The choir was newly formed in 1999 and was instigated by Music Director, Doreen Bryars who had long harboured a dream to conduct a male choir. The Lamplighters repertoire covers a wide variety of songs One of the main aims is to entertain all the varied audiences at our concerts, while continually improving the overall sound and presentation.
Practice is on Monday mornings 9:30 till 12:00, with a tea break at half time, at the Miners Lamp Theatre in Corrimal.
Please see our Programme for 2017 on this website for more information regarding our concerts.
The Male Choirs Association of Australia (MCAA) presents their biennial Australian Male Choir Festival in Wollongong, using a regional centre for the first time..
“Let All Men Sing” has 14 male choirs from across Australia and New Zealand singing in their special uplifting 4 part harmonies as one massed choir of close to 400 voices.
The special musical talents of distinguished Richard Gill AO will be the guest Conductor. He will bring out the best from the choristers and to also lead them in several joint numbers with the superb sounds of the NSW Police Concert Band.
The full male choir will present 13 varied songs, several with the Band. The Band will perform some of their own rousing pieces. Then filling out the afternoon of special songs and music is the “String Family” a family of highly talented locally born and trained musicians.
An afternoon of very special uplifting music.
This fellow joined our choir –
It only seems like Yesterday,
And of course he was a Welsh man-
His name, Richard Sandeman – Gay.
Well, I didn’t know him all that well
Though both of us sang bass,
And you could tell he really liked it
Just by the look upon his face.
We spoke a while last Christmas
At the old Mount Kembla Bowlo,
He said he liked the choir
But wasn’t keen on singing solo.
Back in the day, he’d been a skipper-
The captain of his ship,
But then since his retirement
Found singing was his trip
I know I’m going to miss him
Just sitting to my left,
And it sure will leave his family
And Elizabeth bereft.
But I’m sure he’s with the others-
Getting on real well,
And I’d say now at his time of life
He’s earned himself a spell.
So, it’s a sad goodbye to Richard
For he’s in Heaven with the rest,
Yes, now singing in God’s choir
Is twenty seven of the best.
On the weekend of April 8 and 9, the Lamplighters and their loyal followers traveled to Cooma by coach, to perform two concerts.
On the Sunday morning, visits were organised to the Snowy Hydro Discovery Centre (which was well attended) and also to Mt Gladstone, where there are 3 lovely lookouts over the valley, as well as Miss Heidi’s Austrian Tea House.
Due to the light rain and mist, the lookouts didn’t go over well but Miss Heidi’s certainly made up for it!!
The first concert, on Sunday afternoon, was for the Cooma Arts Society and was held in St. Paul’s Anglican parish hall with the Bombala Rotary & Community Choir, who sang 4 songs and young local pianist Jana Munclinger who played 2 classical pieces beautifully. The Lamplighters sang 10 songs.
The concert was well attended and was a very receptive audience.
The highlight of the day was (once again) the performance of “Fiddler on the Roof” which was thoroughly enjoyed, not only by the audience, but all members of the choir as well.
The Monday morning Concert was performed at the Kosciuszko Motor Inn where we were staying. This concert was for the Cooma Meals on Wheels group headed by Debbie Sewell (Jean & Bill Burn’s daughter).
The Meals on Wheels volunteers had to collect all of their people by mini bus and get them to the motel for a 10:30 concert start.
Once again the audience absolutely loved it. You could see the audience singing along with the choir.
After a lovely morning tea put on by the Meals on Wheels Group and the motel, it was Back on the Road Again.
The Choristers arrived in Cooma-
There were only twenty nine,
But everyone was happy
And all were doing fine.
Vince had things in control-
The bus driver, he was good,
And Barry Swan was playing up
Like you’d expect he would.
Doreen wore Nell’s funny hat-
And Eddy did his bit,
He had to hitch his pants up-
Seems his duds, they didn’t fit.
But the show went over well
All seemed to have a ball,
And a big congratulations
Should go to one and all.
Now the bus, it did a double lap
Around the roundabout,
Just like the one four years ago-
Both drivers had some clout.
Then the rain came pouring down-
The cold it set right in,
And the clouds were dark and dreary
And looking mean as sin.
But Doreen said we’d done real well
And to give our backs a pat,
Then we polished off our last five songs
And that, my friend was that.
Now, on our way we stopped at Goulburn
And had ourselves a big meat pie,
Then wished the Big Merino
A very fond goodbye.
And with fifty five odd people
The best mob that you could find,
We wended our way back home
Leaving Cooma far behind.
So, believe me when I say
That it isn’t just a rumour,
The Lamplighters really had a blast
When we went to sing in Cooma..
As another year goes by for The Lamplighters, we ended it with our annual Christmas get together, this time at the Illawarra Master Builders Club.
We were pleased to have in excess of 80 members and spouses in attendance for what turned out to be a most enjoyable afternoon.
