Part one Written in 2003 by Molly Quick.
This is an early history of the Cairns Spiritual Group from its inception in October 1987 up to the time it moved into its own premises and a formal management committee was formed in early 1992. Times, dates and happenings were either taken from memory (pre newsletter days) and then combined with entries in newsletters over those years. If anyone has more memories interesting bits and pieces to add or would like to look through old newsletters or the scrapbook I would be pleased to hear from them with a view to adding to this history. Sincerely, Molly Quick email@example.com
IN THE BEGINNING (1987- 1989).
In September of 1987 a notice appeared in the Personal Column of the Cairns Post that read: ‘Spiritualist Church Psychic Centre forming Cairns shortly. Interested persons please phone 312192 evenings. This notice attracted nearly 40 people to the library function rooms in Lake Street later that month. The advertiser, English Spiritualist, Ollie Wilson addressed this meeting. He said that he was from a Spiritualist family and was seeking a group of like-minded souls to start a Spiritualist church with teaching/development groups running on a regular basis in Cairns. From this, a small number of people came forward volunteering to be active in making this happen. They were, Paula Ripley, now return to her native New Zealand, mother of two Michelle Brown, Lesley Wells, a nursing sister, (both have since left Cairns), and Molly Quick, still living in Cairns and actively involved in spiritual work. Others committed to attend any arranged meeting. There was also a German gentleman, name not remembered, who, after some debate on suitable venues kindly booked and paid, from his own pocket, for rooms at The Lakes Centre on the corner of Little and Greenslopes Street for a meeting to discuss the format of the proposed organisation. This gentleman attended only this meeting and was not seen again. At least a dozen people attended the first get together in early October. It was decided that the yet unnamed group should meet weekly at the same venue. This led to a discussion on a name. Cairns Christian Spiritualist Church was decided upon and a bank account opened in that name at Northern Permanent Building Society, in Lake Street. On a Tuesday evening in October 1987 the first official open meeting was held at the Lakes Centre, having been previously advertised in the Personal Column of the Cairns Post. A good number attended and Ollie Wilson presided, being the only person to have had much experience in addressing public meetings of this nature. It soon developed into an open circle and a forum for discussion with much eager input. From that time on the meetings were attended by more and more people each week. Ollie departed Cairns quite mysteriously before Christmas of that year leaving Paula, Molly, Lesley and Michelle to run meetings and wondering if Ollie had been a figment of their imaginations. It is of interest to note that Cairns Crystal Ball Bookshop also opened for business in October 1987 quite independently of and unknown to each other. The proprietors were Ralf and Marion Wenske. Their premises were in Lake Street where Central Fitness now stands. In 1987 this area was considered well off the beaten track from the main city block. As Lesley’s work and Michelle’s parenting took priority it was left to Paula and Molly to keep things running. As both of these people now took the bulk of the responsibility meetings were scaled back to fortnightly. Not long after that, wanting to provide quality rather than quantity, they became monthly on Tuesday evenings and a monthly talk continues on a Tuesday evening to this time of writing at the CSC’s then venue on Little Street.
By the end of November 1987 other valuable input had arrived in the forms or Rene Montgomery (dec), an elderly Spiritualist of many years standing, Lois Stilson, Norm Reichart (dec), Phyllis Denham, Elizabeth Inch and Cheryl Winn (dec) with Christine Scott joining in the December of that year. The first Christmas meditation was held on a Friday night in December 1987 at Molly’s home with about fifteen people attending. Each attendee was asked to bring a children’s toy, unwrapped, to put under the Christmas tree for the spirit children to play with during the course of the evening. These toys were later given to charity. This Christmas tradition continued for several years.
