This page is all about the society including membership, meetings, history, etc.
Membership runs from January to December each year. The cost to join our Society is $10 student $20 Single and $40 Family. Members can participate in all Society productions and will receive a copy of the newsletter. All members over 18 years of age must submit a Working with Children Check to the Membership Registrar for verification.
If you wish to become a member, download, print out and hand in the MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION FORM, or post together with the appropriate membership fee to PO Box 376 Parkes NSW 2870. Please contact the Membership Registrar for any information on becoming a member.
Meetings are held on the 2nd Thursday of every month (unless otherwise noted) and commence at 7.30pm. They are held at the Parkes Little Theatre and are a great opportunity to catch up with friends and provide the chance for you to provide some input into the running of the Society.
In a labour of love, Parkes M & D lifer Sir Tom of Warrick has painstakenly compiled a history of the Society. Originally prepared for the Parkes Champion Post, the articles have been reproduced below for your reading pleasure. The articles detail some of the highlights for what would have to be Parkes' oldest community organisation, which has featured Mayors, Clergy, Teachers, Editors, Scientists and a future star of Australian Stage, TV and Screen among its members. Enjoy!
Parkes M & D have a proud history of providing entertainment for the local community over one hundred and thirty seven years, the earliest recorded information on the Society was in 1875 when a photo was taken of ten actors and a dog, called Bill Sykes. It listed their names and some of their professions, but it is not known if they were in a production or just having a social get together. However we do know that in 1879 the Society had a Grand Concert, entertaining with songs, recitations and skits while in the following year, 24th May, 1880, the Society produced “The Brigands of Calabria”, to assist in raising funds for the purchase of a fire engine for Parkes.
Early December 1950, an ad appeared in the Champion Post inviting interested parties to attend a meeting with a view to reforming the Society which hadn’t been active since before the war. A small group of enthusiastic people turned up, either to hear what was intended or who had been involved before. Forbes Society, a very successful musical and dramatic group attended to add their support and conduct a play reading, while Bill Pavey offered the full support of the Apex Club with their service schemes to build stage scenery. The result was a decision to hold a meeting early in 1951 to elect a committee and progress the Society. The key drivers for a dramatic group were, Arthur Cook, formerly of Temora and now with the Parkes Branch of the Queensland Insurance and Lolita Gregory-Moore, a recent arrival who with her husband Barney Moore, operated Overland Airways, connecting Western towns with the Butler Airways Sydney service.
After the initial impetus from the Rotary Talent Quest and the Society’s success with the Mannequin Parade and Jubilee Drama Festival, Parkes members worked actively with the Forbes Society in their production of the Gondoliers under the direction of Mary Davis which was staged in both towns. This co-operation helped in building up the confidence and experience of the local members many of whom were novices in stage appearances. In the first few years, the Methodist Choir, under the direction of Ron Watts, produced quite a number of Gilbert & Sullivan musicals that allowed members to participate. Stan Kingham remembers those years when father Frank and sister Lila were involved with both groups, singers such as Renee Pearson, Jack Scoble, Dot Murphy, Harold Jennings were prominent in most productions, ably supported by the Parkes Orchestra. Cheryl, another member of the Kingham family, joined with Stan, as staunch members over many years.