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A short history of the Canberra Spiritualist Association Like most places in Australia since the middle to the end of the 1800s there have been home circles centred around a local medium. This practice continued and in the 1960s and 1970s a circle in Canberra was lead by the medium Fred McQuist. So there was a background interest in Spiritualism. Throughout the 1970s The Victorian Spiritualists Union in Melbourne was instrumental in advising interested people and developing Mediums in the Canberra area. Home Circles continued with leaders like Monica Hamers, John and Tina Dixon and Frank and Margot Irons In 1975 a group of people lead by a medium from England, Betty Foster and locals Michael and Mary Wimbourne set up the Canberra Spiritualist Association to investigate and promote Psychic Development and Spiritualism and they met in the Hughes Community Centre and an early platform speaker at the Association was Sylvia Wells. The medium Betty Foster from England was the first instigator in the physical to propose the establishment of the Association having been sent from England on the instruction of her guide to start a Spiritualist Church in Australia. After an illness in 1973 and much meditation Betty received the direction and she arrived first in Brisbane in 1975. Betty met up with Michael and Mary Wimbourne who were moving south and soon they arrived in Canberra. In the house which Mary and Michael,a gifted healing medium, rented, a healing room was set up which was also used for a sanctuary for readings, groups and therapy. Many people came there and soon the nucleus for the development of the Association was established. The early services at Hughes were attended by 140 people. The members of the Association were, at this time instrumental in getting Ivy Northage, a well known English medium, to come out and demonstrate in Canberra and this was broadcast by the ABC. The first temporary committee was President Michael Wimbourne, Vice president Betty Foster, Secretary Sylvia Wells, Assistant Secretary Margaret Vickers, Treasurer Daphne Robinson, Fund Organiser Caroline Cole The committee changed the following year to President Sylvia Wells, Vice president Michael Wimbourne, Caroline Cole, Secretary Brian Hicks and Treasurer Arnold Brownell. The Canberra Spiritualists Association was incorporated under the Incorporated Associations Act on the 23rd January 1976. In the late 1970s after Betty Foster returned to England, it became more difficult to get mediums for the platform. It took some time but in due course more people in Canberra and Australia developed their mediumship. In the early 80s the association shifted from the ANU grounds to the Griffin Centre in Civic. Frank Korbl took over until the AGM in August, which saw Flo Waddell elected. The first attempt to obtain their own premises in Dickson was voted down at an SGM in 1992. She was followed in 1993 to 1994 by Mary van de Graaff and then Rex Benn between 1994 and 1995 and in 1995 to 1997 by Iris McMenamin In 1998 the President was Jan Cook and in 1999 Nyree Goodall. Iris McMenamin served again in 2000. In 2001 Norman Ivory was President. The committee decided to renew the association with the Victorian Spiritualists' Union (VSU). and Norman Ivory was appointed Minister of the Association. The President in 2002 was Joan Jensen and Norman Ivory withdrew his services as Minister. A Special General Meeting in December approved an attempt to buy a church building in Hughes but this was discontinued early in 2004. With the rebuilding of the Griffin Centre and the increase in charges for it, It was decided to Sunday services from April 2005 onwards at the Seniors' Centre at 10 Watson Street, Turner. The 30 year anniversary was celebrated in May 2005. In March 2008 Iris resigned from her position as president. Alex Porschaeff - being the vice-president took over Iris' role in April. In 2011 the committee decided to move the Services of the Association to The Community Hall Collette Place Pearce. This was due to other groups being able to rent other rooms at the same time as the Services in the Turner Hall causing interruptions and disruptions which made the work for the medium impossible. A List of Presidents 1975  MichaelWimbourne 1993  Mary van de Graff 2001 Rev Norman Ivory 1979  Ron Davies 1994  Rex Benn 2002  Dr Joan Jensen 1981  Janet Searle 1995  Iris McMenamin 2006  Kingsley Herbert 1988  FrankCorbi 1998  Jan Cook 2007  Iris McMenamin 1989  Flo Waddell 1999  Nyree Goodall 2007  Alex Porschaeff 1992  Debbie Wiltshire 2000  Iris McMenamin 2008  Rev Norman Ivory
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