Under the rules of the society, members can be awarded Honorary Life Membership for “conspicuous service over a period of time”. Candidates must be nominated by at least seven financial members and elected by a majority at a meeting of the Administrative Committee. It is traditional that the decision is made without the knowledge of the nominee and the award be presented as a surprise at the Annual General Meeting. There are no set criteria, so that election is inevitably made on somewhat qualitative assessments. It is, however, generally agreed that a minimum of ten years of active service over a number of areas is required.

Over the years a substantial number of people have been elected Life Members. Brief accounts are given below of the contributions of these members in the order of their awards.

Andy McKenna was first elected to the Administrative Committee in 1947 and served again on this committee from 1955 to 1959. He was a member of the original Festival Committee and was Festival Director from 1956 to 1960. He was stage manager for the ILT festival entries from 1955 to 1957 becoming general festival stage manager in 1958. Andy was ILT Vice President from 1962 to 1965. For many years he was a set builder and there are many records of his ingenuity. In 1954, President L.A. Thomas paid tribute to the tireless efforts of Andy McKenna over the past two years.

He appeared in fifteen full length plays and directed a further four. He was stage manager for at least 32 productions, many of which he appeared in or directed. In 1959 he produced Someone Waiting in the Centenary Drama Festival and won first prize. He produced a one act play in 1964, and in 1965 he researched, wrote and organised a performance to celebrate the opening of the Ipswich to Grandchester railway line. This was his curtain call as ill health forced his retirement. He died suddenly, shortly before Christmas in 1965.The Annual Report for 1965 declared “for many years … ILT had been Andy’s life.” He was made a Life Member in 1962.

Jean Pratt, not quite an inaugural member as she joined within a few months of the society’s commencement, first performed in 1946 in ILT’s second major production, Fresh Fields and produced her first full length play, Love From a Stranger the following year.

From then on, Jean became a seemingly tireless producer, directing up to three plays every year. In 1966/67 she was responsible for five plays. By 1973 Jean had produced 36 of the 110 major productions and many one act plays.

Her full-length productions comprise Love from a Stranger (1947), The Young Idea (1948), The Ghost train (1950), Quiet Weekend (1951), Blithe Spirit (1952), The Importance of Being Earnest (1953), The Unguarded Hour (1953), The Shop at Sly Corner (1954), Lady Mislaid (!954), Bright Shadows (1954), Sit Down a Minute, Adrian (1955), The Little Foxes (1956), Book of the Month (1957), The Merchant of Venice (1958), The Reluctant Debutante (1959), A Man About the House (1960), The Admirable Crichton (1961), My Three Angels (1962), The Heiress (1963), Harvey (1964), Blithe Spirit (1965), Cheaper by the Dozen (1966), Little Women (1966), Murder Mistaken (1967), Post Horn Gallop (1967), Miranda (1968), Aladdin (with Ian Pullar 1968), Boeing Boeing (1969), Woman in a Dressing Gown (1970), Mary Mary (1970), Doctor in Love (1971), A Little Bit of Fluff (with Wayne Stewart 1971), A Woman’s Privilege (with Elizabeth Murphy 1972), East Lynne (1972), Barefoot in the Park (1973), Relatively Speaking (1974), My Three Angels (1975), The Chalk Garden (1976), How the Other Half Loves (1978).

Over her lengthy career she appeared in at least seven major productions, four one acters and two re-enactments. In 1974 she made a rare and final stage appearance in Hedda Gabler. She also co-directed for the Daytime Theatre Troupe.

She also directed numerous musicals for Ipswich Choral Society. Her production of Dark Out There was ILT’s first winning play in its own Festival and Ile won the first Warana Festival.

In 1957 Jean was elected to Admin where she served in 1959, 1961 and 1966. In 1961, 1963 and 1967 to 1970 she was a member of Selection Committee.

In 1963 Jean was made a Life Member and in 1982 ILT’s rehearsal building was named the Jean Pratt Building as a tribute to her hard work and loyalty which shone through in bad times as well as good. It was largely because of her tireless efforts that the Society weathered the “depression” brought about by the introduction of television, and was able to grow and flourish.

Jean died in 1997, at the age of 93.

Billie Bailey, christened Lillian, emigrated from England in 1953 with her husband Laurie and moved to a house near Jean Pratt’s. On hearing that the Baileys were interested in theatre, Billie having performed with ENSA during the war, Jean invited Billie to morning tea and persuaded her to join ILT. Billie joined both ILT and the Blackstone-Ipswich Cambrian choir for whom she produced Gilbert and Sullivan musicals. Billie was elected to Admin in 1954 and was a member of the original festival committee and Selection Committee from 1962 to 1965 and Social Committee 1963 until 1967. Billie produced ILT’s festival entries in 1958, 1960 and 1961 and won Warana in 1965.

She performed in seven full length plays and produced eight full length plays including The Merchant of Venice and three one act plays. Her production of The Little Hut in 1966 was virtually her last active task for the theatre as she retired from ILT that year because of Laurie’s ill health. In 1968 she became a life member. She came out retirement to direct Chinamen in 1972. She died in 1987.

A 1976 programme said “you would know that this was a stage lady as soon as you heard her voice. It’s rich and flowing and you could enjoy it for hours”. Glenys Simpson remembers that Billie used a haresfoot for her makeup which made her seem like a professional actress.

Laurie Bailey, (George Laurence) an optometrist by profession, immigrated to Ipswich from Yorkshire with his wife “Billie” in 1953. Together they immediately joined ILT. An active member, he was President in 1964 and 1965 and Vice President in 1966, 1967, 1969 & 1970. Laurie was also on Selection Committee in 1961 and Administration in 1962. He performed in eight full length plays including The Merchant of Venice and three one acters. In 1966 he retired from ill health and was awarded life membership in 1968. He died in 1973.

