How it Began
The first Ionian Club was founded in Launceston in 1946 by the late Mrs. Phyllis McDonald when, as a newcomer to that city, she felt a need for a club where other newcomers in similar circumstances could be assisted in establishing themselves, through sharing their cultural and social interests.
Phyllis chose the name “Ionian” from a Greek word descriptive of an Hellenic race of people who occupied Attica and established colonies there. That district was named Ionia. These people had brought with them their art and their intellectual interests and cultures.
The Ionian crest was designed by one of Phyllis’s sisters, the late Joan Tapp, an accomplished artist and art teacher. It is framed by two symmetrical Ionic pillars symbolizing the dignity, culture, individualism and ideals of Ionians – (the Paint Brushes – for art in all its forms; the Scroll – for literature and learning; and the Lyre – representing the universal language of music). The Ionian colours, white and deep blue, emphasize the pure white of the Ionic pillars against a backdrop of the deep blue sky and the sea.
Phyllis died in 1996 and is still sadly missed. In 1994, the Melbourne Club instigated the growing and naming of “The Phyllis McDonald Ionian Rose”, which is now growing in the gardens of many Ionians – and, alongside its monument, in the Senses Garden at Launceston’s City Park.