Author Our blog posts are written by our singers, our parents, our President, Creative Director and edited by Antony Dubber, our Media Officer.
The Great Hall of Parliament House has hosted many great events over its 31 year history, but none quite like the Honouring Women United by Defence Service (HWUDS) Dinner, held on Wednesday evening, August 14.
There was also a memorable Last Post ceremony held at the Australian War Memorial, with wreaths laid by Governor General Major General David Hurley, Defence Minister Linda Reynolds and many other dignitaries from New Zealand, France and Italy, as well as our choir ‘Nonna’ and President, Rhonda Vanzella OAM (in her role as a representative of the War Widows Guild Australia,), friend of the choir and wife of a former serviceman, Gwen Cherne, plus many other women who are currently serving and who had once served this great country of ours.
Many who attended found both events quite moving and solemn occasions to remember but also to thank women and girls and their families who have served our country valiantly and with great honour.
At the dinner, our Choir Director, OJ Rushton, and stage manager Amy Feldman led the choir in singing ‘Stronger Together’, the Sara Bareilles song ‘See You Be Brave’, choir staple ‘Extraordinary Strangers’ and 20th Century classics such as ‘Wish me Luck as you wave me Goodbye’ and ‘You are My Sunshine’, in which we were joined by the Governor General’s wife and patron of our choir, Linda Hurley. Oberon mob director Chloe Swannell also sang a moving rendition of Redgum’s ‘I was Only 19’, honouring those who had served in Vietnam.
Choir member Grace Stefaniuk also made a great ‘conductor’ for the crowd, too.
Although it was a somewhat long and late night, it was certainly an evening no one will ever forget with great memories to cherish and with a sense of relief and satisfaction, and they all certainly slept well that night! - by Antony Dubber