THE NAME & FORMAT CHANGE. It wasn’t long before a name change was decided upon. It had been Ollie’s wish to create a church but as no one was of reverend status the majority decision was for it to be a group for spiritual and psychic learning. A decision was made to move away from strictly spiritual subjects to encompass all New Age related aspects as they were, at that time, coming to the fore. It also wished to be non-denominational so the word Christian was dropped from the title and shortly after that Church was exchanged for Group and the ‘ist’ for ‘al’, thus creating the name as it is today “Cairns Spiritual Group”. The early gatherings always seemed to be successful, always attracting more folk each time. Although Lesley Wells was an excellent medium she could not always attend. Molly had had some experience doing flower readings in Spiritualist Churches and many years of personal study behind her and Paula had the wisdom and natural vision of her Maori heritage. There was no minister, no music, no clairvoyant and yet successful meetings continued with people flowing in, all leaving with a thirst for more knowledge. Some were surprising themselves as their psychic and clairvoyant gifts started to open. The rent was always covered and the bank account was growing. Some of the people were a little shy about being seen at such ‘strange’ meetings. Many would peep round the door to see who was there before they entered. Mention must be made of the small dog that sat dutifully under its owners chair during the course of meetings. Taking the dog for a walk was the excuse of one lady to a skeptical husband so that she could come to meetings. Other people to become active in the group during its early months were, John Buzacott, Lois’ daughter Karen McMahon , Sheryl Braund, Les Sharpe (dec) and Barbara Huntley (dec.).
FIRST VISITING SPEAKERS & HELPERS. During those first months of 1987/8 the group had made contact with some of the spiritual churches around the country seeking information and advice. One of the first to respond was The Spiritual Church, Boundary Street, Brisbane. Ordained minister Frank Bruce and his wife Dorothy visited Cairns in the winter of 1988. Their input and assistance was invaluable. Frank gave a public talk and channeled address at the monthly meeting as well as holding some small groups at Molly’s home. Dorothy did some overhead clairvoyance on both of these occasions. It is doubtful that anything of this nature had been seen at a public meeting in Cairns before, and it was great encouragement for many to learn more about their own spirituality and spiritual gifts. Other visiting speakers in the early days were Psychic Artist Julie Keeffe, Clairvoyant Ray Speers and Psychic and Healer John Fraser (dec), president of A.S.H.A, all from Brisbane, and Healer and Lecturer Georgina Reagan from the U.S. Mention must be made of John Lawton (dec), a local channel and wise adviser then living at Bellenden Ker. His assistance and that of the guides working with him were of enormous help to the fledgling group. Also channeller Dan Littlewood and his guides gave valuable input.
COURSES, CLASSES AND CIRCLES. Meditation evenings were started each Wednesday evenings in late 1987 at Molly Quick’s home. Initially these were to help the development of those actively involved in running meetings, make contact with the guides and assist each other gain experience. These Wednesday groups soon opened to the public in various venues and were run by Paula Ripley, Molly Quick and later Rene Montgomery (dec) and Christine Scott. The Wednesday night meditations continue at the time of writing at Chrysalis Relaxation Centre, and include new facilitator Joy Gale. As the thirst for knowledge grew, so did the numbers attending the meetings. People were wanting more than the monthly Tuesday evenings could manage. In November of 1988 Molly held the first’ Introduction to the Psychic and Spiritual’ course in her lounge room. There were three students, John, Coral & Lou. As the demand for this course grew it became necessary to rent premises at the Neighbourhood Centre, Birch Street, Manunda on Monday nights to provide space on an ongoing basis. Extra assistance was required and this came in part from Graham and Elizabeth (dec) Connett from Port Douglas. Merryl Arthy has also been a co-facilitator for these courses. Jennifer Thomas (dec) was now a part of things. Jennifer ran a small coffee lounge in Abbott Street that she offered to the group after her business hours. Introduction Courses were held here together with a couple of workshops. Jennifer, an excellent channel, and her son, Keith, were to become regulars at Rene Montgomery’s home circle for several years. The Introduction Course still runs intermittently as demand requires with one in progress at the time of writing: September, 2003. They have been modified over the years and are presently held at Chrysalis Relaxation Centre and are facilitated by Molly Quick and Christine Scott.
