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The Moe-Latrobe Valley Jazz Club (MLVJC) began on 12th September 1993 when Merv Burrage called a meeting of jazz lovers at the Gala Ballroom to form the club. The format for the club was for its activities to present jazz music rather than performing, even though there were musos amongst us. The format would include monthly functions with live bands, dancing, an annual ball and other events all with a jazz flavor.
A monthly newsletter, produced by President Bill Lawler, is posted to all members to keep them well informed. Members are entitled to a discount on tickets to most club
functions, and over the years it has become a happy meeting place for mature people who enjoy jazz music, a bit of dancing, and a good time. New members, visitors and guests are always welcome.
The club is run by a Committee of twelve people elected at the Annual General Meeting. The current Committee is:
VALE Merv Burrage
My sincere apology for not being able to be present at this celebration of Merv Burrage’s life and his enormous contribution to Jazz music in the Latrobe
Merv Burrage had many visions of how life could be improved for the residents of Moe and the wider Latrobe Valley community. One of these visions was to establish a Jazz Festival and a Jazz Club in Moe.
The attributes that set Merv apart from other visionaries was his foresight, passion and determination to realise those visions. Establishing a Jazz Festival and a Jazz Club in Moe was no exception.
After attending a successful Jazz Festival in Merimbula, Merv wanted to replicate the event in Moe. He and Bill Boulton approached the Moe City Council, but were
disappointed with the response they received. Undaunted Merv approached members of the Valley Jazz band who agreed to support him.
Merv arranged a meeting on 26 June 1991 where he asked Ray Clark to be President and
suggested Tom Davey be approached to fill the role of Secretary / Treasurer. Bill Boulton agreed to be a member of the Committee on a temporary basis. Merv had three other people in mind to become members of the Committee; they were Shirley Westerberg, Leigh Dodd and possibly Terry Roney.
On 2 July 1991 a meeting was called to establish a
Committee to run a Jazz Festival in Moe. The rest is history as the Moe Jazz Festival, later to become known as the Moe Music Festival is still running 20 years later.
Merv’s vision was still incomplete without the establishment
of a Jazz Club in Moe. He set about lobbying local Jazz enthusiasts and eventually called a meeting on 12 September 1993 at which a Committee was elected to establish and run a Jazz Club.
The Inaugural elected committee included:
* Ken Ipsen (President)
* Bill Lawler (Vice-President)
* Merv Geddes (Secretary)
* Helen Durrand (Treasurer).
Other members were:
Once again the rest is history with the Moe-Latrobe Valley Jazz Club still running successfully today.
For over 20 years Merv’s enthusiasm and support for Jazz music in the Latrobe Valley and beyond never wavered. The Moe Jazz Festival and the Moe-Latrobe Valley Jazz Club have made an outstanding contribution to business,
tourism and the community. A fine legacy from a truly fine