Life Member Profile – Joan Fraser

Joan Fraser, the wife of John, was along with her husband one of the original members of the Alpine Club of Kiama. She was member of the club’s committee for more than a decade from 1969, but her particular contribution had begun to take shape in even earlier times. A lady of taste and refinement, her abilities in the choice of decor and furnishings were quickly recognised by the club’s leaders and she was frequently asked to make recommendations to the committee on the choice of furniture and furnishings for the club’s first lodge. In those days things were simple and functional and money was not lavished on them, but largely thanks to Joan an element of style was always present. Others of the women of the club were involved in the same way, but Joan took the lead in this area and her contribution to the fittings in the lodge was to last for a quarter of a century. Eventually it included a role in the fitting out of the lodge that was constructed in 1983-84. The colour scheme that was adopted for the new building was largely hers. She also played a substantial part in organising (and sometimes hosting) the many events that made up the club’s very active off-snow social life in Kiama in the late 1950s, the 1960s and into the 1970s. These events were not held solely to raise funds, but they were designed to bring in small amounts of money for the ongoing development of the lodge and to help bind the membership together in matters relating to the snow and skiing. Their purpose was thus both fund-raising and social. Joan became, like John, a proficient skier under the expert tutelage of Eugene Baranowsky. She was made an honorary life member of the club during the early 1980s at the same time as her husband. Their children, Christine and Peter, were by then making their own contributions to the evolution of the club as committee members or were about to do so. The Kiama Alpine Club owes much to the Fraser family.