Sydney 2005 Convention
-- Memories from V1

Victoria's Convention Highlights and Photos

Upon walking through the front door of the Carlton Crest Hotel, you could feel the atmosphere. It was amazing. There were Shirleys sitting having coffee, chatting and catching up on the last two years of their lives. There were Shirleys checking in at the front desk still chatting and laughing. There were Shirleys standing in the foyer talking, laughing and hugging. Words couldn't describe just how good it was. As soon as you saw a familiar face from the last convention, it was a smile from ear to ear, a big "Hello Shirley", an embrace, and within an instant you were chatting and laughing along with everyone else.

We registered and picked up our Convention Packs. This was filled with lots of goodies and we took them back to our rooms to study and admire. The time and effort that had gone Into them was just great. Our T-Shirts were the palest mauve, and as you can see by the photo of the Victorian Shirleys, they looked terrific.

The photos below are entitled:
The Victorian Contingent
Undercover Fashion
And The Bridge Climb

More memories from V1 follow these photos .....

As we entered the Convention Dining Room the balloons decorating the doorway were fantastic. There were aqua and mauve balloons either side of the doorway standing tall or proud, with the biggest aqua balloons you could imagine saying "Shirley Club" "Convention 2005" floating above them.

We all took a seat and the banquet began. There was a very attractive young lady singing to entertain us, and before long the meal was over and the dancing began. The young waiters were physically dragged screaming onto the dance floor and everyone had a ball. There was bopping on the spot, a conga line, line dancing and so much laughter - it was just fabulous. All this frivolity was called to a halt at round about 10.00, but was that enough for some Shirleys - No Fear. Out we headed into the foyer where there was a piano with Shirley Q68 playing for us until we were hoarse. Lots of us just headed back to our room to share a bottle of champagne with some of the Shirleys we hadn't seen for two years. Some of the braver Shirleys headed off to the Casino to try their luck, but we didn't hear too many stories the next day about huge wins.

Saturday began with talking, breakfast, talking, photos, talking, morning tea, talking, lunch, etc, etc.

All the birthday Shirleys were presented with Happy Birthday Certificates and boy were there lots of them. So many Shirleys had birthdays within the couple of weeks either side of the Convention it was unbelievable.

We were videoed individually introducing ourselves, which was interrupted by a line of lingerie introduced especially for the Shirley Club (purple and aqua of course).

Then we had the skits which brought so much laughter. There had been a lot of time and effort gone into their presentation, and congratulations had to go to all who participated. Lots of Shirleys had gone for a stroll, a smoke, or a lie down before dinner, when out came the guitar and Shirley led us all in a sing-along. It was just great. It was certainly a wind down before the evening's activities ahead.

Saturday night when we arrived for dinner we were greeted with the most fantastic decorations. As we walked towards the dining room, there were aqua and mauve balloons in the shape of an arch. Above the stage was a meter high seven lettered silver coloured SHIRLEY.

The table had the most beautiful centre pieces with all the matching tiny balloons positioned above a wrapped gift box with the Shirley Club ribbons and silver stars. There were tiny stars sprinkled on the table, and everything was just a picture. BUT THAT'S NOT ALL.

At your place on the table there was a hand worked S in cross-stitch with words inside. Every one on the table had a spelling mistake in one of the words except one. And that one was allowed to keep the centre piece. It just made so much more fun looking and studying and then cursing because you hadn't been successful in taking the centre piece home.

On our Convention Pack programme there was a lucky number, and prizes were drawn at regular intervals. Nearly every Shirley in the room received a gift, and the best part about it was NO RAFFLE TICKETS.

We had more entertainment Saturday night with a male singer this time, and once again any male who was unfortunate to walk past or into the room was whisked onto the dance floor before he could say anything.

The Victorian Shirleys had lots of fun "up the back of the room" dancing and laughing until home time.

We were up bright and early on Sunday morning. There were a crowd of us invited to Macca's radio show "Australia All Over" on ABC, where we told all about our Shirley Club and the Convention and how far a lot of our Shirleys had traveled to be part of the fun, i.e. nearly every state of Victoria, Tasmania and New Zealand. He was amazed, and thought the whole thing mind boggling.

Then we were off to enjoy the Harbour Cruise. AND BOY, DID WE!!!!!!! Sydney put on the most perfect weather for that outing that you could imagine. Once again, we dined on board until we were bursting, then we headed out to the sun deck, where we talked, laughed and spoke to yet again, all different Shirleys.

Before we left the cruise, we all held hands and sang "Till We Meet Again" It was just magic, and certainly put the icing on the cake of the 3rd Shirley Club Sydney Convention 2005.

When we returned to the Carlton Crest Hotel, it was time to think about heading off. Lots of Shirleys hung around the foyer of the Hotel waiting for the airport bus, and waving goodbye to the Shirleys who were leaving. That was the sad part. The ones who were staying either rested up or headed off to Paddy's Market which was five minutes walk away, or simply talked some more over coffee.

Monday morning came and off 11 brave Shirleys and one non-Shirley (Frank) headed off to do the bridge climb. This took about three hours, and was so much fun. We were all a lot quieter when we came down, but the view from the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge had to be seen to be believed. The photos were just great.

To SHIRLEY N1 and every other Shirley who attended - Thank you from the Victorian Shirleys. The whole Convention was A1.

The next convention was bid for and won by Gold Coast in 2007. So start saving Shirleys, for yet another fantastic time. I will be there with bells on.

There was talk of a mini-convention in New Zealand in 2006, but more details about that when they come to hand.

As this is my last write-up for the Victorian Branch of the Shirley Club, I wish to thank each and every one of you for making me more aware of how precious our name is. The Shirley Club is one of the best things that has happened to me, and I know V177 will do a great job at the helm.

May God Bless, Luv, VI

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