Mu­sic to her ears

Canning Times - - NEWS -

DEIRDRE Rus­sell has played the or­gan at Willetton Unit­ing Church dur­ing ser­vices for 49 years but her pas­sion for mu­sic goes be­yond the church.

“We moved from South Aus­tralia 49 years ago and I started play­ing the or­gan at church,” Mrs Rus­sell said.

“The in­volve­ment has been long and very happy.”

As well as shar­ing the or­gan-play­ing du­ties with an­other woman, Mrs Rus­sell has spent three decades co­or­di­nat­ing Christ­mas pro­duc­tions with two other lo­cal churches: the Queen of Apos­tles Catholic Church in River­ton and St An­drew’s Angli­can Church in Shel­ley.

Pi­ano has been her pas­sion since she was seven and at 82 years old still vis­its nurs­ing homes to en­ter­tain the res­i­dents.

She lived in Ross­moyne for 45 years be­fore mov­ing to Bull Creek five years ago and said her life was still very much within the Can­ning area.

She and her hus­band owned a con­tract clean­ing busi­ness in Willetton, which is now run by her son, and many of the mem­bers of the choirs she di­rects live within the City of Can­ning.

Mrs Rus­sell also di­rects the Ap­ple­cross/Mt Pleas­ant Coun­try Women’s As­so­ci­a­tion (CWA) Branch Choir, which per­forms across Perth’s south­ern sub­urbs, and for two decades has been the or­gan­iser of group book­ings for theatre tick­ets.

Mrs Rus­sell was re­cently awarded the Medal of the Or­der of Aus­tralia for her ser­vice to the com­mu­nity, par­tic­u­larly through mu­sic, af­ter be­ing nom­i­nated by friend and singer Made­line Suann.

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son d484200

Queen’s Birth­day Honours re­cip­i­ent Deirdre Rus­sell.

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