Please note javascript is required for full website functionality.

Community & Business

16 September, 2022

Probus Club News

By Shirley Marks

Shirley Mudford (middle) received life membership of the Gilgandra Probus Club at the September meeting.

The September meeting commenced with the usual formalities, followed by the induction of three new members who were welcomed and presented with their name badges by president Pat Thompson. These were Sally Corliss, Jeanette Cruickshank, and Bev Rogers.

Mrs Thompson then read a nomination which had been received suggesting that Shirley Mudford be conferred with the honour of life membership of the Probus Club of Gilgandra for her outstanding service to the club. It was noted that Shirley Mudford has taken on the role of president twice and has also held most other positions within the club since joining in 1998. She always supported any activities that the club has been involved in, travelled on many trips organised by probus and has a keen interest in preserving the history of the club, having many photograph albums of past events.

Only last month she (at the age of 94 years young) was the club’s guest speaker talking about how probus came about in the UK, how it expanded to Australia and NZ and then Gilgandra. Mrs Mudford, who was present at the meeting and had no idea of what had been planned, was overwhelmed when president Thompson invited her to accept life membership of the club and then presented her with a beautiful bouquet.

Following a lovely morning tea and congratulations, guest speaker co-ordinator Phil Yeo, prepared to introduce guest speaker, Gail Babbage – however the vagaries of modern technology intervened! Ms Babbage was then invited to give a brief talk to those present and return to the October meeting with her computerised presentation.

For Ms Babbage life commenced on a farm owned by her parents near Breelong National Park. She was the eldest of a family of eight, five girls and three boys. Those who attended Australia Day concerts at the club in past years’ would remember well the recitations and songs performed by her father Col McCarthy.

She then went on to give an overview of career in architecture, which has been her passion and life work. On finishing high school in Dubbo, Ms Babbage set off to study in San Francisco. She worked and studied business management in a beautiful restaurant owned by Nestle and from there she worked in Boston, New York, Philadelphia and London eventually working in marketing for Foster Wheeler, a global engineering company. Here she visited an oil platform in the North Sea and her engineering interest was sparked.

Eventually, Ms Babbage returned to Australia and in the 1980s moved to Brisbane where she commenced work with Robert Riddel. Riddel Architecture eventually merged with Conrad Gargett Riddel who undertake work in conserving old buildings and turning them into something new, in addition to new constructions. Works have been undertaken for state and federal governments and also the United Nations.

Architectural students in Ethiopia and Myanmar are encouraged to take care of their own buildings and are supported in their work. She continues to be involved in all these works.

On the local scene, she reminded us that since returning to Gilgandra she has converted the old masonic temple into a lovely home with mezzanine level and her next challenge is converting the 3D’s Butchery shop into a provedore/coffee shop with entertainment area. The next meeting will be really something to look forward to, with Ms Babbage illustrating her interesting talk with pictures of the many architectural styles she has worked on.

Most Popular