Club History

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The old days:
When my wife, Jan, and I retiered in 1989, we bought a home in Hendersonville, NC and a small coop in Boynton Beach on the Intercoastal Waterway. In Hendersonville, I quickly found Opportunity House, an old A&P store which had been converted to a community center for the arts. They had a wood carving shop, art studio and ceramic shop, etc. There I met Billy Bell and Al Graff, two long-time supporters and active members of our own club her in Melbourne, FL. They both summered just outside Hendersonville and also wintered here in Melbourne. Billy was Treasurer of our club for years and a relief carver who now lives in CA. Al & his wife Natalie now live in Buena Vista and Al occosionally visits us. He loves to carve realistic birds. While in Hendersonville, I also met Lou Coleman who lived on Pineapple street in Eau Gallie and who founded this club. So you can see it was easy for me to look up old acquaintances from Gp House in Hendersonville when we moved to Melbourne in 1990.

Al Meier

SCWC was formed in 1988 by Lou Coleman to encourage woodcarving as a hobby. Al Graff was elected our first president. Robert Helfrich offered his services as secretary. The membership totaled 125. Lou Coleman had arranged for the meeting place at Eau Gallie Civic Center; First meeting was Feb. 4, 1988. Before that the meetings were held at Hoover Junior High School. Meetings were to be held every Thursday. Dues of $5.00 was established. They had a telephone call list used to remind members to come to meetings. They passed the hat and collected money for expenses. George Levingston put all club records on the computer.
An article in "Florida Today" states that Herb R. was in "sheer boredom" after retiring. While setting at a park, he took his pocket knife to a scrap of wood, and carved a lapel pin.. The next day he sold the carving. Herb went on showing his work at art shows and wrote several books. Herb says, "I just cut away anything that's not a figure. Anyone can do it and membership has always been open to anyone interested in wood carving.
President was Richard West, Treasurer was William Bell, Secretary was Helifrich.

Gary Stutts



Florida Today Newspaper, 1989.


Florida Today article, 1989

Carvers at a meeting, 1989.




© 2009 SCWC; Melbourne, Florida