John Bramman joined our choir-
It seemed like just the other day,
Now, just like that, would you believe
He’s up and gone away.
He’s gone and joined the others
In that chapel in the sky,
He was a happy sort of chappy
With a twinkle in his eye,
He’d greet you like he’d known you
For twenty years or more,
I’m sure before he joined us
I’d seen him round before.
He sang with us at Carrington
Just the other day,
And he really did enjoy it
Without a doubt I’d say.
From British stock he came
You could tell it in his voice,
I would have liked to know him better
But you just don’t have a choice.
Our thoughts are with his family
His partner and his friends,
I know that we’ll all miss him
But alas, his story ends.
Lawrence F. Bond 29 / 05 / 21
Kenny Bishop was a gentleman-
A real, good bloke, it’s true,
I met him way back in the day-
Both Apexians we two.
He was the District Governor
Of District two and so,
We’d meet up at conventions
And other shows where we’d both go.
Then he joined with the Lamplighters-
He was with us for some time,
He really did enjoy it
And for ages he was fine.
He sung then with us Basses
And was rather good, alright,
And traveled to most concerts
Where he’d sing with great delight.
Then he lost his dear wife Margaret
Which caused a lot of pain,
Though he just kept right on singing
And in the Basses, he’d remain
Till his health deteriorated some
And his memory wasn’t good,
So, he decided to retire
As you’d suppose he would.
Well, he moved into the IRT
In a unit three from me,
And most days when I ventured out
Gentleman Ken would wave, you see.
He was moved then to The Links
Where he passed, and I feel sure,
He’d had a very decent innings-
Yes, his age was ninety-four.
His family, they’ll all miss him
As will his friends and those he knew,
His next-door neighbor, Dave
I’m sure will miss him too.
But I reckon now he’s reunited
With his wife, there way up high,
And from all of us down here
We say a very fond Good Bye.
We performed our first concert in over 12 months at the Carrington Retirement Village – Camden on last Sunday May 23rd
to a large appreciative audience of Lamplighter friends and Villlage residents.
Our music director, Doreen Bryars was ably supported by our assistant music director, Jim Wells during part of the programme
which consisted of songs sung by the full choir, our small group choir, as well as some solos by individual choir members which
made for a varied programme which was appreciated by all.
While we were a long way from home base, a bus was hired by the Lamplighters to transport all who wanted to take advantage
of the opportunity to get there and back home safely. We must say a big thank you to Colin East who volunteered to drive the bus on the day.
It is with sad hearts that we acknowledge the death of one of the Lamplighters greatest supporters on January 10 2021..
Where ever we performed, Lorraine would always be there supporting her husband Ken and the rest of the choir.
We pass on our condolences to Ken and his family as Lorraine will be sadly missed by all.
An Ode To Lorraine McDougall
Our old mate Ken McDougall
Lost his wife the other day,
Such a lovely, lovely lady
I think you’d have to say.
Lorraine was such a doting wife-
Mum and grandma too,
And backed her husband Ken
In everything he’d try or do.
She always had a friendly smile-
I’d never seen her frown,
And it didn’t matter where we’d sing
She’d always be around.
Her great grandchild, she bears her name-
So, still, she will live on,
Yes, with the life of that small child
Her memory won’t be gone.
Our thoughts go out to Ken and kin-
And though we can’t stand in his shoes,
We’ll do our best as friends
To try and ease his blues.
And though we say goodbye to Ken’s Lorraine-
I’d wipe that teardrop from your eye,
For I’m sure she’s up there happy now
In her new home in the sky.
LAWRENCE F. BOND 14 / 01 / 21
IN MEMORY OF LORRAINE MCDOUGALL
PASSED AWAY THE 10TH JANUARY 2021
After a FULL YEAR of no Monday morning choir practice, the Lamplighters returnerd to The Miners Lamp Theatre on Monday March 15 we made a triumphful return, abiet, only half the chouir at a time due to social distancing regulations.Everyone wasraring to go and pick up from where we left off last year.
