Storytellers – Coach Charm and Marty Filipowski

We welcomed Coach Charm to talk about some of the travels and challenges that swimming has brought her. Charm needed little introduction, a former BBC Club Captain, former Storyteller, famed for her initiative ‘the Charm’s 500’ which has attracted a growing following and most recently appointed joint BBC Club Member of the Year!

Balmoral training

Charm was joined by Marty Filipowski who earlier this year became the 100th swimmer to successfully swim the Cook Strait. Marty and Charm have teamed up previously for Marty’s other swims namely the English Channel, Catalina and Manhattan. We were also joined by Marty’s partner Sonny who provided an insight into being involved in such endurance swims without actually participating.

Storytellers Sonny, Marty and Charm

Before we gave the floor to Charm, Marty and Sonny we began with a little bit of audience participation as we sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to regular attendee Alan Gill, who had recently turned 80. Mention was also made of Hilarie Lindsay, sister of Dallas, and daughter of Arthur Dyson, one of the original Smugglers, the founders of the BBC. Hilarie who turned 95 on the day of our meeting for once was an apology. Certainly a rare occurrence indeed for Hilarie to miss a Storytellers meeting! Continue reading

Storytellers – Charles Maclurcan ‘Wound Up the Cat and Put the Clock Out’

Charles Maclurcan

Many of those present at the March meeting were brought up listening to the radio. In England popular broadcasts like The Archers, Mrs Dale’s Diary, and those wonderful comedy shows such as Kenneth Horne, The Goons and my favourite Tony Hancock’s ‘Hancock’s Half Hour’ ( … who of course had that wonderful episode THE RADIO HAM) were remembered fondly. Radio was the common factor and our Storyteller for the night was the grandson of one of the real radio pioneers Charles D Maclurcan, engineer, businessman, hotelier and a pioneer in the development of wireless radio in Australia from his grandson, John Maclurcan.

Storyteller supporter Judith Pearson kindly recommended John as a speaker describing him as ‘an interesting character and never lost for words’. To say John is ‘an interesting character’ is an example of English understatement. John possesses a great knowledge of Mosman, vintage cars and is the brains behind the current handicap system for all yachts in Australia and much more.
John is also an historian and has written some significant books on his unique family and found in his spare time to have write books on the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron where he is the youngest ever Life Member.

John was joined by Jane Arakawa, a producer and presenter on Northside radio 99.3, who had produced a radio documentary on Charles Maclurcan.

For those members and guests that braved the foul weather it was a most entertaining and educational evening to see how far Radio has come. We were treated to a well prepared tale delivered by John without any notes, though accompanied by a selection of photos and audios which included a 12 minute radio interview with Charles Maclurcan in 1944. Everyone marvelled at Charles’s beautiful diction. We also listened to a famous stage celebrity of the day Josie Melville who had broadcast for Charles to a lot of fanfare – we had a little sing along to “look for the silver lining’. Continue reading