Last Sunday, November 4th, the Chamber Choir assembled soon after 9am at the National Maritime Museum on Darling Harbour. The occasion was the unveiling of a new section of the Welcome Wall – 300 new names had been added, bringing the total to over 25,000 names of individuals and families who arrived as immigrants to make new lives for themselves in Australia.
The Chamber Choir were delighted to have been invited once again to sing at this very special occasion. Our main set started off the proceedings, as the crowd gathered. At 11am the occasion was formally opened by the Director of the Museum, who introduced SBS presenter Kathy Novak who told her story – on of 7 billion as she reminded us – a great tale that started with the perhaps surprising information that she is a born Aussie – not an American or Canadian as many assume from her accent.
Two representatives of less well-known families followed with stories no less interesting and at many points quite moving. Separation, reunion and great sacrifice in building a life in a new land. So it was with some emotion that we led the crowd in Advance Australia Fair to conclude. A lovely morning for all – we hope to join the ceremony again next time.