(1990 – 1992). In 1990 Barbara Huntley (dec.) and Sheryl Braund began a open meditation/healing group on Monday mornings at Barbara’s home in Kewarra Beach. In 1991 Alan Walsingham began development groups from his home at Yorkeys Knob. In the autumn of 1991 a healing group was started each Friday evening at the Birch Street rooms. Lois Stilson and Rene Montgomery were instigational in this. Lois continues her valuable healing work in what was later to become a support group for those with life threatening illness. Phyllis Denham assisted. Again these are still running as an open healing session on a Wednesday mornings at the present Cairns Spiritual Centre. Rene Montgomery was persuaded to run some spiritual/psychic development circles which she did at her home several evenings a week, right up to the time of her passing in 2003. Word of the group’s willingness to investigate ‘hauntings / ghosts and psychic disturbances’ had become public knowledge and some members who were prepared to help these souls did this work. All sorts of weird and wonderful requests were addressed and in most cases assistance was given. Graham Connett was frequently the channel for these type of Rescues with many of them being recorded on tape now kept by Molly Quick.
PLANNING MEETINGS. By the end of 1988 some sort of administration meeting was needed. These were always social events that happened infrequently in the home of Lois Stilson. Up to ten people would attend. No one had a specific position on a structured committee. After discussion on the groups needs each person took on a task which they could fulfill, their time, energy and expertise permitting. It was always an exciting and willing group gathering. There was a short meditation at the start of each meeting invoking harmony and the highest good for all. Soon these meditations included requests for guidance in finding a permanent venue so that all the events could be held under the same roof.
NEWSLETTER. Alan Walsingham, formerly of the Victorian Spiritualist Union, had joined the group together with his wife, Joan. It was Alan who published the first Spiritual Group Newsletter in October, 1990, forty copies of half a foolscap page of print asking for input and ideas. The first news sheet contained the following prophetic words from the editor. “Gradually this little sheet will grow and will be an important part of this group”. The newsletter’s first advertiser was the Health Food Centre, run by Ken (dec) and Marilyn Reid, then at 74 Grafton Street and Earlville Shopping Town. Their shop is now at Cairns Central. Judging by a scan through past news letters it seems that they have advertised in just about every issue since. Molly also stores most of those original newsletter. When Alan Walsingham returned to Victoria some five months later Christine Scott took over as editor. With the added expertise of Clemens Vermeulen and his wife Gerry (dec). The group was now producing six hundred copies each month. Regular contributors to the Newsletter, beside the editors newsy blurb, were Rene Montgomery (inspirational writing), Lois Stilson (inspirational writing) Molly Quick (channeling from Russha). Vince Margiotta (book reviews). Phyllis Denham and Elizabeth Inch also assisted. In November, 1991, thanks to Clemens’ knowledge of computers and publishing programmes, the newsletter changed its format from A4 pages to the B5 booklet. Clemens’ format is still used today.
HELPING THE COMMUNITY. At the end of 1990 the ‘Make a Wish Foundation’ opened a chapter in Cairns. The Spiritual Group aligned themselves with this organisation and were able to make donations to several children in difficult circumstances who were either living in or visiting Cairns. For example, in 1991 CSG gave $100 to twelve year old Zak Strange from North Carolina USA. Zak had shown interest in buying some stuffed cane toads and a T-shirt with crocodile tears and blood on! He wanted to show his friends back home that he had really experienced life in Australia. Some members helped to raise funds for Make a Wish by joining a roster to make hamburgers on their stand at the 1991 Cairns Show. At about this time Phyllis Denham and Lois Stilson began their healing work by offering help and counseling to those with life threatening illness or experiencing bereavement. By the groups 4th Birthday in October 1991 the following services were being offered to the public. Public awareness through the monthly meeting and newsletter-Introduction to Psychic and Spiritual classes, Development groups, Healing and meditation nights, Bereavement counseling, Haunting investigations, Directory assistance for associated activities, Workshops by visiting facilitators
At the age of four, CSG joined L.E.T.S. Clem and Gerry Vermeulen ran this.
THE LOGO 1992. The logo, which was used for the first time on the cover of the 14th issue of the Magazine in May 1992, was designed by Glenda Johnston of Atherton. It depicts the four elements of fire, air, earth and water through the symbols of the sun, bird, plant and lake, representing Light, Freedom, Growth and Tranquility.