Everyone was pleased to see Bill McKay come along as he has not been able to attend Monday mornings for some time. We all miss you Bill and hope to see you back before long.
We were also able to welcome back Brian Gillett after a major heart operation.
Besides welcoming people back, we sadly had to say goodbye to Tony Doyle who is moving to the Sunshine Coast. We will miss our percussionist very much and will have to look for a new one. Good luck Tony.
The venue and the meal was first class, and thanks to the small group that spent their time checking out the possible venues’, you “done good”!!
A few of the Lamplighters were game enough (and gracious enough) to entertain us during the afternoon, but Jean and Eddie’s twist on Fiddler on the Roof’s “Do You Love Me” (which I believe was written by Brian Gillett) certainly brought the house down.
After a few carols by the choir, we all headed home for Christmas.
Photo’s below are a sample of the attendees.
On behalf of the Lamplighters Male Choir, in the words of that famous carol- “WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS AN A HAPPY NEW YEAR”
Tours “Last Supper”
Following on the success of the Mount Beauty Tour conducted
in 2013, Frank Leonard decided to offer The Murray
Magic Tour which he spotted in the “Seniors Newspaper”.
Twelve couples nominated but unfortunately two had to with
draw two days before the tour because of illness.
The Tour Party set out on the 13th November from Wollongong
Railway Station, travelled to Goulburn by coach because
of track work, then joined the XPT travelling to Albury
on their Pensioner Concession Card for free except for a
$38 surcharge to travel both ways in First Class.
Their accommodation was the Riverland Motel in Barham,
three and a half hours from Albury. The Motel owns two
three-quarter coaches and the week’s excursions covering
just on 1,000kms utilised one of the two coaches each day.
Excursions included:- Red Gum sculptures on the banks of
the Murray carved by renowned chain-saw carver, Kevin
Gilders; Fruit Orchards; A Fly Wheelers Club; a short cruise
on the Murray on a Paddle Steamer ; a visit to Torrumbarry
Weir; The National Holden Museum; Bendigo City where ten
went 61 metres underground and walked some of the 15
Kms of tunnels beneath the city; a ride on the Talking Tram;
the famous Bendigo Pottery; a visit to the Sacred Heart Cathedral
in Bendigo; the Burrabliss Farm where Sharlea
Sheep are raised to produce very fine Micron Wool; Swan
Hill for Retail Therapy; the Lake Boga Catalina Flying Boat
Base; the Border Packers’ Shed where oranges, grapefruit
and limes are graded and packed.
Afternoon returns were around 4 p.m providing time to
take a nap, a walk, a swim in the pool, watch TV and prepare
for dinner. Happy Hour was 6.15 p.m in the Dining
Room and a two Course meal with great variety was served
Entertainment was organised by Frank for each evening
and included Cash Bingo; Rock n Roll Club Night ; Singalong
and a Joke Night. The entertainment was short and
sharp as the Dining Room had to be vacated by 9 p.m.
With the exception of lunches and alcohol, everything for
the week was provided at a cost of $1,250 per couple.
Something similar is being planned for 2017.
Sunday November 6 2016 we had our annual concert at the Dutch Club at Woonona with in excess of 35 choristers attending.
The audience was surprisingly large considering that the Club had two functions to participate in on the same afternoon.
The choirs performance, while not quite as good as at Newcastle, was very well received and appreciated by those present. So much so, that we had to sing TWO encores.
We are very fortunate to have within our ranks, so many talented people who perform solo’s and duets that really make for a polished performance.
Many thanks again to Carmel Leonard for once again supporting our choir in such a professional way which was appreciated by both audience and choristers
We were made feel very welcome by the Club members and was requested to return again next year.
Our trip to Newcastle on the weekend of October 29 and 30 2016 was a most enjoyable time for all who attended.
While the dress rehearsal on Saturday afternoon left a bit to be desired,Sunday afternoon’s combined concert in the Newcastle Cathederal, with the Lamplighters and the Waratah MVC went off extremely well with both choirs excelling themselves with stellar performances both as individual choirs as well as a combined choir.
The performance of “The Fiddler on the Roof” medley was once again a stand out piece of entertainment which was appreciated by a reasonable sized audience in attendance.
The Saturday night dinner with the Waratah MVC and their wives was a great opportunity for us all to get to know one another as well as having a bit of fun.
Both groups contributed to the nights entertainment which was enjoyed by all.
On Sunday morning, we were fortunate to have one of the locals act as our tour guide in our coach (ably driven by Stewart) for a short tour of the Newcastle environs, before preparing for the afternoons concert.
Sunday nights Lamplighters dinner was an opportunity for us all to let our hair down with a BBQ smorgasbord and of course plenty of singing led by Doreen and Jean.
This weekend didn’t just happen. It took a lot of organisation an work by Dave and Doreen over many months.
On behalf of all of the choristers we take this opportunity to thank them both for all of their hard work in organising the weekend and also to thank Mike Miller for his valuable imput.
