Christine Butters has lived in Lane Cove nearly all her life (except for a three-year break after she was first married). Christine attended Lane Cove Public School and so did her children.
Christine was brought up in a large family of eight. She had three older brothers and twins four years younger. “We were fortunate that our childhood was before the advent of television, so our afternoons were spent playing outside with neighbours and friends. We climbed trees, played games and we also explored Lane Cove’s parks and bushland where we caught tadpoles, collected mulberries and foraged for blackberries. We were also fortunate in our choice of parents! My father was very aware of the importance of church, music and sport in our lives and he believed these were essential to give us a well-rounded education. By the time we were teenagers we were involved in all three. We were also taught by their example that if there is a need in our community and you can help in any way, then this is what you should do. My first volunteering was to teach Sunday School as a 15-year-old, but I had sold ‘red poppies’ on Armistice Day with my Mum when I was very young !”
Christine and the Longueville Tennis Club
“Dad was a self-taught pianist and a self-taught tennis player. Tennis in the 1950s, the era of Hoad, Rosewall and Laver, was huge and was a sport that every child was learning. Dad had worked out that it was a sport we could play all our lives and it could be a team sport. We didn’t live too far from the Longueville Tennis Club and it was here that my love of tennis was fostered and remains. The Tennis Club became an important part of our family life. For many years there were Men’s teams which comprised four Pollards! Dad was instrumental in the building of the present clubhouse and was President of the club for 20 years.”
Christine has been an active member of the Longueville Tennis Club since 1960. She continues to play regularly each week, including competition. She has been a committee member since 1990 and was awarded Life Membership in 2016. The club and the courts were built 96 years ago by members and have been upgraded and maintained ever since by volunteer committees. Funds are accumulated carefully so that all five courts are resurfaced every 9 years. Currently, both male and female change-rooms are being updated. In 2015 the committee implemented an online booking system which permits both members and the public to go on-line to book a court.
It was indirectly through tennis that Christine met her husband Ian. Ian played inter-varsity tennis for Queensland University and Christine’s brothers Geoff and Graham represented Sydney University. Strong friendships were often forged at these events !
Christine didn’t realise as a teenager how fortunate she was to have three older brothers! Apart from teaching her to drive, they brought home so many friends!
Christine and the Lane Cove Music Club
Mum and Dad joined the Lane Cove Music Club when they moved here in 1951. Lane Cove Music, as it is now called, is 72 years old and was formed to provide good music for the Lane Cove community and to provide performance opportunities for classical musicians. Originally the performances were held in the Lane Cove Masonic Hall (which is now the Buddhist Temple on Longueville Road). In less than 12 months, the Club was so popular that membership exceeded 150. A waiting list had to be established because the venue could only hold 150!
Some of those who performed for us in the 1950s were Joan Sutherland, June Gough (Bronhill) and Peter Dawson. In the 1990s we enjoyed Simon Tedeschi, Amelia Farrugia, Richard Tognetti and most recently, those currently making a name in the musical world: David Fung, Pascal Herington and Anna Dowsley – three talented Lane Cove musicians being acknowledged by audiences at home and abroad.
Christine has been President since 2001. Lane Cove Music is always looking for new members. If you love classical music, this is the club for you. Each concert is unique and intimate. After each performance, if you wish, you can chat with the musicians. If you would like to join the club, their email address is [email protected] Lane Cove has three more concerts scheduled for this year.
The concert on 3 October features the best 10 instrumental soloists aged 11 – 15 chosen from 34 events in the 2017 Sydney Eisteddfod. The attending audience selects the winner, second and third prizes, followed by a champagne supper! This concert is always an eye-opener to the talent of so many very young musicians and confirms that the future of music in Australia is assured! All this for $25!
Christine and The Uniting Church Longueville
Christine is also very active at her local church. She has been a member of St Andrew’s Uniting Church at Longueville since her childhood. She is currently an Elder and Church Secretary. She helps arrange their pizza/movie nights each month and Time 4U mornings on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Everyone is welcome to attend and it is a way to meet new people in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. She is also involved in the church’s fundraising activities. The most recent was the well attended and much-enjoyed community event – Market Morning. Some of these funds will be donated to Rev Bill Crews Exodus Foundation at Ashfield. The next fundraising day will be a cake/jam/book stall at the Local Government Elections on Saturday 9 September!
Christine – The Volunteer
Christine has spent her life volunteering in Lane Cove. She was a Director of Cove Craft and a driver for Meals on Wheels. When her children were younger, she was on the committee of Osborne Park Kindergarten and involved with the Lane Cove Public School Mothers’ Club, music committee, and canteen.
Christine and Why She Loves Living in Lane Cove
Christine loves living in Lane Cove. On any day of the week, the Plaza is alive with laughter and activity. We are blessed with one of the best libraries in Sydney. Whatever one’s interests, be it sport, music or hobby, there are clubs and groups you can join to interact with people of similar interests. Lane Cove is fortunate that so many people give their time to volunteer and keep an eye on their neighbours. There are so many different areas of need that it is possible for everyone to find their particular niche. With that often comes the surprising and unexpected reward that is not sought! Volunteering is always a learning experience, an opportunity to meet new friends with similar interests and it certainly prevents loneliness!
Christine would like to see a music/cultural centre in Lane Cove. There has been no performing space in Lane Cove since the Lane Cove Town Hall was closed in 1992.
Christine also acknowledges, with the surge in high-rise dwellings, how important it is for all our current green spaces to be maintained and for our sporting facilities to be protected.
As there is always a need for more volunteers, Christine would like to see even more people volunteering in Lane Cove. This is what makes us a community and not just a neighbourhood.
Christine was a delight to meet and you can really understand why she was chosen as Lane Cove Citizen of the Year.
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