Bob Lynch then described him as –‘An accomplished artist, actor and singer, he gave in the theatre, which he loved so well, all of himself… Back Stage he worked cheerfully and efficiently, and many outstanding sets which delighted audiences were the outcome of his craftsmanship.’

Deidre Brown appeared in Wasn’t it Odd? in 1950. Returning from overseas in 1952, Deidre rejoined ILT as a release from the “cloistered atmosphere” of the Ipswich Girls Grammar School boarding house. She appeared in the one act play How Now, Brown Cow and followed this with minor parts in major plays in 1953 and 1954.

She joined Admin in 1953 and became secretary in 1954, holding the position until 1961. She was a member of Admin from 1962 to 1965 and again in 1967. She served on Selection Committee in 1967 and was elected a Life Member in 1968.

Since her retirement from Ipswich Girls’ Grammar School she ceased to be a part-time Ipswich resident but had a continuing interest in ILT and was a generous benefactor until her death in 2015.

F. C. Downes, (Frank, although no one appears to have called him this) joined ILT in 1954 and was elected to Admin in his first year where he remained a member until 1968 and again in 1970. Perhaps his greatest contribution to ILT was as publicity officer, a position he held from 1954 until 1970. As such, FC was responsible for the compilation of the festival programmes for the first twelve festivals and most of ILT’s productions. His greatest claim to fame must be the creative ways in which he told patrons not to smoke in the Town Hall

In 1968 he was made a Life Member.

Phyllis Foster joined the theatre in 1952 and was elected to Admin on 10 October 1953. She was elected treasurer in 1954, a position she held until 1962. This was a period in which the Treasurer must have had many an anxious moment as the decline in audience support severely affected the society’s finances. She also served on the Festival committee in 1957. She appeared in five productions of the Society.

In 1968 Phil was elected a Life Member.

L.A. Thomas, (businessman) was an inaugural member and was elected to Admin on 16 August 1946. He is remembered fondly as an imposing figure with his silver hair and tails, standing in the foyer of the Town Hall personally welcoming patrons in his gentlemanly manner.

President between 1951 and 1960 and Vice President from 1962 until 1965, he was made a Life Member in 1968.

He appeared in eleven of the early productions of the company and was House Manager for at least four more.

Les was President of the first festival committee and donated a shield as the major festival prize for best production. This trophy, known as the L.A. Thomas Shield, continued to be awarded until 2010 (but having been replaced once when it became full of names).

Beryl Johnston returned from an overseas trip early in 1955 and decided to join ILT. She was aware of Andy McKenna’s involvement, so she waited on the footpath for him to pass on his way home and literally flagged him down. Like other enthusiastic newcomers, she threw herself into her new pastime, appearing in Dark Brown in 1955, three major productions in 1956 and another four in 1957. In her 21 years of very active membership (to 1976) she appeared in thirty-three full length plays and at least eleven one act plays. She briefly emerged from retirement in 1981 to appear in Gosforth’s Fete.

In 1968 she appeared in Dark Out There which was the first ILT winner in its own Festival, and Beryl was awarded the Best Actress trophy. She won Best Actress at two festivals, best supporting actress at one and best Director in 1969 for her production of The Faithful Widow of Ephesus – which incidentally was the first production in the Incinerator. She also directed a festival entry in 1959.She served on Admin for a number of years, being Assistant Secretary for three and President in 1966.She was Librarian for virtually all of the 1970s and was responsible for the society taking up club rooms in Brisbane Street in 1966. She was a member of Selection Committee for more than five years and Convener for at least two. As Festival Secretary she was responsible for the move of the Festival to the Ipswich Girls’ Grammar School in 1971.Her Honorary Life Membership was awarded in 1971.While she is no longer actively involved, she responds without fail to any requests for photos, cuttings and facts about our history. We are always delighted to welcome Beryl to special occasions. Beryl Johnston died in 2021 on her 92nd birthday.

Kevin Steele first performed for ILT as a teenager in Winter Sunshine in 1956. Although this was a senior play he is recorded as appearing in the Festival in a Junior play in 1958. He appeared in at least twenty five full length plays during his acting career with a great variety of roles, ranging from Shakespeare to broad comedy and sensitive drama. He also appeared in at least eight one act plays in Festivals and other presentations. He won the Theatre’s award for best actor in 1974 for Hedda Gabler and in 1977 for Still Life. In 1967 he produced the pantomime Cinderella.

He was stage manager for a dozen plays and contributed to the construction of the sets for these and other plays. He worked backstage for a number of other productions.In 1961 he was appointed Festival Director, a position he held until 1971. In this capacity he presided over festivals in the Town Hall and then moved it firstly to the Incinerator (1970) and the Ipswich Girls’ Grammar School (1971).Together with his wife Judy he was responsible for Publicity Committee from 1969 to 1976. He served as a member of Selection Committee in 1962 and as Convener in 1963. He was a member of Admin for several years, serving as Treasurer in 1974, 1975 and 1976. He was a delegate to the Ipswich Cultural Centre in 1975. He organised the Pearl Anniversary Ball in 1976. His Life Membership was awarded in 1972.

Ian Pullar joined the theatre, with his wife, Helen, in January 1967 and has since worked in many areas of its activities. He was elected an honorary life member in 1982. Ian has been a member of Admin for nearly 40 years. He was elected President in 1970 at the age of 25, serving a two year term then and a further four years from 1983. He was Senior Vice President for four years and one of several vice presidents for a further five. He has served on Selection Committee for a dozen years including six terms as convener.

