Australia & New Zealand
Practicing on a tennis court is what some recall from the first stop in Cairns, Australia. Singers had to blink back their weariness from the trans-Pacific and inner Australia flights. A boat trip to the Great Barrier Reef delighted many. Next stop was Brisbane where we stayed in a hotel, felt a bump to the back end of our travel bus, then made it to the stage of the World’s Expo to sing for the July 4 program hosted by Art Linkletter.
Later we toured a wild life sanctuary, meeting the famous fauna of the land Down Under: koalas and kangeroos.
Next, we were in Sydney where we toured the Harbor and took our turn singing in the hallway of the famed Opera House before we saw an opera there. We posed for this photo with the Sydney Harbor Bridge in the background. My copy shows we weren’t quite ready for the final shot! Our public singing in Sydney was at St. Martin’s Square where the jackhammers from local high-rise construction nearly drowned us out!
"Our public singing in Sydney was at St. Martin's Square where the jackhammers from local highrise construction nearly drowned us out!"
Our bus ride in the Blue Mountains, past the Twin Sisters lookout took us to Orange where we had home stays and sang for a local audience. The July weather chilled us to the bone, but the heated mattress pads helped at night.
After our flight to Auckland, we visited a museum, then were bussed to Rotorua where we were hosted in the homes of local folks once again. One of our members, Dr. Tom Harms, later married his host, Maggie! We were treated to a dinner and show put on by local Maori tribes; we mostly recall the men’s hanging tongues during their dances. Their woodworking skills were spectacular.
Back in Auckland before our flights home, we posed on a hilltop. I, Ila Leavy, was teaching in Australia that year but got to join the Chorale for song, having memorized the music on my own ahead of the trip. It’s fun to recall!
Respectfully Submitted by Alumni Ila Leavy, Alto