The Combined MCAA Concert at Sydney Town Hall was cancelled and re scheduled to later this year.
Unfortunately, we lost one of our long time members (Col Williams) on December 2nd 2020. He will be sadly missed by all.
Our resident poet (Lawrence Bond) wrote a beautiful poem in memory of Col, which isincluded below.:-
As Long As Minstrels Sing
Or He Always Wore A Smile
Col Williams, well we’ve lost him
He’s gone off to join the crew,
Singing songs and strumming
Up there in the blue.
He loved his big, old double bass-
I can hear him playing still,
Plucking strings and singing-
Thrilled our dear old ‘Blinky Bill’.
But it got a bit too heavy
To cart around, they say,
So, he put it in its case
And locked the thing away.
Well, we’ll miss him at the Minstrels
And the Lamplighters will too,
As will his friends there at his church
Along with me and you.
Col was such a happy bloke
He always wore a smile,
And loved to have a chat-
Or a talk, once in a while.
His family and his Nancy
Will miss him most of all,
Though his memory and his journey
Will leave him standing tall.
Yes, Col, he’s gone and left us
And things, it’s true won’t be the same,
But as long as Minstrels sing
We’ll not forget him or his name.
LAWRENCE F. BOND 04 / 12 / 20
IN MEMORY OF COL WILLIAMS DIED 2ND DECEMBER 2020
Saturday November 30th saw the Arcadians Lamplighters Male Choir complete its final major Concert performance for 2019. On this occasion, the Lamplighters performed with The Illawarra Flame Three and, guest soloist Carmel Leonard. The scene was set for a great concert with the Illawarra Flame Three playing on in the background as the Lamplighters moved down the aisles and onto the stage whistling the Colonel Bogey March. This excellent piece of ad-hoc choreography, really got the audience into the mood for what was to follow. First class musical entertainment which included our choir, Jazz sets from the Illawarra Flame Three and, soloist Carmen Leonard. Carmel performed a bracket of upbeat numbers including one she has written for her own stage musical project. This concert had some among the audience and even members of our choir on their feet and moving to the beat of the music. The Lamplighters song list was again well received by an audience which exceeded just over one hundred patrons. Demonstrating once again, just how fortunate we are to have Doreen Bryars as our director. From experience we know Doreen is gifted with that rare talent of understanding exactly the blend of choral numbers which `will be best received by our audiences. With Jean Burn on piano and Jim Wells alternating on the conductor’s podium, the professionalism of Frank Leonard as Master of Ceremonies, the Arcadians Lamplighters provided possibly its best performance of 2019. While this may be seen by some as a big call considering our many other A1 performances during 2019, it is based upon the audience response during and, after the concert. Doreen can only have been impressed by the number of patrons enquiring of her when and where her Lamplighters Male Choir would next be performing.
On the machinery matters of our concert performances, our Front of House staff once again are deserving of praise for their efforts as do those members of the choir who provided Ken Mascord with assistance in the setting up and, the dismantling of the concert risers.
On wednesday night, July 31st 2019 the old and the new Lamplighters joined together to
celebrate the momentous occasion.
Including invited guests, there was 107 people at The IRT Links Seaside for a wonderful night to
join together with new and old friends.
During the evening, Doreen and Dave were presented with a plaque from the choristers in
appreciation for their work and dedication to all of the choristers over their 20 years of service
and Dave was also presented with a gift voucher to show our appreciation for his sometimes
unseen contribution to the choirs wellbeing.
some special musical dreams after originally joining in 1976 to sing in the chorus of a few Muscal
Doreen then presented special medalions to originals Brian Gillett and Jim Milnes
as well as to Jean Burn our accompanist, Jim Wells, our deputy music directorand to Dave in appreciation
of their valuable service.to her in the management of a group of (sometimes difficult to manage) elderly men.