This concert would be one of our favorite concerts on our annual calendar, because, you can tell that the audience (while small in number) is one of the most receptive that we perform for.
We had in the vicinity of thirty to thirty five choristers attend which indicates that we as a choir enjoy singing for them.
Thankfully, this time we did not have the singing seeing eye dogs there to join in with us as happened on previous occasions.
Definitely, the hit of the day was “The Fiddler on the Roof” medley.
Comments by the audience after the performance indicated their pleasure and appreciation for our attendance.
It is with regret that we announce the passing of a past Lamplighter.
Lawrence Bond has written the following tribute:-
Barry’s not been round here now
For about two years or so,
And I know he wasn’t happy
When he found he had to go.
But it seems he was the victim
Of this sneaking curse, you see,
That robs you of your past
And takes away your memory.
He was a rather softly spoken man-
A gentleman you’d say,
Who’d studied for the priesthood
For a while-back in the day.
But I know he loved his singing
Especially singing bass,
And you could very easily tell
Just by the look upon his face.
plus he sung too, with another group
At church in Sydney Town,
And every other weekend
Would travel up and down.
His daughter sure will miss him-
He’s now singing up on high,
In God’s twenty-six man choir,
So Barry Hayes, a fond bye, bye.
The Lamplighters concert at Carrington Retirement Village was a great success for many reasons.
It demonstrated the versitality of our choristors with many having individual roles to play throughout the entire performance with solos by Jim Milnes, and Warwick Grace; a double act with Jean and Bill Burn; a solo part with choir backing by Chris McRobert; another double act with choir backing for Jean Burn and Eddie Wiech; and yet another double act with choir backing for John Driscoll and Paul Grey.
Add to this, the wonderful work done by Doreen Bryars and her deputy conductor Jim Wells, we have a lot to be proud of.
We had a very receptive audience that showed their pleasure and appreciation throughout the whole performance (which was a little longer than normal) and also during afternoon tea, with one of our choristors receiving a well deserved kiss!!!
The highlight of the day would have been “Danny Boy” with the prologue orated by Colin Bell.
We also went well on the merchandise side by selling many CD’s as well as some mugs.
The Lamplighters last week lost a highly regarded and much loved member – Lyle Luchetti. His funeral was at Parson’s Dapto, on the 17th August. He was widely known throughout the Illawarra, because of his wonderful baritone voice, and his participation in so many Arcadian performances, as well as Lamplighter concerts. The choir was well represented at the funeral, and sung the song ‘My Lord’ in tribute to Lyle. Lawrence Bond had written a poem in memory of Lyle, which he read at the funeral also. Lyle will be sorely missed in the Lamplighter ranks, not only because of his fine voice, but because he was a true gentleman and loved by everyone.
Lyle, he was the leading man
In many Arco shows,
And with his powerful baritone-
Well, only Heaven knows-
He could have been an idol-
The girls all thought him good,
And if you heard him sing
Well, you’d reckon that they would.
For Lyle was quite a legend
When he was up on stage,
But then he joined our all male choir
When he turned a certain age.
Yes, Lyle Luchetti was a gentleman
Soft of voice and quiet of manner,
Never heard him brag or boast
Or saw him flying his own banner.
And he always had a cheery smile
And a pleasant how’d you do,
And a willing hand to help
If it was something that he knew.
The Lamplighters sure will miss him-
He’s been around a long, long time,
And even up to just last week
Was with us singing fine.
But now he’s gone and left us-
He’s with the others up on high,
Though right here, the legend Mr. Lyle Luchetti+Will never ever die.
Lawrence Bond 14/8/2016
We say goodbye to another long standing Lamplighter in Derek.
A quiet man who said very little, but was always there until recently when ill health finally overtook him.
A good number of Lamplighters attended hi funeral where we sung. “My Lord Wad a Morning.
Below is a tribute to Derek by Lawrence Bond.
Derek was an individual
And of course he liked to sing,
You couldn’t always hear his voice
But that was just his thing
He was with us every Monday
for perhaps five years or more,
And always travelled in the bus
Both after and before.
He joined us on excursions
When we travelled interstate,
Where he’d wander off exploring
And come back rather late.
But he did enjoy his singing
And meet weeklt with the boys,
And consider being with them
As one of life’s great joys.
Now, time it waits for no man
So, he’s gone off way up high,
To join with the others
Making music in the sky.
His wife and family sure will miss him
As will you and I,
And also when he smiled
That little twinkle in his eye.
Well, he was quite an individual-
It was his outright claim to fame,
And yes , we all here liked him for it
And Derek Crowhurst was his name.
Lawrence Bond 4/8/2016
Once again our choir preformed at the Links Retirement Village on Sunday July 24th 2016 with a near record number of 41 choristers attending.
The choir sang four brackets of songs including a medley from “Paint Your Wagon” as well as a medley from “Fiddler on the Roof”.