FUND RAISERS. The first fundraiser in the form of a Psychic Expo was the brainchild of Barbara Huntly (dec.)and Sheryl Braund who put together a delightful afternoon at the Lakes Centre on Saturday 7th December, 1991 entitled ‘A Psychic Affaire’. Keeping in mind that ‘fortune telling’ was still illegal under the Vagrancy Act at that time, a newspaper article reports the event was to include “New Age activities such as fun readings of tarot, astrology, palmistry, auras, character analysis, dream analysis and psychometry. Therapists would be available for aligning mind, body and spirit, aromatherapy, massage, essential oils and herbs, reflexology, crystals”. In this article Barbara Huntly (dec.) describes the fundamental principle of the Spiritual Group as being “The continued existence of the consciousness after the transition called death, and communication between those who have passed to that state of existence and those still on the earth plane”. The result of this first expo was exceptional. Newsletter number 13 in February, 1992 reports: “Hundreds attended and the following were available: Water purifiers, L.E.T.S system, reflexology, P.R.O.U.T., metamorphic massage, Crystal Ball Bookshop, naturopathy, iridology, Australian bush remedies, body workshop, spiritual healing, Louise Hay, Sunrider with Chinese herbs, massage, books and tapes from the Health Food Centre, ringing crystal bowls, Bach flower remedies, crystals, healing wands etc. Colour puncture, Brain Gym, herbs and homeopathy, stained glass modules, books from Healthy Affaire and a Giro machine. Eight people did readings in the categories of palm, aura, tarot, colour harmony, direct contact with spirit through channel, dream analysis, past lives and astrology. Demonstrations of Yoga and Aikido were also popular.” Having just acquired new premises at Mulgrave Road the next Psychic Affaire was set to be held there on Sunday 5th April, 1992. Barbara Huntley (dec.) and Sheryl Braund again worked their magic to make this occasion a winner. This time Feldenkrais, hypnotherapy, Quantum Healing, Kirlian Photography, karmic blue prints, Esogetics, Reiki and Kinesiology were added to the list of presenters. Speakers and demonstrations included a Native American medicine circle, magnetic fields, UFO research and Tai Chi. The new Spiritual Centre and surrounding grounds were filled. It was the wish of the organisers that monies raised by this event would start the ball rolling for a spiritual retreat somewhere in the area. This was never achieved by the time of writing.
CAIRNS SPIRITUAL CENTRE IS BORN. A major event in the history of the group took place on the 1st of February, 1992 when the dream of having premises of their own became reality. It was Lois Stilson who first heard news of some premises that may be available for rent. Situated at 129 Mulgrave Road these rooms had been a Yoga Centre for some years. They were clean and carpeted and quite within financial reach, largely due to the first fundraiser. They were snapped up. It was all hands on deck with donations of time and furniture and the Cairns Spiritual Centre was created. The venue contained a large meeting room that would accommodate 50 to 60 people, two small rooms one of which was used for storage and the other for a library, and also a small garden at the rear.
After some time it was obvious that a formal committee, with a view to incorporation was required, together with a centre manager who had the time and enthusiasm to keep things flowing. A committee was formed with Clemens Vermuelen as president and Barbara Huntly as centre manager. Other members of the first committee members were Christine Scott, Libby Inch and Russel Wedd. Barbara Huntly (dec.) was later to become president. All existing events were now operating from the centre. Teaching groups, meditation and healing evenings, committee meetings and more. The new centre was now available for rent for other gatherings of similar nature. A small collection of books soon started to grow with many donations being gratefully accepted and the small room at the centre was now became a library. A second-hand refrigerator for the centre was procured on the basis that it would be paid for once money was raised for that purpose. Molly received direction from her guide to put his channeled words, some of which had previously been printed in the newsletters, into book form. Once again it was Clemen’s skill that produced “The Little Book of Words from Russha”. Stacey Fuller, a talented artist, arrived at the centre at the perfect time and offered to illustrate each piece. Several hundred of these books were printed and sold for $4 each. The sale of the books raised enough money to cover the cost of a fridge and the expenses incurred in its publication. No more, no less. Left over books could not be sold and have been given away. A copy of the book was taken to the UK by Molly in 1993 and given to the library of Arthur Findlay College of Psychic Science at Stansted Hall in Essex.
