Club celebrates 70 years of capturing memories

June 24, 2024 BY

The work of several members of the Corio Bay Camera Club is currently on show at the Geelong Library and Heritage Centre until July 28. Photo: SUPPLIED

THE Corio Bay Camera Club has celebrated 70 years since its inception.

The club meets twice monthly in Geelong West, offering photography enthusiasts of all skill levels a welcoming environment to socialise and share their images, knowledge and passion for the craft.

Its membership, comprising about 50 individuals spanning a broad range of ages, participate in both educational sessions and monthly photography competitions, both within the club and against other camera clubs operating locally and internationally.

President Jim Szabo, who is nearing 15 years with the club, said the group was proud, but not surprised, to have reached such a significant milestone.

“We’re actually quite proud of ourselves for lasting this long. I think the club sees it as an achievement and is quite proud of where we’ve come from, where we’ve been and where we’re going,” he said.

He believes it’s the friendly nature of the club’s membership and the willingness of the group’s more experienced members to share their photography knowledge that has ensured the club’s longevity.

“We welcome people with open arms and try to be as friendly as we can.

“Our more experienced members are very happy to share their knowledge and experience and try to help people who are only just new to photography. That’s, I think, one of our greatest strengths.”

The camera club was first formed in June 1954, under the name Ford Camera Club, by 10 Ford Motor Company employees, with membership restricted to those employed by the company.

It was not until 1975 that the club decided to expand its membership outside the Ford Motor Company, eventually adopting the name Corio Bay Camera Club in 1977 to reflect the transition.

While technology has changed significantly in the past 70 years, and more than 400 people have at one point or another called themselves custodians of the group, the camera club’s ethos has remained steadfast.

Colin Klein, the Corio Bay Camera Club’s longest serving member, has been a member of the social group for 55 years and has witnessed much of the social group’s growth first-hand.

While it is his longstanding interest in photography that has kept him with the club all these years, he has also enjoyed the evolution of regular social outings with other members, including annual trips away.

The club, which has been bouncing around between different council-owned properties since mould was discovered at its previous home seven years ago, is currently seeking a permanent home to help expand its offering, with workshops for the public and additional meetings focusing on different photographic forms, on the cards.

Mr Szabo encouraged anyone thinking about joining a photography club to come along and have a look.

“Anyone can come along and join in, with as much or as little photographic experience as they have,” he said.

“They can have almost none and even have not bought a camera yet and they can still join us, and we’ll help them out and talk to them and encourage them.”

The work of several members of the club is on show at the Geelong Library and Heritage Centre until July 28.

The exhibition showcases about 40 photographs spanning a diverse range of styles and subject matter.

For more information, head to coriobaycameraclub.org.au