George Dummett to receive life membership from Port Fairy Film Society

GEORGE Dummett will receive a life membership from the Port Fairy Film Society to recognise his contributions to the group over two decades.

The society will present the accolade to Mr Dummett on October 20 prior to the screening of A Man Called Ove.

Society president Laurie Gleeson said Mr Dummett had “always gone above and beyond” for the group.

UP IN LIGHTS: Port Fairy Film Society will honour George Dummett with a life membership to reward his efforts and commitment to the organisation over almost three decades. Picture: ROB GUNSTONE

UP IN LIGHTS: Port Fairy Film Society will honour George Dummett with a life membership to reward his efforts and commitment to the organisation over almost three decades. Picture: ROB GUNSTONE

“In recent times, when George has been doing something else because of other commitments (and) other people have to fill the breach, it has become obvious that there have been times when George’s input was the equivalent to a 40- or 50-hour week,” Mr Gleeson said.

In the society’s latest newsletter, committee member Janice Trenair said Dummett had helped make the film group what it is today.

“George avidly developed his knowledge of arthouse films over the years and many people benefited by having access to films they otherwise might not have got to see,” Ms Trenair wrote.

Mr Dummett has filled many roles in the society, including projectionist, and was passing on his knowledge to other members, she said.

In the newsletter, Mr Dummett’s daughter Jessie vouched for her father’s passion for the society.

“He used to set up, run and clean up (including vacuum) after each film,” Jessie wrote.

“He would often drive to Melbourne to collect or return a film, using his own old Citroen and own petrol because he 'wanted to save the PFFS money'.

“He wouldn't leave Port Fairy (for holidays) until right before Christmas every year so he could ensure all films for the summer movies were delivered pre-distributor Christmas closure, and he'd often miss having his birthday celebrations with family so he could return to Port Fairy to run summer movies, which was nearly always done using his own amplifier from his home stereo system, again to save the film society money.”

Mr Dummett said he would prefer to hide in the projection booth than be in the spotlight in front of the screen, but was humbled by the life membership.

“It’s a very generous offer and most appreciated, but all the stuff I’ve done has been in conjunction with lot of other people over that period,” he said.

The film society started in 1991. Mr Dummett joined in 1997 when he moved to Port Fairy. In the early 2000s, the society became a regular fixture at the Reardon Theatre, with money raised by screenings going back into the theatre. The group also took over the summer movie program and hosts a large number of charity events for local organisations.