Singing almost six decades
WHEN you’ve spent almost six decades as a member of a singing club it just has to say something about your passion for, well, singing.
Enid Williams has been singing all her life and recently clocked up 57 years as a member of the Grafton Glee Singers.
“I grew up with a family that all loved music,” she said.
“Right from a little thing, we had a pianola and I loved that.
“We didn’t have a wireless and a television or that sort of thing then and we used that for entertainment.”
Enid said her five siblings all learnt music of some kind.
By the time Enid had got to school, she had joined the school choir and the church choir.
“A love of music is just something I’ve grown up with,” she said.
Enid said Grafton Glee Club was born from a men’s choir which was started mainly by local railway workers.
She said the choir took on a new mixed-gender appearance after a performance at the Saraton Theatre nearly 60 years ago.
“We were asked to sing at the Saraton this one time but they decided they’d like the women in,” she said.
“(At the time) there was no women’s choir, so those that knew the (male) singers got in contact with them and we performed together.
“When we finished entertaining at the Saraton they decided it would be nice if we had a mixed choir.
“So the men would come in first (for practise) and the ladies would come in later in the night, then we’d have the mixed choir.”
It wasn’t hard to pick up just how fond Enid’s memories were of the early days of the mixed choir when she described the original members as “fantastic”, “keen” and “sincere”.
Despite her love of music though, Enid doesn’t have a favourite singer.
“I wouldn’t say I like just one singer; there are so many – I couldn’t name just one,” she said.
“I’m not into the modern music – I like music you can understand and has a story to it.”
And, Enid doesn’t have any plans to pack away her song sheets just yet.
“I’ll keep singing as long as I possibly can,” she said.
“It’s just one of those things; I’ve still got my voice – I’m very lucky.”
Enid also spent 11 years with the “awesome foursome”, as they were known – a singing group that visited retirement homes throughout the Clarence Valley.