Friends for life at the Gallery
INVOLVED in the founding of the Grafton Regional Gallery, as well as serving on the Friends of the Gallery, Gallery Foundation and the advisory , there isn't much about the regional art hub that escapes the attention of Pam Fysh.
On Friday night, she was taken aback at being awarded life membership of the Friends of the Gallery alongside two others, at the gallery's 30th birthday celebration.
"I am very honoured, I've enjoyed every minute of it,” she said of her award.
"A memorable day I have, was on Jacaranda Thursday in 1984, when four of us went to mayor Mike Emerson sand said 'We have bought a building. We have paid $30,000 deposit and we haven't got any money to pay for it.'
"He said 'That's alright we've got $80,000 put aside.'. Imagine doing that today!”
Another inducted life member, Mary McCrohon was invited along to the Friends of the Gallery by Ms Fysh in 2000.
"It was the AGM, and I went straight in as secretary, and now I'm assistant treasurer,” she said.
"It's exciting, and vibrant and ever changing,” she said.
Now living in Brisbane, former Grafton City councillor Peter McKenna was also made a life member, and he said his involvement started as a councillor representative, and progressed onto the friends.
"I think it's a wonderful place, I'm not an artist myself but I see that this gallery always encompassed the Valley artist, not just the Grafton,” he said.
"It played a big role with local artists and everyone was invited to exhibit here.
Mr McKenna said he wasn't tipped off to the award, but was invited to attend as part of the birthday celebration.
"I come back and pop back to see what's in here. It's just great,” he said.
Long term members of the Friends of the Gallery, Eileen Challacombe and Margaret Burridge who have passed away will be made "Legends of the Friends of the Gallery” as part of the honours.