On 1 July, the Society’s subscription rates were raised to keep in line with the growing cost of administering the Society and arranging activities. This caused a slight fall-off in membership but early in 1977 a membership drive resulted in a total of 9,050 subscribers at the end of June 1977 which is an increase of 4 per cent on the 1976 total.
There has been a growing tendency for members to patronise early evening lectures in preference to 8.00 p.m. lectures. A series of lectures at 6.00 p.m. has been presented in the Gallery to introduce the members to important exhibitions and as these are held on Wednesday evenings, it is possible for the audience to visit the exhibition at the conclusion of each talk. The most notable lecture series tied in with the Chinese Archaeological Exhibition and the Heritage of American Art.
During the Chinese Archaeological Exhibition, members of the Society assisted in the Chinese Shop in a voluntary capacity.
Excursions for members included a study tour to Indonesia, a long weekend in Hobart for the Hobart Tattoo, a painting and craft weekend to Buxton and a young members’ weekend at Walhalla.
The young members’ evening each month has grown in popularity in the past year. Some hundred or more members gather in the Society’s lounge to hear special speakers invited by the young members and at the conclusion of the talk most of the audience adjourn to a restaurant for dinner.
Suburban film screenings are now held at Kew, Camberwell, Malvern and Caulfield every second month. Programmes are selected from the Roland Collection of art films which offer an excellent history of art from antiquities to modern times.
The 1977 Collector’s Diary contained works from the Gallery’s Tribal Art Collection which included examples from Australia and the Pacific Islands.
D. H. Merry, Honorary Secretary (in 1977).