War songs sing-along: (From left) John Denny, John Cowley, Ted Cowley and Bob Denny with Lesley Telford on piano.
War songs sing-along: (From left) John Denny, John Cowley, Ted Cowley and Bob Denny with Lesley Telford on piano.

War songs for Anzac concert

SUE Higgins struggles briefly when describing the Anzac Day wartime sing-along concert she is organising for Allora’s St Patrick’s Parish.

“Celebration is probably the wrong word, given the context; it’s probably more a commemoration,” she said.

Either way the concert, the first held in the Southern Downs town for years, is expected to attract a crowd.

“No one knows why or when Anzac Day concerts in Allora stopped, but it was once an important tradition; a lovely way of relaxing after the formalities of the morning,” Mrs Higgins said.

The concert concept was revived by St Patrick’s Parish this year as part of their commitment to organising a “social get together with the older generation in mind”.

“Music speaks to all ages,” Mrs Higgins said.

“It is a great way to convey the emotions of the times.”

So with the generous support of local performers, pianist Lesley Telford and brothers John and Bob Denny and John and Ted Cowley, a concert music list is being compiled.

“These are amazingly talented people and I really admire their generosity of spirit, as they are doing this out of the goodness of their hearts and a love of music,” Mrs Higgins said.

She said the song list would reflect the mixed feelings of war: the anxiety and heartbreak, coupled with the larrikin side of Australian troops.

“So many people have become involved with this concert,” she said.

“We’ve had people from across the region generously digging out old sheet music so we can get a really good song list together.”

The choices will range from the heavy hearted, Now is the Hour, to the upbeat, Pack Up Your Troubles.

But music won’t be the only attraction on April 25.

The parish has also organised a distinctly Australian-style afternoon tea complete with lamingtons, sponge cakes and that quintessential national staple, the Anzac biscuit.

“The concert is open to everyone,” Mrs Higgins said.

“It’s really just about getting together as a community and reminiscing and remembering.”

Noted Allora local Ron Smart will also perform.

The tribute concert will be held on April 25 at the Allora Community Hall from 2.30pm at a cost of $10 a person.



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