Ian was Festival Director in 1973 and was festival stage manager for 15 years. He has also cooked the festival BBQ sausages for more than 30 years! During the same period he stage managed the Warana Drama Festival for several years. He represented ILT on the Association of Little Theatre Groups for more than ten years, serving as Vice President for a number of years and President for one.He has been a member of the theatre’s building committee in its various forms from its inception in 1968, and its convener for the first 30 years. A civil engineer by profession, Ian was responsible for the initial conversion and for much of the subsequent planning and supervision of development works.He has directed and/or appeared in over 70 plays for the company, including directing nine full length ones – Serious Charge (1967), Duet for Two Hands (1968). Aladdin (1968), Clearway (1972), The Bottom of a Birdcage (1976), Look Back in Anger (1977), The Innocents (1980) An Inspector Calls (1981) Time and Time Again (with Helen Pullar 2010), with at least one production in every year of his first 30 year’s membership. He won ILT’s best director award in 1973 and 1976. By the 1980s his work commitments prevented him from undertaking full-length production but from 1979 to 1995 he wrote, produced, directed, business managed and chaired a theatre restaurant season (major productions), the success of which contributed substantially to ILT’s financial wellbeing. Some 62 of his original scripts have been produced by the society.He has written a repertoire of ten minute plays for the Tourific Troupers and some 28 have been presented, most on several occasions, for our visiting tour groups and/or in our Scene But Briefly (2008)and Light Bites (2012) seasons. Ian also acted in A Trip Down Memory Lane, Plaster, four Tourific Trouper plays and The Final Test (2016).He has designed and constructed dozens of sets and has stage managed and lit many plays. He has been heavily involved in hands-on development and maintenance of the Incinerator complex. He is a member of Admin, Building Committee, Publicity Committee, the Properties Production and Maintenance Team, the Archives Team and is the Newsletter editor.

Robyn Flashman was taken by her friend Judith Grant to the Festival in the Town Hall in 1969, and also to see Chase Me Comrade. Subsequently she went to the official opening of the Incinerator, fell in love with the building, and became a member.

She was cast in Doctor in Love in 1971 and later took part in The Rape of the Belt and a couple of smaller plays, but her interest was always in putting productions together and she “found the challenge of moulding a play from its first reading to performance level my real love” (programme for Children’s Day). She worked back stage on numerous productions from 1971 to 1979. In that year, when Narelle Biddle became ill, Robyn took over the directing of Go Bang Your Tambourine. During the next seventeen years she has averaged a production a year with a further four full length plays – Accommodations (1982), Move Over Mrs Markham (1984), Children’s Day (1986), But I’m Still Here (1988) – and thirteen one acters. The quality of her work is shown by her full trophy cabinet – ten Best Play and four Best Director awards from festivals and the ILT best director award five times.In 1972 she joined Admin and has remained on it ever since, a continuous period of 35 years. She was Secretary for three years, President for six and Vice President for ten. She has been on Publicity Committee for many years (it is her number in the phone book) and produced the Newsletter in three. She joined Building Committee in 1979 and has served on it continuously since then, including several years as convener.Her Life Membership was awarded in 1985.

Robyn continues to be a member of the Administrative Committee and has also been a stalwart of Publicity Committee for many years. She has been responsible for managing group bookings for our major productions for many years. Robyn is one of our most prolific directors having produced at least one play in virtually every year between 1991 and 2009 In that period, she directed six full length plays – Jigsaws (1991), A Month of Sundays (1994), The Cemetery Club (1998) Long Gone Lonesome Cowgirls (1999), Rumors (with Melinda Park 2008), Milo’s Wake (with Melinda Park 2009) – 11 one acters and several of the Tourific Trouper plays. She was instrumental in commencing the hosting of tour groups which has now grown into major activity and which resulted in the formation of the Tourific Troupers.

Helen Pullar was born in Ipswich and attended the first festival and other ILT productions in the 1950s and 1960s. She joined ILT in 1967 and served as Secretary in 1968, 1969 and 1987-90. She was President from 1991 to 1996 and in that capacity also served on Building Committee. She has served on Admin in three other years, on Selection Committee for three years, and on the Social Committee for seven years, including two as convener. She was newsletter editor for five years and Ipswich Cultural Coordination Association (ICCA) representative for one.

In 1968 Helen formed Junior Theatre in conjunction with other members, and was involved in later years as a directorShe was publicity officer for the Festival from 1972 until she became Festival Director in 1975. She continued in this role until 1981 and then co-directed the Festival with Sandra Harle in 1984 and 1985. She has maintained her involvement with the Festival, undertaking numerous tasks such as liaison, catering and front of house. Helen’s organisational and catering skills have been frequently called upon for many functions including official opening ceremonies.Helen has appeared in four major productions, four one act plays and one birthday party. She has always had a capacity for learning lines quickly and has substituted on very short notice on at least half a dozen occasions, including two Theatre Restaurants. She won ILT’s best actress award in Wait Until Dark in 1979, best supporting actress in 1975 and was in the award winning ILT festival entry in 1989. Helen co-directed the birthday party in 1971 and the theatre restaurant in 1995. She directed The End of the Picnic in 1992.She was heavily involved with the Association of Little Theatre Groups (ALTG) having been one of the founders. She was the ILT delegate for several years and was publicity officer from 1974 to 1977.Helen was awarded Life Membership in 1985. Helen joined Building Committee in 1997 and has been its convener since 1999, during a period of major activity. She became Secretary during 2004 and has continued on since. She has been responsible for the development of guidelines and position descriptions which are essential for the smooth running of a multi-faceted company.In 2009 Helen took on two more major roles – organising the Tourific Troupers programme and chairing the committee organising the celebrations for the 40th Anniversary of the move to the Incinerator; which led to her to write and publish Burning Brightly. In the meantime she has found time to co-direct Take a Wild Shot (2004), One Day After Another (2007), Scene but Briefly (2008), Time and Time Again (2010). Light Bites (2012) and A Day to Remember (2015). In 2014 she compiled a comprehensive history of the Festival to mark the 60th event in the form of a DVD. In 2016, she convened the committee organising the celebration of 80 years of the Incinerator, 70 years of ILT and the raising of the courtyard roof (for which she had the major responsibility). She prepared a slide show detailing the life of the Incinerator from its inception to the present date.Helen Pullar was awarded an OAM in the 2022 Australia Day Honours for her “service to the Arts, particularly to theatre.”

