Presidents Report 2020
The Club celebrated its 10th birthday on Sunday 8/3/2020 and Monday 9/3/2020 with a BBQ and dancing that was well attended by Coasters from near and far. Thanks to DJ Ron for supporting our little club with his music expertise and charismatic MC skills. We had birthday cake, memorabilia and perfect weather.
On Monday 16/3/2020, following public health warnings regarding Covid 19, the Committee decided to suspend all activity with a “wait and see” attitude, thinking we would be back dancing within a week or so, once information was clarified. Most other clubs did the same thing. Little did we know, our club program and plans for a regular Thursday night partner dancing throughout the year effectively went into mothballs that night, and on Saturday 21/3/2020 we suspended all dance activity with no likelihood of resuming in the near future.
The world changed on 23/3/2020. What were we going to do? As a comfort, a gesture of goodwill and solidarity, I invited members to dance at home and post pics of their version of ‘kitchen’ rock n roll to our facebook page. The response was underwhelming. That was not gonna work!
On 4/4/2020, we joined the online dance movement and tuned into Alley Catz rock n roll classes. They got pretty advanced, pretty quick and were not much use unless you had a dance partner. I, for one, don’t have one of those at home.
With some further prodding from Michael (thanks Michael), I discovered ZOOM. On 6/4/2020 we had our first Zoom catch up. We just chatted. On 13/4/20 we started dancing via Zoom. We kept it simple, we used line dances and rock n roll music and we were dancing again! By the end of April, we had a group chat in Messenger happening as well and I posted the videos of the dances we were learning.
The upside with Zoom was the ability to catch up every week with our Adelaide and interstate Coasters, Danny and Lyn and Bev from Geelong tuned in – a bonus.
In May, while community halls were re-opened our Council did not allow access while the 10- person cap on attendances was still in place. Zooming continued. In June, Council still denied access.
Then the big events started to consider the future and the future was too uncertain. Victor Harbor – cancelled. Berri – cancelled. Birdwood – cancelled. Everything – cancelled.
In July with the introduction of COVIDSafe plans and access to the hall, we were potentially back in business. However, the Committee was mindful of the risks and member opinion and agreed to delay any return to face to face dancing. Zoom sessions continued and our repertoire of dances grew. I wish to thank the committee who were happy to conduct the club business in the virtual space and were prompt and considered in their opinions and responses. I think we made the right decisions at every turn and in some cases pre-empted the government directive. Thanks Rob for your edits and advice.
On 10/8/2020, the committee agreed to postpone the October Spring Dance for 2020. Covid 19 was out of control in Victoria. With a COVIDSafe plan in place, Michael and I started to co- host the Zoom sessions from the Kadina Medical Clinic (thanks Michael). By end of Aug we had other Coasters joining us in person or via Zoom every Monday night.
At last, on 21/9/2020 we announced a return to COVIDSafe, face to face dancing at Wallaroo Town Hall. Covid Marshals had been invented by then. I passed!
Oops, no one was financial… we had to get back to running a club again. Thanks to Virginia for keeping our contact tracing records straight, money balanced and bills paid throughout this crazy year. Thanks to Pauline and Phillip who turn up every week, set up, pack up and keep us dancing to the music we all love the best.
We had a little dance on the October long weekend and had a great roll up. Thanks to everyone who travelled from near and far to join in and make it a celebration.
Then…… lockdown 16/11/2020 for 2 weeks (but back dancing again on 22/11/2020). Impossible to plan anything at that stage, including AGM or Christmas.
Finally, the latest Covid 19 invention – QR code checkin and a change in venue from Wallaroo to Kadina for December and maybe January, due to renovations of toilets at Wallaroo ( not before time).
And here we are, after a year like no other, I feel proud, grateful and pleased that our little club met the challenge, did “the right thing”, was creative in its efforts to stay in business and survived.
I would like to thank the regular members and committee who adapted and came along for the Covid 19 journey (hate that phrase), Zooming, sanitizing, made the time spent apart bearable, with a little sprinkling of rock n roll dancing to keep us all going.
It’s been a pleasure.
Proudly, President, Coasters Rock n Roll Club Inc
May we never again take for granted:
Friday nights with friends
The roar of a stadium
Mornings at the gym
Packed dance floors
Coffee with a friend