The Cairns Spiritual Centre – Part 2 recollections by Hazel Leung (written May 2016)
(1993- 1995). I first attended the Cairns Spiritual Group some time in 1992 when it was situated at 129 Mulgrave Road. I had moved to Cairns in 1989 and became very interested in all things new age. I was studying astrology and feeling quite psychic so I went looking for more. I attended all sorts of things at the centre, monthly talks and Wednesday healings. Loved the magazine, it opened up the district to spiritual things and when I began to practice astrology I put an advertisement for my services in it. That would not have been until about 1993 or 1994. I remember popping in and out over the years and seeing different people involved in the healings as well as the running of the centre. Lois comes to mind as well as Helga. Gail used to sit in the office and I would come in and chat when I paid for my advert. Someone always talked me into renewing my membership and I read the magazine every month. I remember we used to pay $2.00 for a healing and put our names in the book and someone would come and get us. Mostly it was reiki as reiki was very popular back then and I always felt so peaceful and serene afterwards. I remember attending a few workshops at the centre but not until it had moved to The Cootharinga Society building in Little Street in 1995. I did a Grandfather Morning Owl (James Barnett) workshop with an associate of his called Joy Robinson, that would have been in 1996 I think. Grandfather Morning Owl came over from the USA a few times to run workshops. Some things I learned back then I still use today. Also at that workshop was our dear old friend Roselle. She used to work at a new age shop I think it was called Starworks in Sheridan Street as a fairy godmother for children’s parties. She turned up to the course late one day covered in sparkles and from that day on I always called her Fairy Godmother. Roselle was a member and attendee of the centre for many years and she always had some wonderful tales to tell. Giselle Bay-Jespersen (Dec’d) was also on that course, we had a good time and learned a lot. What a great service the centre has provided over the years and it still continues to do so. Many people healed and developed skills then went on to share with others. I also remember attending a monthly Public Lecture on Feng Shui which was packed to the rafters. When the seed was sown for the need for a group way back in October 1987 who knew where it would go from there. One thing is for sure is that it opened the world of things spiritual in Cairns which has shifted and grown of its own accord since.
Tasham (Our Centres Guide). In 1993 Marian Ruffin channelled a spiritual guide for the group. His name was Tasham and she did a wonderful drawing of him which still hangs in the centre today (2016)
(1995 – 2010). THE LITTLE AND GREENSLOPES STREET DAYS. The Cairns Spiritual Group moved from 129 Mulgrave Road to the Cootharinga Society Building on the corner of Little and Greenslopes streets around 1995. For 15 years the Group continued its operations with monthly talks, meditations and healings and was available for hire to people running workshops, yoga and other spiritually oriented events. The Centre grew quite strong and with the extra space it seems to attract more and more people. I do recall that a spiritual service was held on Sunday evenings, although this was a private event many Spiritual Group members attended. The magazine grew too and we had a team of workers putting it all together. As with all organisations people came and went and eventually there were insufficient volunteers to produce the magazine so it was abandoned in 2003. It was a great source of income for the Spiritual Group as well as a great source of information for readers and healers. Those years were very active as we were introduced to all kinds of modalities previously unheard of. The demise of the Cairns Spiritual Group Magazine left a short void in the spiritual and new age world until February 2004 when Cairns Connect was born. This new magazine was a private, not for profit enterprise and the Cairns Spiritual Group has had a happy association with it since its inception. The Cairns Spiritual Group did shrink a little as time went by and people moved on so instead of using the large main hall at Little Street they were using the smaller section out the back as well as the verandah. I remember those days, sometimes we would get too many people and they would be pouring out of the centre but the rent was somewhat cheaper and as the magazine was no longer generating an income the move was necessary. I remember some old faces from those days too, Deborah White, Michelle Freele, Cheryl Davies, Despina Mappas, Annette Angel, Jack Bright just to name a few. I recall Jack Bright was a treasurer at one stage and Robert King President. We used to go to lunch most Wednesdays and often to the Freshwater Delicatessen. Eventually the building was set for redevelopment and so The Cairns Spiritual Group had to look for new premises. This was not an easy task as they, as far as I recall, were not incorporated and were now faced with paying full commercial rates for rental. Deborah White was president at the time, Michelle Freele the vice president and it was she who set about the task of finding just the right place. Prior to this there was a need for incorporation and as it was Jack Bright’s signature on the original documents it is assumed that he initiated the legal process whereby The Cairns Spiritual Group officially became The Cairns Spiritual Centre Inc.