As expected, Fiddler on the Roof was extremely well received by the receptive audience and a lot of fun for all of the choir to perform.
The choir was ably supported with solo performances by Frank Leonard and Jim Milnes.
Doreen Bryars our music director (and birthday girl) was in fine form and was ably supported on the piano by Jean Burn as well as Jim Wells our assistant music director, capably filling in as conductor while Doreen plays the piano. We are a very fortunate choir to have such talented people to guide and nurture us.
The Arcadian Lamplighters performed their sixth annual concert at Penshurst on Sunday July 10 2016 to its largest audience yet at that venue.
It was also one of the most appreciative audiences that we have performed for in a long time.
The outstanding part of the performance without doubt was the “Fiddler on the Roof” segment which was a very polished performance by all participants.
Besides the choir, there was also Liz Geraghty and Alex Klyne beautifully performing as a duo singing various songs, but unfortunately had to leave
immediately after their performance and was unable to mingle with the audience.
We are grateful for their generosity in coming so far to be part of our concert.
As always, the Presbyterian ladies excelled themselves in providing lunch for those from Wollongong who required it, and especially for the sumptuous afternoon tea for which they are well renowned.
Comments after the concert was nothing but praise and comments like “best yet !” and “You really stepped up today !”
On Thursday June 16th 2016, The Lamplighters male Choir performed at Farmborough Retirement Village with over 35 choristers attending.
While the audience was not large, they were very vocal and animated in their appreciation.
The programme for the concert was quite varied and while all songs were well received, what got the most applause was “Danny Boy” preceded by Frank Leonard’s moving monologue pertaining to the songs Australian Rugby Union history.
Prior to a generous afternoon tea, we were thanked most heartily, and requested to return again next year.
We are pleased to announce that one of our own Lamplighters has been honoured in the 2016 Queens Birthday Honours List.
Below is a copy of the official citation:- MEDAL (OAM) OF THE ORDER OF AUSTRALIA IN THE GENERAL DIVISION
The Queen’s Birthday 2016 Honours List
Mr Brian GILLETT, 189 Rothery Road, Bellambi NSW 2518 For service to youth, and to the community of the Illawarra.
Service includes: Has been involved with Scouts New South Wales since 1975 and roles have included: Group Leader, 1st East Corrimal Group, 1975-1979. Leader, North Illawarra District, 1975-1995 (to direct Scout Performing Arts Gang Shows). Leader (Activities), South Coast and Tablelands Region, approx. 1995-2008. Advisor, (Performing Arts), South Coast and Tablelands Region, approx. 2008-2012. Support Officer, Keirawarra District, ‘no dates’.
Actor, Theatre and Music Productions, Arcadian Theatre Group, 1983-2010. Member, Arcadians Lamplighters Male Choir, 1999-2016, (including directing theatre productions for Senior Citizens). Actor, Illawarra Performing Arts Centre Guild Theatre, 1990-2000. Corrimal Region Uniting Church: Senior Member, since 1983. Hosts English classes for newly arrived immigrants, since 2012. Member, Church Property Committee, current. Member, Corrimal Community Men’s Shed, 2007-2016. Volunteer Explainer, Wollongong Science Centre, 2000-2011..
We wonder will he talk to us any more!!!
With 30 choristers attending, the Lamplighters Male Choir did themselves proud at Hillside Nursing Home at Figtree on Friday May 20 2016.
They had a very appreciative audience, particularly after a tear jerking rendition of “Danny Boy” preceded by a very moving introduction by Frank Leonard.
The “Wollongong Song” was also well received.
So,– a good time was had by all!!!!
Another sad day today as we said goodbye to another Lamplighter. Bob was very special to us all, not only because of his wonderful voice, but also because of his equally wonderful nature.
Because of his boredom in 1991, he and Doreen Bryars started up the Minstrels to entertain the “elderly” ( some being much younger than him!!) in nursing homes.
Then again in 1999 he was instrumental (with Doreen) in the formation of the Lamplighters.
Bob was born in Durham England and lost his mother at a very early age and served in WW2 in Egypt where he was wounded. On recovery he (typically) went back for another go!!
Although he loved Australia, he was an Englishman to his bootlaces.
He met his wife in a cafe in Cheshire and had over 40 years of happiness together before losing her to cancer in 1988. A loss that he never recovered from.
In her eulogy, his daughter told us about all of the visitors whom he was seeing that the family knew nothing about. They were all people who over the years needed help in some way or another and Bob was the man who (without any fuss) gave them the help that they needed when they needed it.
There can be no greater praise for any man than the few simple words from Doreen…....”HE WAS THE BROTHER THAT I NEVER HAD”
Rest in Peace Bob. You have certainly earned it.
There’ll never be another Bob
Born of good old English pride,
With a British bull dog attitude
But a softy deep inside.
A man of many talents-
Could dance, play bones and sing,
Blew on his old mouth organ
And by ear played anything.