Words cannot experss the appreciation of all of the members of the choir over the last 20 years of the
efforts of Doreen,Dave and Jean for they are the glue that has held the choir together so successfully
for so long and may they keep it going for another 20 years.
Naturally, the night ended with (surprise, surprise) the choristers singiing with some of the Minstrels joining in.
Our appreciation also goes out to The Arcadians Board for their ongoing support over the last 20 years and
also to their contribution to our celebratory night.
Our joint concert with the Wollongong Brass Band on Saturday July 22nd at the new Keiraville Uniting Church’s auditorium was extremely well attended.
While both choir and band were cramped for room, the end result was very pleasing.
The Lamplighters and the band were able to exhibit their individual talents before coming together for the final rousing song – The Dam Busters.
Hearty congratulations go to both Doreen Bryars and Barry Swan who were included in this Queens Birthday Honours List with a much deserved OAM.
Doreen, for her services to Performing Arts and Barry for his services to the coal industry.
Doreen was in disbelief upon hearing of her nomination because, quote – “those people have to be really special”
When you look at Doreen’s achievements, particularly over the last twenty years, which includes the formation of two choirs (The Lamplighters Male Choir and The Minstrels), During this time, Doreen has also been involved with The Male Choirs Association of Australia.
So, Doreen, if “those people have to be really special”, the answer is YES!!!
Congratulations on a well earned Honour and a big thank you for the myriads of people you have given so much pleasure to over the years.
Not forgetting Barry Swan
Barry’s family who had been involved in the mining industry for generations had been affected with lung disease caused by coal dust accumulation on the lungs.He watched his Grandfather pass away with the disease which urged him to pledge his life to the welfare of coal miners.
Eventually, he took an interest in the Union Movement and before long, became General Secretary of the Miners Federation Australia.
Barry’s best work was done as chairman of the Joint Coal Board Standing committee on Dust. A committee comprising coal industry management,mine workers and government, chaired by the Joint Coal Board, which, during the period 1947 to 1991 had improved, through education of the NSW coal industry workforce (including management), an understanding of the longer term health problems present within airborne dust.
The work undertaken by the cooperative group, helped reduce the incidence of dust related disease in the NSW coal industry from around 8% in 1947, to around 1% in 1991.
The NSW coal industry at that time being the world leader in combating dust related disease.
Again, a well deserved accolade for tasks taken on for the well being of our community.
I sing with this male choir-
‘The Lamplighters’ is its name,
And it seems to me that singing
Is not its only claim to fame.
Take a bloke named Dexter Porter,
Brian Gillett and Dave Coates too,
Now throw in Barry Swan and Doreen Bryars-
Yes, I reckon that’ll do-
For it goes to show this choir
I sing with-is full of gems,
Yes, all of the above
Upon their chests wear O.A.M’ s.
You see these people here that entertain
And make other people smile,
Aren’t just a pack of pretty face
No, not by a country mile.
This choir called ‘The Lamplighters’
Are decent folk who’ve been around,
And find the worth of music
As something quite profound.
And too, in their community,
Have done their bit, it seems,
So, to be honoured with an O.A.M.
I’d say was only in their dreams.
Yes, to Mrs Bryars and to Mr Swan
Congratulations once again,
As we continue to sing on and on
With our Doreen and her merry men.
LAWRENCE F. BOND 11 / 06 / 19
Once again The Arcadians Lamplighters Choir was invited to perform in the Church on May 26th to a very
appreciative audience of eighty six very satisfied people.
It was great for the choir to see that the audience was enjoying it so much that they were singing along to themselves
as most of the songs that the choir sings are well known to most people.
We were again fortunate to have Jessica Varga on the programme with us who is gaining in experience and confidence
with each performance.
It must be said that the Lamplighters performance of excerpts of Oliver was the highlight of the afternoon conducted by
Jim Wells with Doreen Bryars on piano and solo parts sung by Jean Burn;Jessica Varga; Colin Bell and Terry Bartlett.
