Posted by: thebluemusicblog | December 2, 2012



ALAN BRAY, CEO Brisbane YMCA, picked us up at the airport and took us through a fabulous tour of a big, modern, pioneering Australian YMCA. To satisfy our needs for basic, existential Australian experiences, Alan took us to the Gold Coast for lunch, overseeing the famous beach there and watching people surf and dive into the warm, summerly waves of Australia. What a great way to say goodbye to November and wish December welcome!


But before we had this bonus experience, Alan took us to the Vocational Training Centre, a modern school where we met the headmaster of the school, Gary Smith. Gary took us around and showed us the well equipped classrooms and social areas and explained how their methods worked to include young people who often were drop outs from other schools and how the YMCA was able to integrate them in future oriented education. Gary impressed me and came across as a modern educator with a great relationship with his students. One of the impressive features was the Body, Mind and Spirit room where holistic life skills and values were transmitted.

IMG_0358Gary Smith, the headmaster of the Vocational Training Centre and Alan Bray, CEO of Brisbane YMCA

The whole centre was focused on mutual respect, treating one another as adults and taking care of all the needs of a human being, in body, mind and spirit. A very impressive school and very modern methods in close cooperation with the city council and educational authorities. Again I felt so proud of being associated with the YMCA through  Alan, Gary and their teams! Great work.


From the body, mind and spirit room


This was not the only Body room at the centre. Downstairs I found a crew of people with a lot of volunteers working with them. It looked like a warehouse full of good food. This was in fact the YMCA’s service to different schools in the city, feeding breakfast to kids who came to school on empty stomachs. Over the last few years they had served at least 1 million breakfasts and in this way increased the learning curve for the kids enormously.


See above the team at the Breakfast Club, plus Alan and Gary. Of course we were not sent out of this centre without the nice and kind people feeding us cookies and tea!


This was the main entrance to the Vocational Training Centre at Logan YMCA in Brisbane.

IMG_0388From Logan YMCA we drove down to the Nowell B. Taylor Housing Project. This was a top modern affordable housing project with more than 100 units of top modern living quarters, a place where I would not hesitate to move in myself, if invited! We were taken to a few of the units and saw how they were taylor made for couples, singles and disabled. Really impressive. The housing project was named after Nowell B. Taylor, a living legend of the Brisbane YMCA, and later in the evening I was to have dinner with him, a really enjoyable dinner, I can promise you!



Nowell was 91 years old and became a member of the Brisbane YMCA Board in 1954, one year after my own humble birth! He has been a member of the YMCA for 78 years and now he was to step down from the board at the AGM next evening. Congratulations, Nowell! This must be a world record.

We spent the night at the Hotel George Williams downtown, owned and operated by the YMCA, and the hotel manager himself took us to the top modern room at the 8th floor, overlooking the city through panorama windows on three walls and later on invited us to dinner at his hotel.

Before that we visited the latest suburban YMCA centre, brand new and very well equipped. Alan told me about his business plans for his YMCA, and I was no less than very impressed with the future oriented plans and very effective operations.



The hospitality shown to us by Alan and his team in Brisbane was on the highest Australian level, which means that it competed with the tallest buildings in Australia, here shown below! Thank you, dear friends!





  1. I never been in Australia … Only by lessons about georgaphy and by looking on some of my coins! But now I can feel: A lot of “BLUE MUSIC” are there!!!
    Thanks for it!!!

    • The BLUE MUSIC is in Australia, the YMCA is full of it!

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