Fifty years on key for Kennedy

South Canterbury Herald - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - RACHAEL COMER

Terry Kennedy still re­mem­bers the first con­cert he per­formed in.

He was a young boy and about to go for his first pi­ano les­son when he an­nounced to his mother that he would put a con­cert on.

‘‘All the aun­ties popped along and I played Mid­dle C,’’ Kennedy said.

The Ti­maru man’s mu­sic skills have come a long way since then, hav­ing played the or­gan at many wed­dings and fu­ner­als in the re­gion over the past 50 years.

He was recog­nised at a spe­cial morn­ing tea, held by the Ti­maru Holy Fam­ily Par­ish at Sun­day’s 10.30am mass, rep­re­sent­ing Sa­cred Heart Basil­ica, St Joseph’s, and St Thomas’ churches.

The for­mer Ti­maru District coun­cil­lor and South Canterbury District Health Board mem­ber, said the recog­ni­tion was an hon­our.

‘‘I’m quite sur­prised re­ally,’’ Kennedy said. ‘‘I feel re­ally quite hum­bled.’’ Kennedy joined the St Joseph’s Par­ish Ti­maru when he moved to the re­gion from Gore.

‘‘I was in­vited to play the or­gan on a ros­ter ba­sis at that church with an oc­ca­sional stint at St Pa­trick’s Washdyke.

‘‘It was only by chance that I met the new par­ish priest of Sa­cred Heart, Fa­ther Mick To­massi, who ac­tu­ally ‘tricked’ me into de­cid­ing to play at Sa­cred Heart dur­ing a short-

‘‘From then they kept ask­ing me back.’’

age of or­gan­ists while still work­ing ros­ters at St Thomas’.’’

To­massi was a friend of the Kennedy fam­ily and had seen the young Kennedy play­ing the or­gan at St Thomas’.

‘‘He said to me ‘come and play at the basil­ica’.

‘‘He asked and asked and asked and I said ‘no, no no’.’’

One evening Kennedy’s flat­mate took a phone call while Kennedy was out.

‘‘It was Fa­ther Mick and he told my flat­mate they were hav­ing an or­gan tun­ing and asked me to come along. So stupid me did and I looked over and here was John O’Reilly who was run­ning a fu­neral home.’’

Kennedy was promptly handed a list of songs to play and he got down to busi­ness.

‘‘From then they kept ask­ing me back.’’

He said he had en­joyed his time pro­vid­ing mu­sic to parish­ioners.

A high­light was or­gan­is­ing two stints with tele­vi­sion pro­gramme Praise Be.

Ti­maru Holy Fam­ily Par­ish priest Rev­erend Brian Fen­nessy said it was nice to be able to ac­knowl­edge Kennedy’s ser­vice.

‘‘Fifty years is a long time. It is a big com­mit­ment.’’

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