributed so much to round dancing.