Yvonne Hughes (Gardiner) first performed with the society in The Man from the Sea in 1975. She appeared in a further three one act plays and two full length plays. She won two best actress, one best comedy actress and one best supporting actress awards in festivals. She was assistant director for The Late Mrs Early.

She was director of Junior Theatre in 1984, the highlight of the year being the Mediaeval Fayre she organised.She was Treasurer of the Society for nine years from 1979 to 1987 and therefore also served on Building Committee. She was Wardrobe Mistress in 1977, ICC A representative 1981-85, Newsletter Editor in 1983 and served on Publicity Committee in 1983 and Selection Committee in 1987.Her Life Membership was awarded in 1988. Yvonne has been prevented from pursuing her love of acting by the pressure of work. Her invaluable contribution to ILT has been her work on publicity, both with the media (where she actually works) and in collecting and cataloguing cuttings and photographs. Yvonne was Festival Secretary for Lorna Longston from 2002 to 2005 and was responsible for the comprehensive history of our Festivals – Between the Lines – written for the occasion of our 50th Festival in 2004. She retired from Ipswich in 2015.

Janice Paterson joined ILT in May 1972, and went straight into her first play. A very accomplished actress, she has appeared in numerous plays and has won ILT’s award for best performance of the year three times and has acquired numerous awards at Festivals for best actress, best supporting actress and best actress in a minor role.

She has directed the following full length plays: No Time for Figleaves (1976), Who Goes Bare? (1977), Not Now Darling (1979), The Man Most Likely To .. (1981), Say Who You Are (1981), Post Horn Gallop (1983), No Time for Figleaves (1985), Key for Two (1986), Bedroom Farce (1987),Steel Magnolias (1992), Who Goes Bare? (1993), Stepping Out (1994), Jake’s Women (1995), Same Time Next Year (1996), Hotel Sorrento (1997), Beyond Therapy (1999), Same Time Next Year (2003), Lipstick Dreams (2006), Doubt (2007), Forget Me Knot (2009), One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest ( 2010), Skin Deep (2011), Searching for Dr Branovic (2012), Entertaining Angels (2014), The Glass Menagerie (2016).She has also directed a score of one acters for senior theatre. She has been ILT’s. Best Director of the year on six occasions. Her productions have won First Prize in seven festivals, one of those being for a junior play. She has won the Best Director award for senior plays at eight festivals. In addition she has won numerous awards at festivals for second and third placings, and has won ILT awards for set design.She has also directed musicals for Choral Society, Orpheus Chorale and the Cambrian Choir.She has been a member of the Administrative Committee for many years and has held the posts of Secretary (1974) and Vice President. Jan served as President (2000), Secretary (2001-03) am Treasurer (2008-2016), an Admin member for four other years and Selection Committee member for a number of years. She has been librarian for many years and also wardrobe mistress. She has served on Selection Committee (including a term as convener), newsletter and publicity committees. She was Director of Junior Theatre for five years and of Young Theatricals for three years. She was co-founder of Daytime Theatre Troupe (1983), founder of S-Troupe (1992) and director from 1992 to 2001. For her work with the latter group, she won, on behalf of ILT, the Westpac Managing Director’s Community Service Award of $10,000 in 1993 and further awards of $1,000 in each of 1994 and 1995. She has continued to direct and appear in Daytime Theatre Troupe productions. She has organised Members’ Nights for many years.Janice was awarded her Life Membership in 1988.

Lorraine Wilson, (nee Shearer) joined Junior Theatre in 1970 and progressed to Young Theatricals in 1973, the year in which it was formed. She appeared in the YT festival entries in 1973, 74 and 75. She was the Miss ALTG entrant in 1975, having graduated to senior theatre with an appearance in Easy Money, the first of nine full length plays. She has also played roles in seven one act plays. She was director’s assistant for The Poker Session in 1982.

She has also appeared in numerous productions of the Daytime Theatre Troupe.She has been a member of Admin for 9 years, serving as Subscription Secretary for 4 years. She was festival secretary in 1982 and 1983. She assisted with production of the Newsletter for 2 years and was on Selection Committee in 1986.She was elected a Life Member in 1988.Lorraine’s life took a different direction when her husband Liam died in 1997. She was persuaded to join Daytimers and appeared in Paddington Bear and several other productions until she joined the workforce. She has since appeared in Nasty Things Murders (2004) and a Scene But Briefly play (2012).Lorraine Wilson passed away in 2020.

Sharon Wright re-activated a life-long interest in theatre when, on return from an overseas trip in 1976, she joined ILT. She had been a foundation member of the Raymond Terrace (Newcastle) Repertory Theatre.

She first appeared in Minor Murder in 1978, the first of five full length plays and two one acters. She was assistant director for There Goes the Bride in 1979 and has directed three full length plays – Veronica’s Room (1987), Murder by the Book (1990), The Gingerbread Lady ((1992) –  and three one acters. Her Visitors from Chicago won third prize in ILT’s Festival and she won a panel award for Veronica’s Room.According to the programme for Visitors from Chicago she ‘approached this new field (directing) with the same vitality and enthusiasm she has displayed in the other areas of the theatre in which she has been involved over the past five years’.She joined Admin in 1979 and has served on it in various capacities including Assistant Secretary (1983, 84, 85), and Secretary (1986, 87). She has served on Publicity Committee in four years, on Selection Committee for four years (one as Convener), and three years on Building Committee. She organised Members’ Nights in 1985.Her Life Membership was bestowed in 1988.Sharon continued to serve on Building Committee and Admin post 1996, before she left Ipswich early in 1999. Her last performance was in The Cemetery Club in 1998. Despite a busy life, she manages the occasional visit to her old stamping ground.