(2010 – 2014). THE MOVE TO 194 SPENCE STREET, BUNGALOW. It was May 2010 when the Cairns Spiritual Centre Inc. moved to this address. It was a bit squeezy but we managed as always. During the actual end of Little Street and the beginning of Spence Street I was absent from the Centre but one day decided to check out the new premises. It would have been September 2010. It had a nice atmosphere and nice people milling around. Kim Parkinson welcomed me on reception and my old mates were there. I had known Cheryl Davies for a number of years and also did lunch with them for a few years so there were plenty of familiar faces as well as some new ones. At some point, just before closing, Michelle Freele said (for some inexplicable reason) “what we need is a web page”. Then I knew what had drawn me there on that day because I volunteered to create one for the Centre. The Group had gone from a one advert in the Cairns Post, word of mouth affair into the new age of technology. I registered Cairnsspiritualcentre.com.au on behalf of the Centre and began to consider what should go on as content. It popped into my head that there once was a picture of a nice old monk hanging on the Little Street wall, I used to stare it for hours so I asked Kim where he was. We found him in one of the healing rooms, cleaned him up and took his picture and he became the inspiration for the page. He has a presence in the centre too, go talk to him sometime. The next week I came back and said to Deborah White, who was president, we could sell advertising space for healers and readers and she said, “ my prayers have been answered, that is how we will pay for the extra cost of the rent “ and so it was and, at the time of writing, still helps with the cost of things whilst providing a portal for those who practice spiritual healings and readings. Technology joined us again when Cheryl Davies made a facebook group for the centre. Cheryl left Cairns in about 2012 and since the group was part of her personal page she asked us to make a new one. I created both a page and a group and this too has begun to expand the Cairns Spiritual Centre Inc. message to people all over the place. It also helps those who are our friends and who have moved elsewhere to still feel connected to us. One day a nice lady called Dot Sweeting turned up, she was a Louise Hay, Heal Your Life Practitioner. Dot ran a few workshops both for herself and the centre. Eventually she became our president and secretary too since no one put their hands up that year for the job. Dot worked for several years building and changing the centre and her tireless efforts were very much appreciated. As with all groups the flavour and nature of things change. When Steve Parker became president the centre was no longer only open on Wednesday mornings and Saturday afternoons with the odd guest speaker, Steve initiated mentoring nights on Thursdays. He and others taught all manner of things to members for just $3.00. They did tarot nights and healing and palmistry too. I ran a couple of astrology nights and we all pitched in.
(2013 – 2016) In 2013 Ricky Parlett was elected president and Dot remained as Secretary. After several months Ricky choose to resign as President and the committee elected Steve Parker as acting president to finish the term. When Steve Parker became President (2014) Dot was again elected to the role of Secretary and they added many things to the running of the centre. Name tags were created, membership cards and lots of activities which did require a great deal of work. I had begun a little email newsletter and handed it over to Dot who turned it into something great that kept members informed of the many activities for the coming week. She also created a monthly newsletter giving the Centre activities for the month, news and a Presidents message. The web page began to attract visitors to Cairns as well as newcomers looking for a spiritual outlet. So many people have passed through the doors, it makes my head spin thinking about them and trying to remember all their names. One name I have not mentioned so far is Joe Patane. He has been the backbone of the centre for some years now, helping with maintenance and with transport in his trusty red ute as well as doing healings and readings. Although the Cairns Spiritual Centre had a presence at events like The Tanks Markets annual Mind Body and Soul festival it was not until 2014 that we began to organise healers and readers of our own. This day so far has been a tremendous success due to the generosity of our lovely volunteers. Because of Dot and other volunteers the Centre also has had a presence at the Palm Cove event as well as Yungaburra too. Getting the message out there is one way to ensure that the Centre lives on. The centre hire began to increase too with regular events run by other people. Malcolm Bell also began coming down from the tablelands on a Monday to run healing and channelling evenings. He did this at his own expense and any proceeds went directly to the Centre. Eventually that grew so big that he reduced his time to every fortnight to run the healing tuition and practice whilst Steve Parker took over the running of the channelling evenings. Malcolm had a couple of car accidents whilst driving in the big city and he decided his days of running up and down the hill should come to an end in 2016. His presence is still felt at the centre and centre members go to his channelling sessions now held up on the tablelands. On 21 February 2015 the Centre held an open day. The day was very successful and received some great publicity from the Cairns Post. Again, it was the volunteers who made this day a success and introduced our services to the general public. As well as spiritual events and new age skills, the Centre became a place of social activity too. Throughout the years friendships had always formed and good time had by all but now there seemed a need for organised events. Enter Pam Burns in about 2015 to organise us and find things to amuse and places where we could play. Pam is also our Laundry Queen at the time of writing, she takes care of all the healing room linen and the towels. The centre ran another open day in August 2016 and this was also a success as it attracted a lot of new people to the centre. At the 2015 AGM the members voted to change the logo of the centre which had morphed into the use of Tasham on everything, including the web page. It was felt we needed something that “did not look like a buddhist monk” and I was very against changing the logo from Tasham to something else. The logo was on the agenda all year with members submitting drawings and designs but in the end it was moi who created the one they chose as being the most suitable. I think I was sick of the logo being on the agenda each month so I solved it one way or another. We can still use Tasham, he is our monk after all. It takes many people to make a centre like this one, our overseas visitors say it is unique and they wish they had something similar. Hopefully one day they will.
