AN­ZAC Re­cre­ation al­most a cen­tury on

Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - NEWS - By WENDY STEPHENS

BEECH­WORTH Or­gan So­ci­ety held a con­cert in the Town Hall in late De­cem­ber to re-cre­ate the orig­i­nal Wel­come Home for the Beech­worth ANZACs over a cen­tury ago.

The program bought to life the mu­sic, songs and po­etry that re hu­mour of the times.

The en­thu­si­as­tic ca­pac­ity au­di­ence took time to dress in 1918 fash­ions.

At the start young Liam Ni­chol­son played the bag­pipes and his brother Ai­den ac­com­pa­nied him on the drums to cre­ate at­mos­phere at the front of the Town Hall be­neath a large ‘Wel­come Home’ ban­ner.

Mem­bers of the Aus­tralian Great War As­so­ci­a­tion came from Melbourne to be a part of the con­cert wear­ing gen­uine orig­i­nal uni­forms from 1918.

Matt Aldridge whose char­ity ‘The Coo wee Ride’ raises money for vet­er­ans and farm­ers who are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing hard times with men­tal health, came with Michael White­head from Whit­tle­sea and his horse Winifred.

When asked if he could get ing his re­sponse was, “We are not go­ing to let some rain stop us… in true AN­ZAC spirit we will be there” and the pro­ceeds from the con­cert were do­nated to his wor­thy cause.

Mu­si­cal di­rec­tor San­dra Wil­liams pulled out ‘all the stops’ to show off the Town Hall Or­gan with mu­sic and songs from the times with se­lec­tions from Aus­tralia, France and Bri­tain telling the story of how The Great War im­pacted on a small town like Beech­worth.

the mood of the time with the clas­si­cal mu­sic ‘Menuet’ from ‘Le Tombeau de Couperin’, and ‘The Fairy Bar­que’played as a duet on the pi­ano with Ali­son Davey.

Janet Tweedie sang ‘My Hero’ from the very pop­u­lar ‘The Choco­late Soldier’, Mark Stephens sang ‘The Rose of No Mans Land’ and ‘Song of Aus­tralia’ as well as his own com­po­si­tion about lo­cal man Bill Bir­rell who never came home.

Poignant po­etry recitals in­cluded ‘A let­ter to the Front’ from ‘The Sen­ti­men­tal Bloke’, pre­sented by Ian Thread­gold, and Fr Thomas Les­lie bought to life the mov­ing po­etry of ‘Christ­mas in the Trenches’.

Lo­cal singer and mu­si­cian 10 year old Bon­nie Melbourne ac­com­pa­nied by her father Jack , gave a beau­ti­ful performance of her orig­i­nal songs, ‘I pray you re­mem­ber’ and ‘Bet­ter than this’.

The hugely pop­u­lar, ‘Where war song from the 1960’s made fa­mous by Peter, Paul and Mary, was beau­ti­fully sung by Lynne Oliver, San­dra Wil­liams and Mark Stephens.

Fi­nally, with amaz­ing longevity, Dame Nel­lie Melba re­turned to sing ‘There’s No Place Like Home’, and ended the con­cert with ‘Auld Lang Syne’ with the en­tire au­di­ence and cast join­ing in. LET­TERS: Ian Thread­gold re­cites ‘A Let­ter to the Front’- ‘Bill’s let­ter to his mate Gin­ger Mick in Gal­lipoli’ from the hugely pop­u­lar ‘The Sen­ti­men­tal Bloke’ by Aus­tralia’s lar­rikin poet lau­re­ate at the time - C J De­nis. PHO­TOS: Mark Stephens

EN­TER­TAIN­ERS: The cast and crew from the Beech­worth Or­gan So­ci­ety. Richard Gray, David Lawrence, San­dra Wil­liams, Chris­tine Cans­field-Smith, Wendy Stephens, Ian Thread­gold, Janet Tweedie, Jack and Bon­nie Melbourne with Matt Aldridge, Paul Peakay, Michael Rear­don and Michael White­head on his beau­ti­ful horse, Winifred.

WIBBLY WOB­BLY WALK: In re­hearsal are Leigh Priv­ett, Will Arnold and Peter Lep­pert bring­ing ‘The Wibbly Wob­bly Walk’ to life to the de­light of the au­di­ence as it hap­pened 100 years ago.

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