Sandra Harle became interested in the theatre because her two daughters were members of Junior Theatre. In 1979 she produced a Junior play. She was also persuaded to join Senior Theatre in 1978, where she worked backstage with several directors. She has appeared in three full-length productions for seniors and at least four Daytime Theatre Troupe productions as well as adapting and directing The Tinder Box for DTs. But it is in directing that she made her mark. She was assistant director for three plays before graduating to director of four full length plays – Norman, is that You? (1992), Wally’s Café (1993), And a Nightingale Sang (1995), Lipstick Dreams (1997) – and three one acters. She won the ILT best director award (1995) and best director at the Festival (1992) She has directed with distinction for the Orpheus Chorale.

She was director of Junior Theatre from 1980 to 1982 and directed a play for Young Theatricals in 1989.She joined Admin in 1982 and served for twelve years, ten of these as Subscription Secretary. She was the society’s Business Manager for three years, on newsletter committee for four years and on publicity committee for two years. She served three years on Selection Committee and has been librarian.She assisted Helen Pullar in directing the Festival in 1984 and 1985 and was Director from 1986 to 1996, a major contribution in itself.She became a Life Member in 1991.She was persuaded to undertake a brief treading of the boards in A Trip Down Memory Lane (2002).

Allen Harris was one of the rare breed who was a devoted member of the society for many years but without ever treading the boards. He was a retired Telecom technician whose long standing membership of the National Trust brought him to the Incinerator building in 1978. He quickly became both Theatre Manager and gardener, and devoted himself to performing superbly in both roles. His thoroughness was typified by the saga of the refurbishment of the theatre chairs when every step required infinite patience. Allen was seconded to Admin in 1978 and served on the Building Committee and Admin from 1980 until his death from leukemia in 1993. The Allen Harris memorial garden was created in his honour in 1994 and a plaque describes him as “one of nature’s gentlemen”.

He was awarded Life Membership in 1991.

Clive Lowe was persuaded by his prospective brother-in-law Craig Taylor to participate in a Theatre Restaurant in 1980, the first of ten consecutive such appearances. Clive was already familiar to Ipswich audiences, having appeared in Choral Society productions for seven years. He threw himself into ILT activities and maintained a heavy pace for a number of years. In 1981, just to start off, he appeared in two one acters in the same season and two full length plays, winning best performance for the year and best actor at the Festival. By 1996, he had appeared in ten full length plays and nine one acters as well as the Theatre Restaurants. He won three ILT best performance awards, best actor in the Festival twice and elsewhere once.

He joined Admin in 1984 and became Treasurer in 1988 which automatically made him a member of Building Committee.He served on Selection Committee in two years, 1984 and 1987. He was Business Manager for Everything in the Garden in 1986.His Life Membership was awarded in 1991.Clive completed a nine year term as Treasurer in 1996 and served again in 2001 when his brother-in-law Craig Taylor became President. Since 1996 he has appeared in Chapter Two (1999), Dimboola (2002), four one acters, a Tourific Trouper play and Good Things (2013).

Colin Paterson first appeared in Witness for the Prosecution in 1973 when he was “dragged along” by Janice. This launched him on a hectic involvement in six full length plays and two one acters between 1973 and 1976. He later appeared in a further three one acters and four theatre restaurants.

He has built many sets and not surprisingly most of them have been for Janice’s productions.Since 1974 he has served on Admin for nine years, almost two as President and two as Vice President. He was Theatre Manager in 1974, Publicity in 1974, Lighting Manager in 1977. He became a Cultural Centre representative in 1977, becoming a member of Building Committee when it was formed in 1977 and served continuously for many years. He was a member of the Production Committee in 1981.Following the completion of the Amenities Building, he became the Licensee in 1995. His Life Membership was awarded in 1991.Colin completed his term as Bar Manager in 1997. From 2006 he worked with Alan Brown to renovate and improve our buildings, particularly the Jean Pratt Building and rejoined Building Committee. He made a major contribution to the Theatre complex through refurbishment of the Incinerator auditorium and the courtyard roof project (2016).Colin has played a number of parts for the Daytime Theatre Troupe and took on a small role in Sex and Drugs & Rick n Noel (2009).

Patricia Pratt made her debut for ILT as Tweeny in The Admirable Crichton (1961), having previously performed with the St Mary’s Players, another Ipswich theatrical group. Since then Patti has appeared in 21 major productions, seven one act plays and one theatre restaurant. In 1966 she co-produced the ILT Festival entry with Jean Pratt and the same year they co-produced a full length play, Life with the Girls. She was assistant director for How the Other Half Loves.

Patti won two best actress awards in the ILT Festival (1969 and 1985) and at Warana (1985). In 1966 Patti was elected to Admin and served on this committee in four years. She was assistant secretary in 1968 and 1986 and Secretary in 1970. She was Festival Secretary in 1966 and 1968 and Librarian in 1966 and 1967. She has served on Selection Committee for five years and was publicity officer in 1990.She was Director of Young Theatricals in at least three years.Her Life Membership was awarded in 1991.Patti has served two years as Secretary since 1996 and one as Treasurer. She has also served as Librarian. She spent a further two years on Admin and five on Selection Committee. Patti was Festival Liaison Coordinator in 2007 and 2008. She trod the boards in The New Quixote (2004), D-Day (2007) and was a performer for Tourific Troupers, in Scene but Briefly (2008) and Light Bites (2012). She has also appeared in several Daytimers’ productions. Patti Pratt died in 2021.

Dianne Adams, having learnt dance as a child, had her first involvement in adult theatre with the Black Diamonds group in which her father Ossie Nash was heavily involved. She then worked with Dorothy Harris, before joining ILT in 1968 to appear in Life with the Girls. In several periods of intense involvement, Dianne has proven herself a more than competent actress. She has appeared in 17 full length plays, ten one acters and two birthday parties. She has also directed three one act plays. She has won the ILT best performance award twice, the ILT Festival Best Actress award five times, Best Actress at Redcliffe, Best Comedy Actress at Sandgate, Adjudicator’s Choice at Sandgate and another performance award at Goondiwindi.

