The Management Committee gave a lot of thought to how to celebrate the ‘Golden Anniversary’ of the Glebe Society. Our first big decision was to hold a Community Festival for Glebe and Forest Lodge – not just something for members. 

A steering committee consisting of Judy Vergison, Dorothy Davis and Virginia Simpson-Young took responsibility for the overall planning and implementation of the Glebe Society Community Festival. They were supported by the AWG (anniversary working group) consisting of Janice Challinor, Lyn Collingwood, Jane Gatwood, Jude Paul, Allan Hogan, Ted & Alison McKeown, Lyn Milton, Robert Hannan, Neil Macindoe, Asa Wahlquist, Peter Crawshaw, Jan Macindoe, Janet Wahlquist and Sarah Fogg.

We are very appreciative of the support from the City of Sydney’s ‘Festival And Events Grant’ which gave us the confidence and financial kick start to put on an eight day Community Festival. 

The Festival took place at the Harold Park Community Hall, in the Tramsheds Forest Lodge from 23 – 30 June, with days either side for bump in and bump out.

Over 2,500 people attended the Exhibition and 1,100 people attended events.

Resounding energy and pride were openly expressed by locals about living in such a wonderful and cohesive community; where so much has been achieved in the last 50 years to preserve Glebe’s heritage and to significantly improve our built environment and foreshore public space and to build valuable social connections through community activism and an inspiring vision for Glebe in the future.

Many visitors from adjoining suburbs were in awe of the sense of community they experienced when viewing the exhibitions and being at events. Several people from Newtown and Balmain commented that although they love where they live, it just doesn’t feel like what we have in Glebe. They wanted to know the secret – ‘How do we do it?’

It is hard to explain the special chemistry that we have in Glebe; it just seems to come down to people who care enough to give back and be a part of something. This Festival was an outstanding example of a volunteer-led major community event. It is a testimony to the efforts of every person who contributed!


Long-time member, Dale Dengate, performing at theFestival’s ‘Glebe’s Colourful Characters’ event. (Photo:Bruce Davis)

We would like to thank our sponsors as well as a number of members who made generous donations to support various events and displays.
Thank you to our major sponsors: City of Sydney, Jamie Parker (Member for Balmain), Commbank Glebe, Woolcock Institute of Medical Research,Galluzzo’s Fruit & Veg Glebe, Belle PropertyGlebe, Cincotta Discount Chemist Glebe and Supamart Tramsheds.
Thank you also to those other businesses who generously contributed to the Festival: Bakers Delight Glebe, The Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay, Bodega 1904, David Nguyen Dentist, Glebe Eyewear, Glebe Point Newsagency, Gleebooks, Glebe Liquor, Glebe Picture Frames, Louis Fruit Market, Moet & Co, Officeworks and Tramsheds.
Generous donations have been made by a number of Glebe Society members to support major Festival initiatives. These members wish to remain anonymous. On behalf of the Glebe Society – thank you!


What now?

Many people have asked us how various aspects of the Festival will be preserved. We are fortunate that Bruce Davis arranged a band of volunteers to record the Festival in photographs and video. As well as Bruce, these people included Phil Young (on video), Phil Vergison and Virginia Simpson-Young. Vicki Hannan, of VixPix Photography (, photographed almost every event of the Festival – all pro bono. Over the coming weeks or months, these photos and videos will be made available on our website and YouTube channel.

It has also been suggested that the exhibition items be displayed again in Glebe. This has always been our intention and we are looking into it. Exhibition items have been carefully packed away for that purpose.

We are also preserving the products of the Festival in the Glebe Society archives, under strict instructions of the Society’s archivist, Lyn Milton.We hope they will be of use to the organisers of the 100th anniversary celebration in 2069!

If you have any comments or queries about the Festival, please feel free to contact us on


Judy Vergison, Dorothy Davis & Virginia Simpson-Young

50th Anniversary Steering Group