It’s true there were the times
We didn’t get along
But that was all forgotten
When we’d stand to sing a song.
He told me of his army days
When he fought in the war,
Of the bad things and the horrors
That he said he sometimes saw.
He took a bullet in the arm
And rested for a while,
“But I went back and carried on.”
He told me with a smile.
He suffered numerous ailments
But always bounced right back,
Fortitude and courage
Was a trait he didn’t lack.
Bob Schofields was the kind of bloke
Whose loss we’ll long regret,
His family, Arco’s, Minstrels and Lamplighters
Will truly not forget.
For now he’s up there singing
With the other blokes, you see,
Making sure they put their money in
When they have their cup of tea.
LAWRENCE F. BOND 29/04/16
I was privileged to take part in Greg’s funeral along with some three hundred devoted family and friends.
Greg was raised in Oatley in a close Catholic family. At high school he played Rugby League and represented NSW at full back. After graduation he chose a career in the public service. A few years later he entered the Passionate Order in the Catholic Church as a Brother. He left amicably after nine years having worked in New Guinea as a missionary. He then married and became a devoted father to two children. Unfortunately his marriage did not last.
Greg was one of the most friendly, ‘true’ persons I have ever met. Hence the huge number of David Jones Wollongong employees and the thirty Lamp Lighters and partners who were there to farewell him with beautiful song.
Thank you Greg for your contribution, Contribution from Ian McNeill.
WE WISH GREG HAPPY TRAILS
Gregory Bateman was a happy guy
Who always had a smile.
We’d known him for a year or two
Yes, he’d been round for a while.
And in that time he’d filtered in
With all the guys, its true.
He was the sort of bloke
That in ten minutes everybody knew.
I know not much about his past
Where he came from or his kin.
But from his attitude and manner
I felt a happiness within.
His family sure will miss him though
His kids and grandkids too
For when you lose somebody precious
It’s bound to leave you rather blue.
So now we wish him happy trails
He’s joined the others in the sky.
Yes, to our buddy Greg
We bid a very fond goodbye.
Lawrence F. Bond 16/04/16
I MET THE CHOIR IN THE SKY
You wouldn’t want to know it
I met all the boys last night
And for maybe just a second
It gave me quite a fright.
But then I realised that I knew them
It was ‘The Choir in the Sky’
They were all there flying past
And just stopped to bid me hi.
There was David Moulds and Buddy Leonard
Rob McGowan, Siddy Long,
Dexter Porter, Alan Thomas
And Roy Walkley looking strong.
Rodney Wallace and Max Hadlow
They were there as well
With Derek Buckley, Ron McCudden
And Gerard Monaghan looking swell.
Ted Stephenson lent on a lamp post
Watching all the rest go by,
While Bob Bell and Johnny Houston
Had a twinkle in their eye.
Then Peter Shoobridge, Arthur Norton
And Ken Perry turned up too,
And asked if I’d remember them
To all the blokes they knew.
Well, I promised that I would
I said yes I would for sure
Then John McMahon and Billy Hughes
Turned up with one Barry Kershaw.
Then you wouldn’t want to know
Greg Bateman gave a wave
He was trailing just behind
And looking rather brave
So, I bade them all fond goodbye
Then they just disappeared from sight
And I awoke to find I’d had
A very vivid dream last night.
But I think it goes to prove
That no one’s really, really dead
Just as long as you’ve still got them
Up there in your head.
Lawrence F. Bond 03/02/16
Last week on St.Patrick’s Day (March 17) the Lamplighters sang for the Bulli Hospital Auxiliary, at the Thirroul Bowling Club.
Songs included ‘Danny Boy‘, which was very well received.
Doreen also included ‘Six Ribbons‘, as a tribute to John English.
Congratulations to our soloists, Adrian Herbert, Paul Grey and John Driscoll – who all sang so well. Their input was a vital part of the program.
After the performance, members of the audience assured us that our singing was much enjoyed.
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our well liked and respected fellow chorister.
He has been a member of the Lamplighters for many years as well as participating in many of the Arcadians performances.
He also had an associatoin with the Wollongong Jazz Club as well as the Belmore Basin Jazz Band.
Every Saturday afternoon Belmore Basin would play at Cooney’s and Barry would always close the session with a suberb rendition of
New York,New York.Everyone would get up to dance and he would bring the house down!
We will miss him in the front row of the Lamplighters!His beautiful tenor voice,his cheeky smile and comments!
Lawrence Bond summed it up with this beautiful poem:-
The IRT Community Grants Program exceeded expectations with 127 applications for 20 successful projects with The Arcadians Lamplighters Male Choir being one of the successful applicants.
All of the successful applicants demonstrated a clear benefit to the community and value for money while supporting IRT Foundations objective to create age- friendly communities where people can age without barriers.
The Arcadians Lamplighters Choir is grateful to the IRT Foundation for their generosity in assisting us with the expansion of our music repertoire as well as new performance uniforms.
