“It’s not about me” – “There’s always someone worse off than yourself” – “Say what you think and then move away”. These are just a few of the nuggets of wisdom unearthed in a conversation with 88 year old Forever Young choir member, Patricia King.
Having had 6 children of her own and now with 6 great grandchildren, Patricia is no stranger to doling out advice. But it is never uninvited and indeed, like so many of her generation, her humility is her defining feature.
Patricia is a new-comer to Bendigo and to the Forever Young choir, having joined this year when a friend and fellow choir member, Wendy, introduced her to the idea of singing each week. Having sung in a church choir in Melbourne for 25 years it has not taken Patricia long to settle in with her new group of friends and to an all-together new repertoire of songs.
But don’t be too fooled by the quiet persona.
“I’ve been to Jimmy Barnes concerts, you know. With 4 boys and 3 girls, it was probably inevitable.
Patricia says that Choir Director, Laura Dusseljee is amazing.
“Laura is unpredictable. You never know week to week what she might get us doing.
“She is very open. She smiles all the time and is extremely humble.
“We practised today with the Girton Grammar orchestra, which has been a highlight for me. Laura had the instrument conductors on a string. She is marvellous,” she said.
When Patricia is asked how on earth she managed to raise 6 children she is not phased.
“I did have some help. My husband ran a company and sometimes people would come to him looking for work so he would direct them to me so I had a bit of help with ironing and cleaning and things like that. My husband was wonderful like that.
“But also, back then, children were independent much sooner than they are today. They were free to roam further and longer and did not demand as much of parents as they do today.
“We had a holiday house in Glen Maggie and I have such wonderful memories of spending the school holidays together as a family down there,” she said.
Patricia’s favourite song that the choir is singing at the moment is “I Will Be Seeing You” and she thinks on the night of the concert that “Barcelona” and “When We Were Young” will be the stand-out songs.
“I sit at the back of the choir so I don’t think I will be too nervous at my first concert.
“And if I do get nervous I will just remind myself that it’s not about me,” she said.