Carol joined Women’s League of Health and Beauty in Liverpool in 1957. The teachers were very strict and Carol had to do two years in the elementary class and 20 minutes compulsory Bagot Stack drill. At the end of the year you had to walk round with other elementary members and hopefully be picked out to go up to the intermediate class. You were not allowed to do clubs unless you had five years of class experience under your belt. To go to the Albert Hall you had to be in the advanced class. Carol belonged to the League for 8 years in the UK. Her teacher was Lynn Wallwork.
Carol and Mike immigrated to Wellington in 1966 and subsequently shifted to Sydney where they stayed from 1968 – 1972. In Sydney Thea Stanley Hughes who trained with Millicent the founder of the League in New Zealand, owned a three story building in George St Sydney, with classes being taken by teachers who Thea had trained, on all of the floors in the building. On Saturday mornings there were children’s classes and Carol’s son Ben enjoyed going to these. Carol had a local class in Mona Vale which she attended one day a week then went down to George St for another class on another day.
Carol attended classes during two pregnancies, in Sydney and Auckland, right up to the due date, which is a wonderful testament for Fitness League and Women’s Health.
The family came to Auckland in 1972 after a brief orientation for Mike in Hong Kong. Mike, Carol and the family returned to Hong Kong two years later for a longer stay. No Fitness League classes in Hong Kong so it was Yoga and reading Geology books for Carol.
It was back in Auckland in 1976 she discovered Nina’s class in the Methodist Church Hall in Takapuna. Judy Alison followed Nina as the teacher and was very unforgiving, telling Carol she could not be in the club item as she had not attended class every week, it was very strict Bagot Stack. The classes were on Tuesday night and Thursday mornings.
Carol started her training course in 1990 with Ailsa Kavali, with Isolde McCulloch travelling out from Ireland to oversee the course. Annaleys, Jan and Helen were the other trainee teachers on the course. It took two and half years to become a teacher. Isolde examined Carol and said” you have a good brain and you can do this”.
Working for Statistic’s New Zealand Carol could see the area of Te Atatu had great potential for a class, so in 1994 Carol advertised the class and Annaleys came along and helped to prepare the hall. At 2 minutes to 11 there was no-one there and a lady came in and said there are 20 ladies sitting outside on the wall should they come in? There are still some of those ladies going to the Te Atatu class that Val teaches at today.
Next came a new class in New Lynn despite 16 ladies some days and a tiresome drive, this class did not work out so it was closed.
Devonport was the next class to open and was very popular with 30 odd members attending. It eventually moved to Bayswater where Caroline Ambags took it over and it was then passed onto Val, this class has now closed. Carol started another class in the Takapuna Methodist church hall going the full circle from where she had started with Nina. A lot of the members came from further up the Bays, so one of the members found the Sunnynook hall and the class moved to there. The class is still going well with Val as the teacher.
Carol was keen to open a class up in Rodney, so the next class was Warkworth opened in 2003, in the Town hall, Carol really enjoyed this class and passed this onto Trish who has now passed it onto MaryAnne.
Carol felt she had one more class in her to contribute and opened in the Point Wells community hall, this class built up and was moved to the Matakana community hall as it was more central. Carol passed this class onto MaryAnne and it is still going well.
Carols motto was “if someone learnt to smile in her class it was a success”.
Carol not only started all these classes, she was also a key administrator in forming the Incorporated Society, with lots of positions on the committee’s as well as taking the APK side of the training courses. Carol found this inspirational in taking her own classes and rethinking the dynamics of the body and how it moved.
After deciding to start winding down, she had her knee replacement operation in 2010. Carol took over Olive’s Albany class in 2016 which was closer to home in Mairangi Bay but retired finally in 2018, due to having concussion caused by a fall in her kitchen.
Carol travelled to the Royal Albert hall in 1995 and 2015.
Carol has taught for 24 years, has started 6 new classes and given so much time to the administration side of the Fitness League, never afraid to stand up for what she believed in. A well deserving candidate for Life membership of the Fitness League.