On Monday December 14 2015, The Lamplighters Male Choir held their Christmas Party at the Kembla Heights Bowling Club. There was an extremely good attendance of choristers and their partners.
The day began with bare foot bowls (for some), while others gathered in the shade.
A great lunch which appeared to be enjoyed by all was provided by the Club whose staff went to no end of trouble to make our celebration a memorable and joyous function.
When the meal was concluded, some of us were prepared to make fools of ourselves with the aid of Frank Leonard’s Karaoke machine.
The speeches were short but sweet with all of the appropriate people being thanked for their efforts during the past 12 months.
A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all and may next year be even brighter and better.
The photo’s following, show some of our more embarrassing moments of our Christmas party even though we were all still sober!!!
The Lamplighters performed their first ever concert at the Carrington Retirement Village at Grasmere
on Sunday December 13.
It was extremely well received by all who attended to the extent that we received a standing ovation.
We sang a wide variety of songs with including “All for the Best” with Frank Leonard and Jim Milnes leading the choir.
Frank also did a wonderful job as MC (as usual).
Carrington excelled with their hospitality with a wonderful afternoon tea at the completion of the concert.
On Monday November 9thth, The Lamplighters Male Choir provided a recital of songs appropriate for the occasion of the 50th Commemoration of the four coal miners, Fred Hunt, Harry Smith Jack Murray and Bob Stewart who lost their lives in the 1965 Bulli Mine Fire. Among the 150 people present at the Commemoration were family members, friends and former work mates of the four miners, members of the public, politicians and importantly 50 school students from the four local schools. The choir’s recital at St Augustine’s Church in Bulli was very much appreciated by those in attendance particularly the immediate family members of the men’s families. A representative of Wollongong City Council was so impressed by the recital that she approached our Musical Director Doreen Bryars with a request The Lamplighters consider performing the “Wollongong Song” at an official function to be conducted in Wollongong early in 2016.
On Saturday October 31st 2015 the Lamplighters performed in a joint concert with the Waratah Male Voice Choir and the Salvation Army Citadel Band.
The 200 strong audience had a very pleasant afternoon of music and song with many of them saying that it one of our best concerts ever!!
The Lamplighters were very well represented by some forty –five choristers who rewarded Doreen for her untiring efforts with some much improved performances, especially of the more recent additions to the Choir’s repertoire. The highlight was the first public performance of the “Wollongong Song” written by Graham Wilson who came from his hospital bed for just an hour to hear our rendition of the song for which Doreen wrote the bass and harmony notes.
Our visitors from Newcastle, The Waratah Male Voice Choir, though just seventeen in number ,produced some great harmonies and delighted many in the audience with their song selection under the Direction of Annette Phillis. Among the audience favourites were “ Some Enchanted Evening”, “The Happy Wanderer” “Softly As I Leave You” and “The Holy City.
The Salvation Army Band performed magnificantly with a variety of songs led ably as always by Lachlan Walker.
The performances by the Band were excellent with “Jesus Christ Superstar” being one of the favourite numbers played. Lachlan Walker, the Band Master is to be congratulated on the quality of all numbers performed.
The social gathering with Dinner at the Figtree Bowling Club held on the Friday Evening was a great success with much mingling and getting to know our visitors who were well entertained with a visit from Fred and Cyril our resident cleaner and plumber.
Congratulations to Dave Bryars, especially, for the organisation he invested in the visit and to all those who helped in any way and/or supported the concert through their attendance.
The Arcadian Winter Warmer concerts performed at the Miner’s Lamp Theatre On Thursday August 20 and Sunday August 23, were WARMLY RECEIVED by almost full houses at both concerts.
The concerts had an eclectic program featuring The Lamplighters Male Choir, The Minstrels and various acts both musical and comical, featuring members of both groups of very talented artists as well as our guest artist Carmel Leonard.
The Lamplighters performed two brackets of songs and The Minstrels also performed two brackets of songs.
The Lamplighters Swing “Quartet”? (there was only three of them) Bill and Jean Burn and Chris McRobert had the audience singing and Foot tapping all through their segment of songs.
The whole show was held together by our very capable Compere, Frank Leonard who seems to always find new stories to keep us all laughing.
Not that there was any shortage of laughter, as the the sketches ( “Madrigal” and “Dinner for One”) had the audience rolling in the aisles. You had to see them to appreciate
not only what they were about but also how clever and funny they were. All participating artists involved in both sketches deserved the generous ovations they received
Performances like these do not happen by themselves. A lot of rehearsing and planning was put into it by many people but some in people particular should be singled out for our gratitude.
Our Producer, Brian Gillett who not only produced, but also took part in the choir and “Dinner for One”
Our Musical Director, Doreen Bryars who not only conducted The Lamplighters, but also played the piano (and conducted) The Minstrels.
Stage Manager, Dave Bryars who’s efforts controlling 50 odd? aging men and women to do what was necessary to look like a professional performance, was miraculous.