She has served on Admin for nine years, Selection for ten years and Publicity for eight. She was on the Social Committee in 1974, was wardrobe mistress for three years and Business Manager for three. Her design skills have been used for sets, programmes and other pieces. Dianne for a number of years collated and maintained ILT’s photographic collection.Her Life Membership was awarded in 1993. She says “I am forever thankful for joining back in 1968. ILT has been my therapy, my second family, my second home”.Dianne was a regular member of Publicity Committee for many years. For some of these she was officially Programme Coordinator. She has served on Selection Committee for three years and has also been Librarian and Business Manager. Her stage appearances include Bubbles (1997), Lipstick Dreams (1997), Sleeping Beauty (2001), A Trip Down Memory Lane (2002), People Like Us (2003), Ignite (2004) and one of the Tourific Trouper plays (2008). Her decision to move to Dalby has robbed us of one of our most accomplished and versatile players.

Jane Sheppard joined ILT in 1973, encouraged to audition by her cousins Eleanor and Clive Beale. In that year she performed for Young Theatricals and then appeared in the first of 14 full length plays, 10 theatre restaurants and birthday nights and 10 one act plays. Jane was co-founder of the Daytime Theatre Troupe in 1983. She has since performed in 16 pantomimes with them, directed 12 and written many. She also appeared in the 50th Festival Celebration and entered the Miss ALTG quest.She has directed eight full length plays – A Bedfull of Foreigners (1996), Chapter 2 (1999), On Golden Pond (2002), Post Horn Gallop (2007), This Way Up (2008), Mother and Son (2010), Good Things (2013), The Final Test (2016) and a number of one act plays.

Jane has won 14 Drama Festival awards including three for Best Director; four for Best Supporting Actress; two Best Plays, one Best Comedy; Adjudicator’s Choice and Members Choice Favourite Play.Jane has been on Admin. Committee, Festival Committee, Selection Committee and Publicity Committee. She was Vice President in 2005. She has been prompt, Stage Manager, Business Manager and done lighting, set design, set painting, makeup, front-of-house and festival liaison. Jane was awarded her Life Membership in 1997.

Lorna Longston (Holloway) joined ILT in 1975, encouraged by Robyn Flashman and Brenda Ryan. Her first involvement was as a helper with Junior Theatre, then as a director of two plays in her first year. In 1976 she appeared in the first of nine full length productions, four one act plays and five theatre restaurants for Senior Theatre.

In 1979 Lorna won Best Supporting Actress at the ILT Festival. Her performance in The Apple Bit won her Best Actress at the ILT festival. Adjudicator’s Choice at Warana Festival and Panel’s Choice in 1980.Lorna was Festival Convener from 1997 to 2000 and again from 2002 to 2004. She served on Building Committee for seven years and on Selection Committee for many years.A highlight of her involvement in the theatre was marrying Alan Longston in the grounds of the theatre. Her involvement in ILT also boosted her professional acting career. Lorna was awarded her Life Membership in 1997.Lorna Longston relocated to North Queensland and died in 2019.

Craig Taylor was a foundation member of Junior Theatre in 1968. He performed in six Junior Theatre plays before moving on to appear in four plays with Young Theatricals, 15 full length, 12 one act plays at nine theatre restaurants with Senior theatre. He directed four one act plays and a Theatre Restaurant Dimboola (2002). He has also performed in or directed over 20 musicals for the Choral Society, Cambrians and Orpheus Chorale.

Craig has served on Admin, for 17 years and Selection for seven, was Secretary 1996-7; President 2000-1 and Director of Young Theatricals (1987). He first worked backstage at ILT’s One Act Play Festival in 1974 and has appeared in, or worked backstage, at every Festival since. In 2013 he became Festival Director.He has won Festival awards for acting and directing in both the Junior and Senior Sections.In 2009 Craig began working tirelessly on the compilation of a complete listing of ILT productions, casts and crews in all the productions of its sub-groups and in festivals.

Craig was awarded Life Membership in 2000.

Chic Currie was asked to play piano for the Daytimer’s second pantomime Peter Pan in 1984. Since then, she has performed in every pantomime they have done. Her musical talents have also been called on for theatre restaurants, Junior Theatre, Young Theatricals and S-Troupe. She performed on the Incinerator stage in 1994 in Stepping Out.

Chic has also assisted in the kitchen and with front-of-house for many years. She says her involvement with ILT has been a “fantastic addition” to her life as she has some of the “best and warmest friendships with the girls who have been Daytimers. It’s like going to therapy without the couch!” She has recruited many new theatre members and has been solely responsible for all Daytimers ticket bookings. She is the ‘Rock of the Daytimers’ and a hard worker behind the scenes. In recent years, Chic has become a regular performer for Tourific Troupers.Chic was awarded her Life Membership in 2002.

Pauline Brayford joined ILT in 1979 as an outlet for her creative instincts. She first appeared in Not Now Darling and then had minor roles in other plays and a theatre restaurant. Her main involvement, however, has been with the Daytimers, performing in at least 40 plays. In 2005 she won an ALTG award for her set for Under the Sea.

From 2005 until February 2007 she served as Treasurer. Pauline worked as Wardrobe Mistress, set designer, front-of-house and in the kitchen at 15 Festivals. Her two daughters also performed for Junior Theatre. She toured with the Young Theatricals lugging sets, kids and costumes. Her husband Brian, a painter, assisted for many years with painting and sets. Pauline says, “The theatre was my sanity, somewhere I could be myself. I am grateful that all those years ago I made the decision to join ILT”.Pauline was awarded Life Membership in 2002. She died of cancer in 2011.

Pam Floris (Pearce/Hanson) joined ILT in 1969 on the recommendation of her Speech and Drama teacher. Only 16 years old, she was driven by her mother to the audition as she had no drivers licence. She was “shy and read badly” and to her surprise was given a part in The Faithful Widow of Ephesus. She has since gone on to perform in 14 full length, six one act and two theatre restaurant productions. She had major roles in Good Things (2013) and Entertaining Angels (2014).