This was especially pleasing as it shows the depth, range and versatility of the choir as a whole.
The afternoons entertainment was topped off by a wonderful afternoon tea organised by the ladies from the Church and enjoyed and appreciated by all.
Well, the advertising brochure said it all – “A Special Afternoon of Entertaining Male Choir Singing”.
And so it was!!!
Both the Waratah Male Voice Choir and the Arcadians Lamplighters Male Choir put on a performance that will be remembered by the audience for some time to come.
As can be seen from the photos’, both Doreen and Annette kept a tight control on all of the of the choristers.
Besides each choir singing some of their favourite songs, both choirs combined to sing two songs to close the concert.
Once again, we were fortunate to have Jessica Varga as a supporting artist who sang two songs that were enjoyed by all.
And this was only Sunday afternoon!!!
Both choirs came together on Saturday night at the Corrimal RSL Club for dinner and “getting to know you” which included singing (naturally) and skits put on by choir members which created a very relaxing atmosphere which added to the enjoyment of the night.
Like everything, this doesn’t happen of its own accord.
Many people need thanking for the effort that was put in by a few for the good of many.
I shouldn’t mention names for fear of leaving someone out, but, there are some who deserve a special mention such as Dave Bryars; Barry Swan; Frank Leonard (MC); and Ken Mascord. These few worked very hard behind the scenes to make it happen and encouraged others to assist them.
The Waratahs and Lamplighters
The Waratahs and the Lamplighters choirs
Met at the old RSL,
Where they chattered and nattered and talked up a storm
And sang the odd ditty as well.
Some did a skit, and some did a turn
And while Frank told a bit of joke,
We wined and we dined-we were one of a kind
With those wonderful Newcastle folk.
Then the very next day we joined up to play
A concert for all-and it’s true,
The attendance was great the-show was first rate
And the Newcastle blokes were good too.
When it came to an end, we’d all made a friend
And as the boys and their wives gave a cheer,
They all shook our hand and said it was grand-
And we hope that we’ll see you next year.
Lawrence F. Bond 28 / 04 / 19
A very receptive audience was there to greet us on Thursday April 18. There was not as many choristers’ as we usually have, probably because of the dates proximity to Easter as Good Friday was the next day.
The concert itself went extremely well with the choice of songs very popular with the audience, so much so that many were very happy to sing along with us.
We are so popular with the residents ans staff at Hillside that they requested that we perform for them more than once a year.
Four Kingsmen singer and composer Graham Wilson still sings on even after suffering serious illness.
He wrote one song called “The Wollongong Song” and gave Doreen Bryars permission to adapt it for use by the Arcadians Lamplighters Male Choir. Graham was in hospital the first time the choir performed it publicly at the Salvation Army Citadel in Wollongong and the hospital allowed him to attend the concert for a short time to hear the performance.
That song has not only been one of the choir’s favourite songs but also of our various audiences where ever we perform.
It has been so popular that The Lamplighters made another CD entitled “Five Favourite Songs” especially featuring The Wollongong Song.
The accompanying photos’ were taken the day that Doreen and Dave presented Graham with a cheque from the proceeds of the sale of the CD;s
At the presentation was representatives from the IRT’s Links Seaside Aged Care Centre + their official photographer. Subsequently Doreen and Dave have been interviewed by IRT’s publicity representative and Graham, the CD and Doreen will be featured in next quarters publicity magazine. Carol Johnson, this IRT Rep has subsequently visited Graham with Doreen to round out the article. Proceeds from all future sales will go towards Cancer Research..
He Was A Loyal Supporter
John Hamer was a chorister
With the Lamplighters-it’s true,
And had been an active member
For some years-more than a few.
He was a loyal supporter
And never missed a show,
Even before he joined us
To give singing a go.
He’d also been a policeman
For a good part of his life,
And belonged to the Arcadians
With Josephine his wife.