Compere, Frank Leonard for the preparation and application of a very professional performance.
Nyla Collis also needs special mention for being such a good sport in playing the role she did in “Madrigal”.
I am sure that all who attended either performance could not help but walk out of the theatre feeling a lot happier than when they walked in.
The Lamplighters were invited to sing at the luncheon which was held at the Woonona Bulli RSL Club on Wednesday August 20.
There were approximately 25 choristers in attendance with all voices reasonably well represented.
Our program was slightly curtailed due to time constraints with the serving of lunch, but that didn’t prevent us from enjoying ourselves as we usually do.
Comments from the audience seemed to indicate that they also enjoyed our singing even though they had to divide their attention between their lunch and our singing.
On Saturday August 1st 2015 The Lamplighters took part in the Annual Mine Disaster Memorial which took place this year at the Kembla Heights Bowling Club.
The proceedings began with Mr. Phil Grant asked to speak about the Mt. Kembla Colliery Gas Explosion which occurred on July 31st 1902 killing 96 men and boys.
At the end of that day 33 women were widows and 120 children were fatherless.
Mr. Grant spoke passionately about the event and even wrote a poem about that time.
The Lamplighters then sang two songs quite applicable to the occasion – “Coal Dust Tattoos” and “Take Me Home”. Both songs were much appreciated by the Audience.
That concluded the Memorial Ceremony, then we moved into the club and entertained the members and guests with more of our repertoire including a request for “Working Man”
Much thanks is to go to Mr. Bob Upton for his organisation and dedication in making the day such a resounding success. He goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that everything was just right for such a solemn occasion.
It was a cold and frosty July morn,
When awoken by Mum I stretched and yawned,
Porridge and a dry piece of bread,
The clothing on my back hanging by a thread.
Shhhh, be quiet don’t wake your sister with that din,
As you place your lunch in the old crib tin,
In the dark Dad and I walked away from our miners shack,
The glow of kerosene lantern shone through every crack.
Trudging along, we had a good yarn
From politics to unions and the socks Mum had to darn.
Though still at a tender age, Iwas no longer a boy,
The gear I was working no longer a toy.
Laughter and banter greeted us at the mine site
As we collected our candles and carbide light.
The Overman gave his orders for the day,
Men and horses streamed underground to earn their pay.
Miners sweated andstrained their backs
To push the wooden skips along the narrow tracks.
In the heat and the dust it was my job to operate the door
It seemed not to make a difference as the ventilation was poor.
The day was long and would soon end at last
But no one knew there would soon be a tremendous blast.
Gas had ignited way down in the mine
For all of us it was the end of the line.
It was the last time I would feel the warmth of the sun,
I didn’t have time to call out to Mum.
As my soul drifts through eternity,In the distance a bright light I can see.
Over the valley it attracts me on,
I can hear voices singing a song.
Looking down from the sky above,
I feel that glow of true love.
Ninety six candles are burning setting me free,
I know they haven’t forgotten me.
We had 39 choristers’ attend and performed for a very appreciative audience.
It was concert with a difference, because Jim Wells did most of the conducting (well done Jim) because with Jean Burn oh holiday’s Doreen an John McKenna were looking after the piano playing.A big thank you to John for offering his services at the piano for today and also for our regular Monday rehearsals while Jean is away.
Once again we were fortunate to have Carmel Leonard on the programme with us to delight the audience (and us) with her wide ranging repertoire that had everyone looking for more.
The day was rounded off with afternoon tea that was once again supplied by the members of the Dutch Club.
Monday June 29 2015 was a big day for The Lamplighters Male Choir. It was the day we had the opportunity to say a big THANK YOU to the Mineworkers Trust for their generous donation enabling the Choir to purchase a trailer (photo below) to transport our upgraded risers to the varied venues that we are requested to perform.
We were pleased to have so many official guests in attendance and David Bryars as MC.
The proceedings started with Mr. Connor thanking the Mineworkers Trust for their support to the local community as a whole and particularly their donation to the Lamplighters.
Mr. Park then reinforced the communities appreciation for the good work done in the local community by the Mineworkers Trust.
Mr. Boultwood spoke about how The Lamplighters are such an integral part of the Corrimal and Wollongong City Community.
Doreen Bryars then formally thanked all for their attendance on such an occasion and formally thanked The Mineworkers Trust on our behalf.
The Lamplighters then showed their appreciation by doing what they do best – singing!!!
In his reply, Mr. Vickers explained how The Mineworkers Trust came about and how a lot of the thanks for that should go to one of our own in Barry Swan who was Chairman of the trust for many years.
The trust is also refurbishing the Miners Memorial at Bulli which will be completed later this year.
It is with great sadness that we mourn the death of William Hughes, another of our older choristers who passed away at home on Friday February 20th quite unexpectedly with his funeral taking place last Friday February 27th.