(2014 – 2018). The Cairns Spiritual Centre – Part 3 recollections by Steven Parker. During this early time the centre experienced a big shake up in some long term volunteers leaving for various reasons to start another group. But as always the centre rolled along with with our volunteers doing what we always do, opening the 2 days a week plus mentoring nights. It is always important that the committee moves forward as a single unit to benefit all at the centre. During 2016 we continually upgraded the centre where we could. We brought new uniform chairs for the mediation and reading tables. We also brought new healing tables to replace some of the ancient ones we had. Healing nights were started with Dot Sweeting organising and Malcolm Bell running them and other healers sometimes helping. The nights proved popular and steady clients would always come in for a healing. We regularly put ourselves out to promote the centre on such events such as the Tanks Festival, Yungabarra and Palm Cove Peace day to name a few. Pam Burns our social director organised a lot of activities outside the centre to keep us sane and provide us with some laughs. Some memorable ones were the boat cruise up the inlet, Ten Pin Bowling as well as night lawn bowls.
In 2017/18 we celebrated the centre 30th birthday with a monster open day. We had tents and people everywhere, events, mediation, readings, coffee van, all organised and keep in order by the lovely secretary Dot Sweeting. This great effort by all involved allowed the centre to celebrate our beginnings, reconised its new life members as well as making valuable funds to keep the centre operational. During this time we extended out the back area, concrete and paved it, created a a bamboo fence and gardens to beautify the area. At the A.G.M in September 2018, Dot (Secretary), Joe (V-President) and myself Steve Parker (President) stepped down to give others a go at these important roles. In truth we had tried to do this the last 2 years but had always been encouraged to go again. But Dot and Myself were absolutely worn out by the constant pull on us by the centres needs. We loved it but decided to step down to work from the background.
In September 2018 the new committee was formed comprising Eva Ronning (President), Anne (Secretary), Jack Bright (Vice President) and others. This new blood keep things going with fund raising and helping others was put high on the list. Over the next year or so various role switching in the committee allowed us to keep running with resignations and appointments. In October 2018 nearly a month after we had resigned our head positions, a big unexpected blow happened to all at the centre when our beautiful angel Dot Sweeting passed away. Dot gave of her time freely and held a Miracles Group every 2nd Wednesday after the centre finished it activities. For as long as I can remember she run this group with Alan and always put herself last and everyone else first. It was a time of disbelief for many of us. The lady who was steadfast for the centre for so long suddenly decided she was wanted more by spirit. We miss her energy every day. Thanks Dot 🙂
Around the beginning of 2019 Hazel who had set up and run our website and Facebook for many years decided she was stepping down from the role to travel around the world. I would like to thank you Hazel for all the hard work and sweat you put in over the years, thank you on behalf of the centre. In July 2019 the lovely Pam help us achieving a sausage sizzle to raise valuable funds for the centre. What an experience for those many helpers that worked nonstop not to mention the ones left at the centre to keep it going. The day raise more funds than ever before. Thanks Pam. And the centre continue to do what it always does- helping others……………