Music to her ears
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.
Queen’s Birthday Honours recipient Deirdre Russell.