Pam has also devoted a considerable amount of time to administration. She has had several stints as Secretary, has been Vice President and then held office as President from 2003 to 2005. Subsequently she was Past President. She has served on Selection Committee and been Convener for several years.During the three years that her husband Sven was Bar Manager, she was very energetic in assisting him with provisioning and ensuring that the kitchen was run efficiently. She and Sven have continued to volunteer for kitchen duties for most productions.Pam’s Life Membership was awarded at the 2005 AGM.

Desley Cronon was introduced to ILT in 1989 by her sister Sharon Wright to assist with the play she was directing, Speak Only Good of the Dead. Preferring to work behind the scenes, Desley has performed in one full-length play and sung in one Theatre restaurant. She has been an assistant Director for approximately 30 plays for six different directors. She has herself directed Visitors from Forest Hills and a Tourific Trouper play. She has made many costumes for S-Troupe and has been a Stage Manager and Front of House Manager for at least 16 years.

Since the mid 1990s, Desley has served on Admin and was Vice President in 2004. She has been a member of Selection Committee for a number of years. Perhaps Desley’s key contribution is the management of bookings for the Jean Pratt Building which is in constant competing demand.She says membership of ILT has ‘enriched my life in ways I couldn’t even begin to imagine when I first became involved. It has helped me to grow into a more confident person and has given me friendship that has sustained me at some of the worst times of my life.’Desley’s Life Membership was awarded in 2006.

Dianne Johnston, a qualified dance teacher, joined ILT in 1992 to assist S-Troupe with some dance moves. She continued as the S-Troupe Assistant Director until 2002 when she became the group’s director, a position she still holds. As Director, she has written every play they have performed. Her theatre involvement expanded in 1993 when she appeared in the first of eight full length plays, seven one act plays, two Tourific Trouper plays and eight theatre restaurants (five of which she directed).

From 1998 to 2002 Di was in the Daytimers group, appearing in six pantomimes, two of which she directed. Di won an ALTG award in 1998, Best Actress in 2004 in Epiphany in three festivals and an Ipswich City Council cultural award in 2009. More recently she has appeared in Stepping Out (2012), The Importance of Being Earnest (2012) and The Final Test (2016)Di has served on Admin, the Festival Committee, Publicity Committee and the committee organising the 40th anniversary of the move to the Incinerator. Her involvement has included working as Front of House Manager, Stage Manager, Assistant Secretary, Wardrobe Assistant, Newsletter editor and gardener.Di’s Life Membership was awarded in 2006.

Judith Grant commenced her involvement with ILT back in the Town Hall days in 1967. Since then she has appeared in four full-length, five one act, one Theatre Restaurant and one Tourific Trouper play.

But it is in administration and team member that Judy has made her mark. Over the years, she has worked with Junior Theatre, Young Theatricals and most notably, S-Troupe, providing reliable support. She has served on Building Committee (one year as convener) and has been a stalwart front of house worker and Tourific Trouper.She has had three terms as President of the Society for a total of nine years (1975-76), (1997-99) and (2006-09). Only Les Thomas (1951-60) has served longer, but the modern society has certainly been far more complex and demanding.Judy’s Life Membership was awarded on 22 August 2009, at the celebrations of 40 years in the Incinerator.

Kay McAllan joined Daytime Theatre Troupe in 1988 and first played the part of a rabbit. She has been a member ever since, but specialising in writing and directing. Her first script was Jack and the Beanstalk (1999). This has been followed by many others including Snow White and the Seven Used Car Salesmen (2000), Mother Goose (2002), King of the Beasts (2003), The Little Mermaid (2005), The Grouch’s Christmas (2006), Roby’s Bush Christmas (2007, 2013), Trouble in Mother Goose’s Storybook Land (2012), Trouble in Storybook Land (2014).

Kay has also been Wardrobe Mistress for many years, curating an endless supply of costumes, principally for the Daytimers, but which can also be called upon by the other groups.Kay’s Life Membership was awarded in 2009.

Alan Brown first appeared on the Incinerator stage in 1976 in The Real Inspector Hound. Between then and his retirement in 2013, Alan was devoted to ILT in many roles including actor, director, awards winner, set designer, set construction, set painting, property manager, theatre manager, gardener, member of the Administrative Committee, Selection Committee, all round odd job and fix it man

Alan performed in more than 45 productions for ILT including Daytime Theatre Troupe and Tourific Troupers. Among his memorable performances was in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (2010)His major productions included The Late Mrs Early (1985), Everything in the Garden (1986) and Wedding of the Year (2004).He gave a helping hand to Juniors, Young Theatricals and S-Troupe on many occasions.  

His Life Membership was presented at the 2011 AGM.

Phil Holmes joined Ipswich Little Theatre in 1988 and immediately became heavily involved in lighting and sound. Over the next five years he lit something like 17 major productions and several of the Juniors. He then returned to his native England.

Fortunately, he came back to us in 2002. Between then and 2014 he designed and set the lights for virtually every main-house and sub-group performance and all the Festivals – an enormous number of shows – and personally operated lights and sound for many of them. For many of these, such as Scenes from a Separation (2010), Time and Time Again (2010), The 39 Steps (2011) and A Few Good Men (2013), he developed intricate complex effects, the like of which we have seldom seen, using cutting-edge computer technology.In addition to this, he was entirely responsible for the acquisition, installation and maintenance of all our equipment. He was presented with his Life Membership in February 2015. In early 2015 he returned again to England, but decided Australia was preferable after all. He makes himself available with technical advice from time to time.

Suzanne Matulich (then Sue Cook) appeared in ILT’s 1974 production of Rookery Nook. She returned in 1984 to play Peter Pan in the Daytimers’ production, and over the next few years appeared in two major productions and three one-acters, and directed several Junior productions as well as two major productions and a one-acter.

