ADFAS Pearl 30th Anniversary

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ADFAS Armidale is celebrating its Pearl Anniversary on Wednesday 7th February. FOCUS talks to Libby Davis, Chairman of ADFAS Armidale, about this society and celebrating its 30th anniversary event.

Please remind us about what ADFAS is, and tell us about the local ADFAS group?

ADFAS is the Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Society and is all about the arts. Members subscribe to a series of enjoyable lectures across a broad spectrum of fine, decorative, contemporary and creative art forms.

ADFAS Young Arts supports young artists and performers in the region.

Anyone with an interest in the arts or who wishes to develop an interest in the arts is very welcome to join. No prior knowledge is needed, and the lectures are pitched at a very accessible level.

There are 37 societies across regional and metropolitan Australia. ADFAS Armidale was the third ADFAS to form in Australia in 1987.

ADFAS Armidale lectures are held at 6pm on Thursdays in the Michael Hoskins Centre, The Armidale School (TAS). A light supper is provided after each lecture. (Please note: February 7 lecture will be held on a Wednesday in the Michael Hoskins centre and the March 1 and July 12 lectures will be held in the Memorial Hall, entry from Douglas Street, The Armidale School.)

TAS provides ADFAS Armidale the use of the TAS Michael Hoskins Centre or the TAS Memorial Hall as a venue for lectures and technical support as well.

The 30th anniversary lecture with Marilynne Paspaley is being held in February; tell us about this event and the guest speakers?

In 2018 ADFAS Armidale will celebrate its Pearl Anniversary (30 years) with a special lecture on Wednesday 7th February on the history of the pearl industry, presented by Marilynn Paspaley.

Marilynne Paspaley is the daughter of Nicholas Paspaley Senior, Master Pearler and founder of the Paspaley Pearls empire. The business is now owned and operated by the next generation: her brother Nicholas Paspaley, her sister Roselynne Bracher and Marilynne Paspaley.

Marilynne Paspaley AM is an Australian film and television actress and businesswoman of Greek descent, who is best known for her role in the television series G. P. as Dr. Tessa Korkidas. She appeared in the movie Evil Angels (A Cry in the Dark) and other television series such as Water Rats.

A pair of Paspaley Pearl earrings, generously donated by Paspaley Pearls, will be first prize in the raffle to be drawn after the lecture, with all proceeds going to the ADFAS Armidale Young Arts Program.

National Chairman of ADFAS, Jill Bale and her husband, Bill will also come to Armidale for this special celebration.

What other events for ADFAS Armidale are coming up in 2018?

The rest of the 2018 lecture program includes:

1st March: Christopher Bradley – The Treasures of the Silk Road ;

12th April: Robyn Haig – Backstage with Margot Fonteyn;

10th May: Anne Sebba -“Les Parisiennes”;

7th June: Adrian Boddy – The Aesthetics of Traditional Japanese Architecture and Design;

12th July: Alex Makhrov – Summer Palaces of the Tsars: The Highlights;

9th August: Linda Smith – Rossetti’s Women;

6th September: John Ericson – The Shakers of North America: Their Beliefs, Architecture and Artefacts;

11th October: Martin Ellis – Colour and Brilliance: Women Stained Glass Artists of the Arts & Crafts Movement;

15th November: Gary Wilson Duyfken – the first European ship to visit Australia in 1606 – historic voyages and voyages in the replica.

What can people expect to experience from attending an ADFAS event/lecture?

In 2018 ADFAS Armidale provides for its members and guests a program of ten illustrated lectures given by excellent overseas and Australian lecturers chosen for their communication skills and expert knowledge in their fields. A light supper is provided after each lecture.

Can the general public attend these events? If so, how?

Guests are most welcome, and a $25 fee applies per lecture. Tickets are available on Try Booking for all lectures. There is no fee for visiting ADFAS members. Gift vouchers are available for guest tickets.

Tell us about ADFAS Armidale Membership?

ADFAS Armidale was formed in 1987 by a small enthusiastic group of arts supporters, led by Patricia Tooth. Over thirty years ADFAS Armidale Membership has grown to over 200 members. New members are always welcome.

The annual membership subscription is $130 for a 10 lecture season.

Gift vouchers are available for membership subscriptions. Anyone interested in joining ADFAS Armidale should contact Jane Gow Phone: (02) 6772 6441 Email:

New members receive a free ticket to invite a friend to a lecture.

Plans for the future?

ADFAS Armidale will continue to provide high quality lectures on Decorative and Fine Arts topics at an affordable price with great hospitality and continue to support its young arts program in partnership with the Rotary Club of Armidale Central in the local community.

Thanks Libby.

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