by: Sue Walker
"Service in Song" has been alive and well both in and out of the Somerset Region this past week, firstly on September 26th with the Choir's participation at the Memorial Dedication Ceremony held at Esk Memorial Park and two days later, while entertaining the delightful folk at Bundaleer Lodge Aged Care Facility in North Ipswich.
The R.S.L's Charlie Elwell hosted this emotive ceremony with Mayor Graeme Lehmann having the honour of the unveiling and Fathers Terrance Hegarty and Ross Cameron bestowing the blessings. Other distinguished invitees were a representative from Queensland's Department of Veterans' Affairs as well as spokespersons from the State Government whose contributions, along with the hard work by dedicated members of Esk's R.S.L. made possible this grand new Memorial to the Soldiers of War. Of particular acknowledgement during speeches was the contributions made by the volunteer groups of Esk ladies who, during the war years, not only warmed the spirits of their serving men with letters and parcels, but also their cold and often muddied feet with oodles of hand knitted socks. Again Alexis, Margaret and the Choir were privileged to have been invited to provide further poignancy to the occasion with their singing of hymns.
Then, with songs in their hearts and voices, Alexis, Margaret and members of the Choir put smiles on the faces of a capacity audience at Bundaleer Lodge, North Ipswich on Monday 28th. Songs can truly be the language of many aging lives and with a mix of songs from well known Musicals and some lilting Irish folk-songs by the Choir, interspersed with beautiful solos and duets by Choir members, glints of those sparkles of memory came flooding back. "Beautiful!!" came the cry from the back of the room after each and every item...but despite our own Andy's delightful brother being slightly biased, the enthusiasm was evidenced all over by those who could not help but join in the singing. It is not difficult to be moved when gratitude is so tangible, to watch faces light up; when it is the company of 'friends' and the joy of singing that they crave.
|Bass and Tenor section of the choir:|
Roland, Lloyd, Roger, Alan, Catherine, Andy, Bob
|Members of the choir at Bundaleer Lodge Ipswich.|