Then he had to leave us
As his health was not so great,
For Parkinson’s etc
Had slowed up our old mate.
And now he’s joined the others
Singing up there in the blue,
They’ll all be glad to see him
And to welcome him there too.
Yes, I’m sure that he won’t miss them
For there is a large amount,
Thirty-two good men up there
As of the last account.
Lawrence F. Bond 11 / 12 / 18
Our concert with the Wollongong Wind Band was a huge success with all of the choristers enjoying it as much as the very appreciative (large) audience.
The Lamplighters commenced the concert with a bracket of three songs and was followed by the band playing a medley of songs from popular musicals.
This was followed by the Lamplighters singing up to the interval break which included a solo (The Last Farewell) by Paul Grey with the choir backing.
After the interval break, the Lamplighters performed a bracket of songs from the musical “Oliver” for the first time publicly with individual parts being played by Jean Burn; Colin Bell; Chris McRobert as well as our guest artist Jessica Varga who sang “Where is Love”. This segment was ably conducted by Jim Wells with Doreen Bryars on piano.
While Jessice has performed previously with the Arcadians Childrens Group, this was her first solo performance and is to be congratulated for the very professional performance.
Jessica, her parents and grand parents (Neil and Elsie King) I am sure, are very proud of her.
The concert ended with the band, the choir and the audience performing “I Still Call Australia Home”
On Saturday June 30 2018, the Lamplighters and the Wollongong Wind Band will be performing together at the Ribbonwood Centre Moombarra Street Dapto.
This will be the first time these two musical groups have come together for such a performance which promises to be a very entertaining afternoon of music and fun.
Concert commences at 2:00 pm . Tickets are available through .www.trybooking.com/vxpu or by phone 0420934868 as well as at the door on the day. Ticket price – Adult $20.00 or concession $15.00.
We’ve lost another real good man
Of this I can Attest,
Who was there at every concert
To hand you out your vest.
Rob McLean and wife Lorraine
Were always there on site,
Making sure that our attire
Was there laid out and right.
They’d done this job for quite some time
And had it all down pat,
He was a bloke you could rely on
And let me tell you, that was that.
Yes, we’re really going to miss Rob
And that my friends for sure,
For there’s never been another like him
In our Lamplighters before.
Our sympathy and thoughts
Are with his wife Lorraine,
For when you lose someone you love
It’s hard to stem the pain.
So, it’s bye, bye from us to Rob
Now where he is the vests aren’t dirty,
For in God’s choir with the others
He’s taking care of- that’s right- thirty.
LAWRENCE F. BOND 17 / 12 / 17
354 male singers from 14 choirs from all over Australia and New Zealand came together last Sunday (October 15) at the WEC to give The Wollongong community its first opportunity to hear the MCAA (Male Choirs Association Australia) massed harmony.
With an audience of over 1300, the massed choir performed 13 songs and was ably supported by the NSW Police Concert Band and the local String Family (the Moir Family who were residents of Mount Kembla for a life on the road busking all over Australia). Both groups were well received by all.
A lot of practice went into making the Sunday concert such a success, because even though the individual choirs had rehearsed all of the songs over the last few months, we were unable to all rehearse together until Saturday October 14 (the day before).
The two young conductors ( Keiren Brandt-Sawdy and Tom Buchanan must be congratulated for the marvelous job in bringing together all of the choirs for such a successful performance.
Much of the success of the concert must be attributed to Dave Bryars who has worked tirelessly over the last 12 to 18 months to achieve the result that we got.
Memories of Harry Martin
Over the last few years, I had a little to do with Graham socially, as well as knowing him through the Lamplighters.
Figtree Anglican has been the Church of my sister, Jan, for many years. In that time, she became good friends with Graham and Chris Cotton. They and a few friends within the Church, became a little group that got together throughout the year to celebrate one another’s birthday’s.
In May 2011 our mother died. Not long afterwards, the get-together for Jan’s birthday was planned and the others suggested to Jan perhaps I might like to attend, so Jan asked me and I said that I would be pleased to come along.