She set up her independent group Crossfyre Youth Theatre, with productions entered regularly in our Festival. After 15 years, she amalgamated this group with Young Theatricals, directing a number of challenging productions.Her major productions include Wolf Lullaby (2005), President Wilson in Paris (2006), Art (2007), Enter a Free Man (2008), Scenes from a Separation (2010) and Amigos (2013). She has also had success with a number of One Act plays in Festivals and seasons.For nine years, from 2006 to 2014, Suzanne was Director of our prestigious Annual Drama Festival and can be credited with much of its continued success. In November 2011, having been Vice-President for two years, she was elected President, holding the office for two years. She was presented with her Life Membership in February 2015.

Anne England was persuaded to come along to the Daytime Theatre Troupe (because of her involvement with Nursing Mothers) mainly to help with babysitting. When one of the ladies was away from a rehearsal, she was asked if she would read the part for that rehearsal. She thought, “Why not?”

Since than she has played 42 different parts for the Daytimers ranging from a Big Bad Wolf, to a French Frog and a noisy hen. There have been remarkably few productions in which she has not performed − and sometimes more than one part. She has been Convener of the Troupe for a number of years and is currently Assistant Convener.She joined Admin as a result of her Daytime involvement and has been a welcome addition. She has also been coerced into main house activities, appearing in a number of productions and undertaking the role of Assistant Director for others.She has also become a member of Tourific Troupers, performing (with Chic Currie and Robyn Harm) as lunching ladies on many occasions. She is also a stalwart worker at festivals. Her Life Membership was awarded at the 2015 AGM.

Doug Moses first joined ILT in 1969, appearing in Chase Me Comrade, the last production in the Town Hall. Over the next few years he appeared in three or four productions each year. He directed his first play Shock Tactics in 1973 and a further three plays before he moved to Biloela in 1979 for work. On his return to Ipswich he took up where he left off and has since directed one play in almost every year. He believes audiences deserve to be entertained and have a good time so he specialises in comedies.

To date, he has directed fifteen major productions since his return comprising Barefoot in the Park (1998), Straight and Narrow (1999), Don’t Dress for Dinner (2001), Butterflies Are Free (2002), Key for Two (2003), The Potion (2004), Bedding Roses (2005), The Maintenance Man (2007), Sex, Drugs and Rick ‘n Noel (2009), The Odd Couple (2010), After Dinner (2012), Five Women Wearing the Same Dress (with Sheryl Roche 2013), Sin, Sex and the CIA (with Sheryl Roche 2014), Perfect Wedding (2015), Lipstick Dreams (with Chris Austin-Greenhill 2016). He has also directed a number of one-act plays and appeared in a large number of roles in other productions.Doug has served on the Administrative Committee and Selection Committee (including several terms as Convener) for many years. He has been Subscription Secretary and Librarian/Assistant Librarian. He has assisted with Daytime Theatre Troupe and particularly Junior Theatre where he appears in a cameo role especially written for him by Deirdre Lowe in each production.His Life Membership was awarded at the 2015 AGM. Doug passed away in 2022.

Jim Orr is the 39th member to be inducted as a Life Member.

Jim first appears in our annals when he played in “Hotel Sorrento” in 1997. He next appeared in a one-acter “The Boat” in 2000 and over the next decade or so, he appeared on a regular basis in half a dozen one acters and a couple of full-length plays. Of particular note was his performance in “Epiphany” where his ongoing close relationship with Di Johnston commenced. His performance in “Educating Rita” in 2008 was a tour de force. This was followed up in 2014 in “Entertaining Angels”. He has performed in a number of ten minute plays in a couple of seasons and to entertain visiting groups.He has also sat in the director’s chair to produce three seasons of one-act plays and another one-acter in another season. Not surprisingly, he has been a regular helper with S-Troupe activities.

But over and above all this, Jim has been active on the administrative side. He was President in 2010 and 2011 and joined Building Committee in 2011, serving continuously since then. He has been President again for the past two years. He has had various roles in relation to the bar, alternating with Ann Collyer. He has been our fire safety officer and workplace health and safety monitor for years. In 2020 he took on the additional role of cleaner when that task was amplified by the COVID-19 safety requirements.

He is also a genuinely “GOOD GUY”. 

Tony Erhardt is the 40th member to be inducted as a Life Member.

A young Anthony Erhardt joined Junior Theatre in 1981. Over the next two years, he appeared in five Junior productions before moving on to Young Theatricals in 1983 where he continued to perform.

In 1987 he moved on to the “big stage” with Senior theatre. Since then, he has appeared in six full-length plays, a further five one-acters that have formed part of a season, six Theatre Restaurants and three ten-minute plays. He has also worked backstage on numerous occasions including roles as Stage Manager or Lighting Operator.

He served as Director of Young Theatricals where he directed plays including several which he wrote. He has also written several plays for adults. He organised a major event in 2023 to mark 50 years of Young Theatricals. Somewhere along the line, he changed his name to Tony.

A major contribution has been to our annual Festival where he has worked extensively backstage. He was Assistant Stage Manager to Craig Taylor and when Craig became the Festival Director, Tony stepped into the role of Stage Manager which he has carried out in an exemplary fashion.

Tony has been a member of Admin for many years, has served on Selection Committee and has been a member of the Production, Properties and Maintenance team. He is a regular attendee at working bees including those for set building. Tony’s contribution to Ipswich Little Theatre has been of great significance.

Shane Mallory is the 41st member to be inducted as a Life Member (December 2023).

Shane first trod the Incinerator boards in 2005 in Bedding Roses. Since then, he has gone on to appear in a further 11 full-length plays and seven one-act plays. He has also directed 5 full-length plays (including the hilarious The 39 Steps twice) and a one-act play, Fully Committed, in which, as the solo performer, he played 37 different roles.
He joined the Administrative Committee in 2011 and took on the additional roles of ICT Manager and Box Office Manager, using his state-of-the-art expertise. He has served on Selection Committee for many years, several as convener. He is also currently Vice President. An outstanding record of service, fully meriting the award.