RACV Club Member July news and views

From receiving an OAM to winning a stay at The Retreat, Club Members reflect on Club events and why they love being a part of the Club community.

Member receives OAM

Club Member and Healesville resident John Stanhope has played the bugle for his local RSL for 47 years and was delighted to receive a Queen’s Birthday honours in June.  

“I was really chuffed to get the award,” he says. “I’d already received an award from the local Member of Parliament, and the Federal Member of Parliament, and the local rotary club. So, I received four awards in two years; it’s ridiculous really.”

He says he has never missed an Anzac Day dawn service or 10am service. “They get me to do the Remembrance Day on November 11, too, and I often play the Last Post and Reveille for RSL services at the cemetery,” John says.

The bugle is harder to play than the trumpet, but it has a more haunting sound. “It can put a lump in your throat when you hear it. But when I’m playing it, I’m concentrating on playing and not making a mistake.”

John started learning the trumpet when he was eight and played in the Eltham Concert Band, Junior Symphony Orchestra, and Gilbert and Sullivan Society Orchestra. He and his wife Annette ran the Black Spur Nursery in Healesville for 42 years, and are well known in the community. John regularly plays golf at Healesville Country Club & Resort, where the couple also enjoy dining.  

“It’s good to be retired now,’ he says. “I have plenty of time to play golf up at the RACV.”

Club Member and author Jan Roberts-Billett
women welcome home soldiers from the war front in 1947
Beryl Beaurepaire during World War II


From left to right: Jemma Rix in the dress that Club Member Lucy Johnson’s granddaughter, Zoe, loved when she saw Frozen the Musical. Photo: Lisa Tomasetti. Club Member and Healesville resident John Stanhope after receiving his OAM. Photo: Derek Schlennstedt (Star Mail). New Member Sue Unwin won a prize that included a stay at The Retreat at City Club. Photo: Lucas Allen. 

That winning feeling

Sue Unwin and her husband Peter attended a New Member Event at City Club in June, and, as part of the fun, they were each given a raffle ticket. After canapes and drinks, and an overview of Member benefits, the raffle was drawn. 

“I’ve never won anything in my life,” Sue told the other guests at the table. Peter wasn’t sure he’d been any luckier: “I won a frozen chook in Hong Kong once, the night before I was due to come home.” He never got the chance to eat it. 

The couple watched as five other new Members claimed prizes, including a One Spa experience, billiards coaching, personal training, a Sojourn experience, and accommodation at Healesville Country Club & Resort. Then the final prize was called out. Sue looked down at her ticket in disbelief. She had won two nights’ accommodation in The Retreat at City Club, a massage for two at One Spa, and $200 credit towards dining experiences at the Club.

“As luck would have it, we had already booked to go to Healesville Country Club & Resort for two nights. When we get back, we are starting a bathroom renovation, so we are thinking we will probably need our two nights’ away (in The Retreat) by the time that’s finished,” she says.

At Healesville, the couple are looking forward to relaxing and exploring the area. “We’ve not been able to do terribly much for a while, and it seems like a nice relaxing place to go, to tootle around a couple of the wineries, and just have a relaxed couple of days,” Sue says. “Even if the weather is lousy, we can sit in warmth and comfort, have a nice quiet read and look out on a beautiful view.”

Warm response to Frozen

Club Member Lucy Johnson’s granddaughter, Zoe, 3, is a huge fan of Disney’s Frozen. So, when tickets to Frozen the Musical became available through RACV Club events, Lucy took Zoe to the July 8 show.

“She just loved it,” Lucy says. “She was all dressed up in her Elsa costume, and there were thousands of other little Elsas there too. She especially loved it when Elsa’s costume transformed into a sparkly dress.” 

Lucy says the musical is 100% suitable for young and old, with plenty of jokes pitched at adults. For the uninitiated, Frozen is about two sisters: newly crowned Queen Elsa, who goes into hiding after accidentally using her power to cause an infinite winter, and her sister Anna, who joins forces with a mountaineer, a reindeer and a snowman, to find her Elsa and help her save the kingdom. Elsa’s “sparkly dress”, which Zoe loved so much, is a multi-layered silk dress adorned with 18,000 beads and Swarovski crystals, weighing about eight kilograms.

Lucy says it was great to attend the show with other Club Members, and they had a prime view of the stage from the allocated seats. “We were sitting next to another couple from Healesville – we are from Yarra Glen – and they had grandchildren as well, so there were people to chat to at interval, and everyone was friendly.”

The Club regularly organises Box Office experiences for Club Members and it’s advisable to book early. Our Box Office Packages for Moulin Rouge! The Musical on 9 September have sold out. Dinner and show packages are still available for the 16 September show, along with tickets (only) for the show on 11 September. For details, visit our What’s On page.

Frozen the Musical is playing at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Melbourne. Information and tickets here.

Plan and book now

Combine a stay at the Club with a Club event. Visit the What’s On page to see the list of forthcoming events. The City Club in Melbourne’s CBD has a range of accommodation options to suit your needs. There are 134 large and spacious rooms including suites, family suites, double and twin, disability friendly rooms and interconnecting rooms for families. 

For bookings and enquiries, please contact Reservations on (03) 9944 8888 or book online.

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