I must not have upset anyone because at the end of the evening the general consensus seemed to be that I should continue to be a part of their birthday group.
As a result, in recent years I caught up with Graham at these get-together’s on a number of occasions throughout the year. Occasions that we all enjoyed very much.
Graham was a fine fellow and good company and I will miss him.
We’ve gone and lost another mate-
Graham Cottom was his name
.A quietly spoken man
Who enjoyed the singing game.
He sang among the tenors-
Sat in the front row,
And it really was a shame
That he had to up and go.
One of our younger choristers
Still in his sixty’s so they say,
Too young to fly the coop
In this modern world today.
He did enjoy the theatre
And at shows was often seen,
Arcadian’s and IPAC
With many others in between.
We’re really going to miss him
As we do the other boys,
Who we know are up there singing
Making lots of joyful noise.
We know they’re all together
Up there doing fine,
And now with Graham with them
They number twenty nine.
So, it’s goodbye to Graham Cottom
Our thoughts too with Christine lie,
As Graham moves in with the others
In that choir in the sky.
Lawrence Bond 2/10/2017
The highlight of the Festival will be a spectacular concert, ‘Let All Men Sing’, on Sunday 15 October (2pm), at the WIN Entertainment Centre, with all the choirs singing together, conducted by dual music directors for the first time. Keiren Brandt-Sawdy (Sydney Male Choir) and Tom Buchanan (Australian Welsh Male Choir) will bring out the best from the choristers.
Also, playing a significant part in the concert is the NSW Police Concert Band and local artists “The String Family”, who together with the choristers, will provide a wonderful memorable and entertaining afternoon.
The organisers, the Male Choir Association Australia, is made up of male choirs from all around Australia. The association, like all its member choirs, is a not for profit organisation with the sole purpose of engaging men in song.
The member choirs come from all states, and are made up of men ranging in age from 40 – 90 years young. They give freely of their time to entertain audiences throughout the land.
This year the MCAA are particularly interested in promoting singing to mature men, to encourage them to continue social interaction – and join a ‘musical mens’ shed’ in their area!
The MCAA have performed in all capital cities and with Wollongong being chosen as the location for the 2017 Festival, the MCAA look forward to singing at the WEC. At the same time – the Festival will offer Illawarra and Sydney residents the opportunity to enjoy the very best male choirs of this nation, together in one spectacular concert.
With its origins in the male choir heritage of the mining and industrial towns of the United Kingdom – it is fitting and appropriate that Wollongong, with its similar heritage, plays host to this mass gathering.
And with a wide variety of repertoire – one male choir is truly entertaining – 14 of them and 400 voices will be truly astounding!
Tickets are available for the concert at Ticketmaster from 13 June 2017 – through ticketmaster.com.au, phoning 13 61 00 or visiting the WEC Box Office (Mon- Fri – 9am to 5pm)
Further details of the Festival and Concert are available from: http://www.malechoirsassociation.org.au or the local organising MCAA committee chairman Dave Bryars at firstname.lastname@example.org
This will be the first time that the Cantorian Sydney Male Voice Choir has performed at the Male Choirs Association of Australia concert.
We welcome our Wellington colleagues once again from ‘Across the Ditch.’
Order your tickets now to avoid disappointment. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketek.
Bill McKay was getting on a bit
Ninety two they say,
But I reckon for an old bloke
He was what you’d call OK.
A nice and quietly spoken man
Always with a smile,
And he’d been singing in our choir
For quite a long, long while.
The boys are going to miss him
The Barrie’s even more,
For he’s going to leave an empty space
Where he used to stand before.
He’s lovely partner Frances
Is going to miss her Bill,
With all that empty space now
That she’ll have to try and fill.
But we know he’s joined the others
In that choir in the sky,
Where we’ll meet there all together
One day, in the bye and bye.
