Members of the Ionian Club are women who have moved to a new city or area from overseas, interstate or the country. Some clubs also welcome women who now have new life circumstances, as well as those seeking new friendships.
Please contact the club in your area for more information about membership.
Many women are grateful that Ionians has been part of their lives and consider themselves fortunate to have had all the enjoyment of such a friendly and supportive group.
OUR CLUB ACTIVITIES INCLUDE
All Clubs have monthly meetings except January or December. It may be a lunch, morning tea or evening meeting and usually with a guest speaker. A very welcoming and convivial atmosphere is always created by Ionians.
Members are invited to participate in a variety of interest groups and social functions.
Some clubs also organise cultural activities to visit established and touring attractions, in a group and usually with a guide.
There may be book discussion, reading, tennis, golf, mahjong, bridge, solo, craft, cinema and live theatre, singles and walking groups.
Dine outs at local restaurants and casual drinks nights held in members’ homes can be arranged.
Members’ birthdays are often acknowledged with an invitation to celebrate the occasion with other members.
Smaller area group activities are arranged in the larger cities providing an opportunity to get to know members living nearby.
A different charity is usually supported each year by members.
All the Ionian Clubs follow their individual Club Bylaws and the Ionian Basic Rules as well as being incorporated in their individual states.
There is a general expectation that members attend at least seven of the eleven meetings per year.
An advance apology for non attendance is required as there is usually a number commitment for the meeting venue. Leave of absence and deferred membership can be arranged by writing to the committee.
There is a different annual fee for each club.
When members become familiar with the club arrangements it is hoped that they will participate on committee. This opportunity allows greater involvement and enjoyment of the membership.
Phyllis McDonald, OAM
OUR CLUB HISTORY
The first Ionian Club was founded by Phyllis McDonald in Launceston on October 3rd 1946, when as a newcomer to that city she experienced the loneliness and isolation felt when moving to a new location. Fortunately for many thousands of women since in similar circumstances, Phyllis was able to form a group which supported one another and enjoyed each other’s company and interests.
New clubs were established as members moved to other cities from this small group. Phyllis travelled extensively to many of the newly created clubs’ inaugural meetings and special occasion birthday celebrations, becoming an Honorary Life Member to some of these clubs. In 1971, aged 60 she moved to Orange where she established the Orange Ionian Club. Later she moved to Melbourne and continued to attend the already well established Melbourne, Melbourne71 and Melbourne82 club meetings.
Phyllis was awarded the OAM in 1982 for her services to the community. Her hallmark smile always radiated warmth and inspiration, enthusing others to achieve a spirit of friendship. A commemorative rose, The Ionian Rose, was propagated in her name in 1994 by the Melbourne82 club. Sadly in 1996 just before the 50th Anniversary of Ionians, Phyllis died aged 85.
However outside the window of her residence was the first Ionian Rose.
Many members today have this beautiful pink perfumed rose in their gardens and the blooms are often admired at meetings.
WHY WE ARE CALLED IONIANS
The Ionian name was chosen because the original Ionians were Hellenic exiles who settled on a group of Mediterranean islands that became known as Ionia. They brought with them their art and culture as well as welcoming the new ways of the area. The proposed Ionian Club was to be cultural and social, and as members would all be strangers to the area, it was thought the name Ionian seemed appropriate.
The Ionian Crest with its Ionic pillars, scroll, artist brushes and lyre, symbolises the different aspects of Ionic culture. It was designed by Joan Tapp, Phyllis’ sister, of the Sydney Ionian Club.
HOW WE GREW
The original club in Launceston was followed by the formation of Ionian Clubs in Sydney (1948), Hobart (1949), Melbourne (1950), Perth (1957), Devonport (1959), Brisbane (1962), Adelaide (1969), Melbourne71 (1971), Gold Coast (1973), Orange (1974), Sydney (1976), Canberra (1979), Perth81 (1981), Melbourne82 (1982), Surfers Paradise (1983), Adelaide83 (1983), Newcastle (1983), Sydney84 (1984), Albury/Wodonga (1989), Darwin (1990), Queensland91 (1991), Christchurch NZ (1994), Great Britain (1999), Auckland (2005).
Membership of the clubs varies from approx 40 to approx 130 women. In 2021 there are 1100 members in 17 clubs. Several of the original clubs have now amalgamated, renamed or disbanded due to a decrease in corporate transfers. These include Devonport in 2003, Gold Coast 2004, Christchurch 2004, Melbourne in 2004, Sydney in 2012, Auckland 2013, Perth in 2014 and Melbourne71 in 2021, then Great Britain in 2022.
KEEPING IN TOUCH
Members have been able to meet up again at Ionian Conventions held regularly since 1967 in Launceston, 1971 in Melbourne, 1978 in Perth, 1983 in Brisbane, 1988 in Adelaide, 1993 in Sydney, 1998 in Hobart, 2002 in Melbourne, 2006 in Perth, 2010 in Brisbane, 2014 in Adelaide and 2018 in Newcastle, and the 75th Anniversary of Ionians celebration on Zoom. Our next Convention is in Darwin in May 2023.
Clubs also invite other Ionian club members to visit when celebrating club birthdays, providing another opportunity to meet again.