Stalwarts made life members
Integral members of the Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre community, Jill Lynn and Ross Ranson, joined the exclusive ranks of Life Membership at the centre’s recent annual general meeting.
Mr Ranson played an integral part in the centre’s opening, as chairman of a committee which submitted the plan to the council.
“There was a group of us who thought it was time we had something where the performing arts could be held and in November 1986 a fellow by the name of Alf Bussell... took a submission to council to build a theatre,” he said.
After it failed to gain traction, an official committee was created and Mr Ranson was appointed chairman at the first meeting which he was unable to attend – courtesy of his wife Joan.
After the wheels were set in motion in 1987, Mr and Mrs Ranson embarked on a “study tour” of venues and was later elected chairman of the fundraising committee – tasked with collecting a minimum of $1.6 million.
Mr Ranson was elected the chairman of the board of management in 1991 and held the position for 11 years.
He said he was proud to see the centre evolve over time and said it was now an “all-inclusive building the city and the region can be very proud of”.
Despite dedicating 24 years of service to the centre as a volunteer, Mrs Lynn said the recognition was a “complete and utter surprise”.
Mrs Lynn began volunteering in 1993 and held the position of front of house manager for 18 years.
“I came back here in 1993 to live, we had lived in a lot of small towns and volunteering is a way of life in small towns,” she said.
“I saw this advertisement for volunteers and I thought ‘oh that will be something nice to do’.
“I was still working then and it was something I could do in the night-time.”
She was also the president of the former BREC Club for six years, in which time she helped raise money to buy art and other items for the centre.
“I always regarded it as a two way process,” she said.
“I might have given my time, energy, passion and management skills ... but it gave me the friendship of many wonderful people, confidence and a sense of belonging.”
She said Bunbury was lucky to have such a fantastic facility.
“I think it is very important – after living out in small country towns, to see this type of entertainment involves a trip to the city which is time consuming and expensive,” she said.
“So to have this on hand in the country is really wonderful.”
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