William ( Bill) Hughes was born in the north of Wales in 1930. He completed his schooling there and took up his first employment in shale oil mining and followed this employment for 10 years. He then found work in a steelworks and during that time met the love of his life, Joan., who had been married previously and had four children of her own. Following a brief courtship they were married. After a couple of years they were granted a funded passage from England to Australia and were initially housed in the Migrant Centre at Fairy Meadow. It was here that Bill demonstrated his great sense of humour when photographed with his hands on a window sill, peering outside and barking like a dog. When asked the reason he said , well it looks like a dog kennel so I might as well behave like one. It wasn’t long before they found a house in Wollongong and produced three children of their own. Bill found employment at the Port Kembala steelworks and was promoted several times during his time there . Bill loved Music and joined the Welsh Choir. Some seven years ago he left that choir and joined the Lamplighters as a First Tenor. His sense of humour, his great voice and his loyalty to the friends he made especially his good mate, Barry Kershaw, identified him as one of the Lamplighters’ personalities. His presence with us will be sadly missed.
Well, Billy Hughes has joined the mob-
There’s twenty now you see
And they’re all up there together
Singing loud and free.
Bill was what you’d call a character
With a unique sort of style,
And although he’s not been round of late
We’ll still miss his cheeky smile.
Of course, being a Welsh man
He loved to sing, it’s true,
And his lilting tenor voice
Was always there on cue.
We were singing once at Bunning’s-
Up the southern end, you see,
Bill being late, inquired, “Where’s the Lamplighters”
And was told, “Up in lane three!”
His family sure will miss him
Just like me and you,
For Bill always wore a smile-
Don’t think I ever saw him blue.
Yes, it’s goodbye to our pal Billy-
He’s now up there at the pearly gates,
Singing in God’s choir
Alongside nineteen of his mates.
LAWRENCE F. BOND 22 / 02 / 15
,Vale Ken Perry
It is with great sadness that we mourn the death of Ken Perry, our oldest chorister, who died on December 28th, his 91st birthday. The Lamplighters were privileged to be able to sing at his funeral held on January 12th 2015.
Following is Ken’s informative and moving eulogy put together by his son Andy.
Ken Perry was born in Bruce St. in Cardiff on 28th Dec 1923. The first child and son of Winifred and Sam Perry.
The Lamplighters and Lampettes came together for our annual Christmas get together on Monday January 15th at the Mount Kembla Bowling Club.
It was a lovely relaxed day with some putting up with the heat to play a game of bowls before lunch.
As always, the staff of the bowling club excelled themselves with excellent food and making us feel at home. A member of the club staff, in welcoming us made us all feel as if we were honored guests.
Once again, Brian and Jim had us in fits of laughter with their skit on the MCAA Concert which every one could relate to. How they keep coming up with all of this material is marvelous and we thank them for their continued efforts.
On Monday December 8, The Lamplighters entertained shoppers in Wollongong Mall with Christmas Carols.
It did appear that a storm may prevent the concert from going on, but two gazebo’s were erected to protect the piano and choristers. We were lucky that the rain was very light allowing the performance to continue.
Unfortunately, the threat of the storm kept the audience down, but those who braved the conditions would have been very impressed with our performance especially the solo performance of Warwick Grace singing “O Holy Night”. Well done Warwick!!
Don’t forget the Lamplighters Christmas get together next Monday at Mt. Kembla Bowling Club Church Lane, Kembla Heights from 11:00am (for those interested in bare foot bowling.
Singin’ In The Rain
the Arcadians Lamplighters were just one of fourteen choirs totaling just over 400 voices participating in the fourth MCAA concert on Saturday November 15th 2014.
The choir was fortunate to be supported by:
1 The Band of the Royal Military College, Duntroon.
2 A very talented Guest Artist Sara Carvalho, who thrilled the audience with her marvelous vocal range.
The choirs came from NSW, ACT and Victoria although there was one choir from Wellington N.Z. as well as two choiristers from Perth W.A.
There was a very appreciative audience of approximately 1400 at the Australian Institute of Sport Arena in Canberra.
The Choirs sang a total of thirteen songs under the direction of Guest conductor Dr.Guy Jensen MNZM from New Zealand.
It was a great experience being part of such a large body of like minded men, for all those who attended.
Our choir then enjoyed a relaxing time together in the evening before getting a well earned rest before moving on to Batemans Bay the next morning for a concert with Sing Australia on the Sunday afternoon.
This concert was extremely enjoyable for all as we were just in our own group with our own musical director and pianist (which makes such a big difference).
Comments from some of the audience were most encouraging as some were in tears after we sang “Bring Him Home” and said that was the best entertainment that they have had.
We combined with Sing Australia to sing “Anthem”.
After the concert, we joined with the Sing Australia choir for our evening meal at the Catalina Golf Club.
Our thanks to Dave, Doreen Jean and Mike Miller for all of the work behind the scenes to make this trip the success that it was.
Bateman’s Bay Concert