Seahorse's History


The Definitive History of the Seahorse Society - Part 10


his page includes an acknowledgement of all those who have served Seahorse as Presidents, as well as those few who have been granted Life Membership.



Seahorse Life Members


Five senior members of Seahorse have been given Life Membership in recent years.


Rosemary (#210) was honored as a Life Member in 2008. However, she later informed us that she had been made a Life Member in the 1970's, when she was one of those who founded the Seahorse Club and was the first President. Rosemary continues to serve on the Seahorse Committee and to attend meetings regularly. Known for her impeccable English accent, Rosemary is a witty raconteur with many amusing stories of her time with the Beaumont Society in the UK and the early years of Seahorse in Australia.



Jill (#218) was honored as a Life Member in 2009. Like Rosemary, Jill was one of the foundation members of the Seahorse Club. Also, Jill is famous for her amazing wardrobe of ball gowns and accessories that fill her large storage room. Jill's trademark is wearing a ball gown to every Seahorse meeting and we have never seen her wear the same gown twice!



Phia (#143) was honored as a Life Member in 2009. Phia, short for Sophia after Sophia Loren, and born in 1929, is our chronologically oldest member. She has lived full-time as a woman quite a number of years and has many funny stories to tell. Some years ago, she attended a school reunion at St Joseph's College. One of the Brothers asked her if she was married to an Old Boy, to which Phia replied that she was one of the Old Boys! On another occasion, a policeman rather rudely asked her why she was in "drag". Phia proceeded to lecture him on the differences between drag queens, cross-dressers and transsexuals, and the chastened officer backed off very promptly!



Julia (#478) was honored as a Life Member in 2011, after serving as President for the preceding five years. Julia has to been one the hardest-working Presidents ever. Her skills as an entertainer and function organiser have been immensely valuable to the Seahorse Society, in particular with the organisation of the annual Seahorse Ball. Her committee management style has been energetic and enthusiastic, and always with the best interests of Seahorse in mind.



Rhonda (#216) was honored as a Life Member in 2016 for long-standing work as the magazine editor. Additionaly, Rhonda is always one of the first to arrive at our meetings to attend to her other role, handing out meeting labels as members arrive and receiving the meeting fees. She has been a very active committee memeber for many years.


(Left to right) Rosemary, Jill and Phia.





The Past Seahorse Presidents


At the October 2011 Committee Meeting, our Founder, Rosemary raised the question about a register of former Presidents of the Seahorse Society.

Here are the results of Rosemary's research:

"It seems no one had kept such a list. Many of these people had contributed so much to keeping the Seahorse Society of NSW a vibrant and active outlet for cross-dressers to meet and gain confidence from participating in this activity."

"Penny sent some photo albums of past meetings and pictures sent in by members. There was also a minutes book covering 20 years of the Society's Annual General meetings. From this minute book, Rosemary was able to get a list of some of the past Presidents."

"This list is not complete and may not be totally accurate. You will notice that some years show that there was more than one President. We can only assume that for some reasons there was a change occurring in the leadership of the group during that year."

"Unfortunately, there are only a few of these former Presidents still active members of the Society and we are unable to confirm their tenure of office."

"To all these people and any that have been missed from this list, we thank them, as it is only through their hard work, at times in very difficult conditions, that Seahorse has been able to grow from the very humble beginning to the healthy society we are today."


National President's Name

Period of Tenure

Rosemary Langton (Founding President) *


Jill Austin *


Trina Taylor


Wendy Gray


Cynthia Leigh


NSW President's Name

Period of Tenure

No record


Dorothy Sellwood


Kim Seabourne


Wendy Gray








Kim Seabourne






Lynne Johnson *


Penny *


Julia *


Christine Parker


Susan *


Dana *


Noelene *



* - indicates a current Seahorse Member as of 2018.

From 1971 to 1979: Presidents of Seahorse Australia.
After 1980: Presidents of Seahorse NSW.



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