So, it’s good bye to our Bill
His troubles now are gone,
And we’ll keep him in our thoughts
As we still sing and carry on.
Lawrence F. Bond 10 / 07 / 17
Performing at the Presbyterian Church in Penshurst in early July has become an annual event for the Arcadian Lamplighters and over the years the Church has been packed .
The Concert held on Sunday 9th July this year was not as well supported as in recent years and might be put down to it being school holidays .Nonetheless some 30 Lamplighters travelled to Penshurst to entertain an audience, whatever its size, and entertain they did. At the same time we were very well catered for, foodwise, by a wonderful group of ladies from the church providing us with lunch and afternoon tea where members of the audience also joined in.
The programme consisted of some older songs and some new songs from the choirs’ extensive repertoire ensuring there was something for everyone.
The programme included “Speed Your Journey”; “Where Will I Be ?”; Shelter; You Raise Me Up; Love Changes Everything “Be Still My Soul” or “Finlandia”; Can’t Help Falling in Love”’; “Bring Him Home” “Working Man”; “Take me Home” and an excerpt from “ Fiddler on the Roof” starring Eddie Wiech, Jean Burn our pianist, and Harry Martin.
The performance concluded with “I still Call Australia Home” with the audience joining in following presentations of flowers to Doreen Bryars, our Music Director, Jean Burn our pianist and Louise Bryant the female half of the guest artists “ Sway” who sang “ Some Days Are Diamonds”, “:Try a Little Kindness” and ”Bridge Over Troubled Waters”:
The NSW Police Band was established in 1895 and proudly serve as one of only two Police Bands in Australia. This full- time highly regarded unit under the Command of Senior Sergeant Murray Mayday and the music direction of Conductor John Saunders, fulfils over 200 engagements each year such as Attestation Parades, Award Ceremonies, Police Officer of the Year Balls, State and Federal official events, concerts, school workshops, community events, recitals, street parades, charitable events and various prestigious ceremonies. And when they’re not doing that, they’re rehearsing! The Band is officially a ‘Wind’ Orchestra made up of Wind, Brass, Percussion, Rhythm Section and Vocalist. Musicians undergo a rigorous audition process to target diversely talented professional musicians so that the Band can perform across several genres of music to meet the demands of the Band. The players are able to perform in several formats including concert band, marching band, big band, rock band, and jazz combo which include a vocalist across all of these genres. The band also have smaller chamber ensembles including a brass ensemble, brass, wind and clarinet quintets, dixie and ragtime combo’s and a saxophone quartet and smaller vocal & instrumental duet combinations
Keiren was recently appointed Musical Director of the Sydney Male Choir, and after leading them on a very successful tour of New Zealand at the beginning of the year, is fast earning a reputation as a fine choral conductor. Keiren is also Musical Director of the Men’s Shed Chorale and has directed community choirs for many years. In addition to his choral work, Keiren has a keen interest in opera, and conducted the Young Artists Company Operantics in three productions since 2015 – Jonathan Dove’s, Mansfield Park (Australian Premiere), La Sonnambula and Die Fledermaus. He has also been engaged as the Assistant Conductor for Pinchgut Opera.
Keiren was born in Sydney and completed his Bachelor of Music Studies (Piano) and Master of Music Studies (Conducting) at the Sydney Conservatorium. While he was an undergraduate, he appeared as the musical director of the Sydney University Dramatic Society’s production of The Threepenny Opera. After graduating in 2013, he enrolled in the Masters Conducting course at the Conservatorium. During this time he was Musical Director and Composer for the Sydney University Arts Revue and composed music for the Sydney University Dramatic Society’s production of Much Ado About Nothing as well as being assistant conductor to performances by the Conservatorium Choir and Orchestra (Mozart’s Requiem, 2014), The Early Music Ensemble (2015) and the Opera Unit (Malcolm Williamson’s English Eccentrics, 2015).
Keiren hopes to further his studies overseas and pursue a career as an opera conductor. He is very excited to be working with the choristers in this year’s MCAA festival
Tom is a well-known and highly regarded Melbourne-based choral conductor, currently directing the Australian Welsh Male Choir, Excelsis and the Mornington Peninsula Chorale. Tom has also been the Musical Director of Casey Choir (Berwick, Victoria), Out of the Ordinary (Monash University), and has directed choirs at both Eltham College and Christ Church Grammar School (South Yarra) where he currently works, primarily as a piano teacher. In recent years Tom has conducted performances extensively throughout Australia, as well as performing internationally in the Philippines, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom and the USA. In addition to his experience as a choral conductor, Tom has also had the opportunity to conduct both professional and community orchestras in some of Melbourne’s major performance venues, including St Paul’s Cathedral, St Patrick’s Cathedral and the Frankston Arts Centre.
Tom is a composer and arranger of choral music, and has had his work published both in Australia
(Willow Publishing, NSW) and in the United Kingdom (Banks Music Publications, York). Tom’s compositions and arrangements have received performances in Australia, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the USA.
Through his work as Musical Director of the Australian Welsh Male Choir, Tom has enjoyed the opportunity to work with and learn from some of the world’s most eminent Welsh choir conductors. Tom is a passionate supporter of community music and enjoys the challenge of working with a diverse range of choristers, with varying levels of musical training, to produce exciting and engaging choral performances.
Tom completed his music studies at the School of Music – Conservatorium of Monash University, where he majored in classical piano performance. Whilst studying at Monash, Tom also completed a Bachelor of Laws and a Graduate Diploma of Education (Secondary). Tom was an accompanist for the 2012 MCAA Festival which was held in Melbourne under the direction of Dr Alwyn Humphreys MBE. He is very much looking forward to the opportunity to work with all the choristers again this year, as co-director of the 2017 MCAA Festival.
The String Family are musical gypsies, a travelling family string quartet. Hailing from Wollongong, they began their tour around Australia in February of 2016 and have been performing around the country ever since. Mum and leader of the group, Sarah, began her musical studies at the age of 3, performing at the Sydney Opera House for the first time at the age of 5. Dad and lead cellist, Joel, was studying at the Sydney Conservatorium High School when he first met Sarah at the Wollongong Eisteddfod. Before hitting the road, Heath (15) and Ashleigh (13), were involved in many musical activities in Wollongong. The group is multi award winning including “Australian Celtic Song of the Year”, “Australian National Busking Champions” and “New Australian Celtic Talent of the Year”. The String Family’s mission is to make beautiful and enjoyable music, played on classical instruments
Virtuosic pianist and educator Emily Leong is a highly versatile musician, experienced in both classical and contemporary styles. Her diverse performance experience encompasses ensemble and solo playing as well as choral, musical theatre and orchestral repertoire.
In 2013, Emily completed her Master of Music (Performance) at the Melbourne Conservatorium. A strong believer in the life-changing results of music-making, Emily has taught the under-privileged and disadvantaged in the Philippines, China and Myanmar, as well as locally through The Song Room organisation. She is passionate about engaging people with creativity, and believes that it is never too late to interpret, invent and imagine. On her musical journey,
Emily has been inspired by many musicians including Igor Machlak, Stephen McIntyre
and Carolyn Almonte. Aside from her performing and teaching commitments, Emily is a sought after accompanist, sessional musician, clarinettist in local ensembles and a Wesley Scholar. Some of her recent performances include being a pit musician for Canberra Theatre’s season of Wicked, her debut solo performance in Canberra of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with Canberra Wind Symphony, and a stage opera concert series collaboration featuring Menotti’s The Telephone and Barber’s A Hand of Bridge. In September she will be performing the Penelope Thwaites song cycle Lambeth Garland with chamber choir Igitur Nos. She has recently completed her Master of Teaching (Secondary), and hopes to use the joy of music to inspire young people for many years to come.
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