How often do we see people, work with them, socialise with them, and find we really don't know them at all?

Now and again we tell the stories of some of our members.

In this edition we pried into Iain MacLean's life and found a lot of surprises. Here is his story in his own words (including some lower case 'i's'):

"It is difficult to blow one's trumpet when you play the violin.

Born in Scotland in 1935 i think my life started after world war two ended when, for most, life got back to normal.

in November 1945 a man paid a visit to our family home, call me "Tiff" were his first words to me. This man left a message that has stayed to this day.

Written in the most beautiful hand was, "Good Better Best, Never let us rest, till our good be better , and our better best".

Tiff had taken part, in fact ,was seated at the table in that famous photograph when Japan signed the documents of Surrender in Singapore in September 1945.

My aunt a professional singer with the ABC and not without international fame got me into the Sydney " Con.", my teacher, Mr, Florent Hoogstoel. His Motto, NO pain No Gain. You did not mess with Mr. Hoogstoel. But, what a teacher. all this at the tender age of 11.

In 1950, aged 15, I left school , which I hated, and got myself a job with International violin maker AE Smith as an apprentice violin maker / repairer. if you wanted to make violins you did so in
your time, not his. You were employed to repair.

Working 5 days from 8.30 am to 5pm and Saturday from 9am to noon , all for two pounds nine shillings and six pence, with an hour each way travel time, there was not much time to "MAKE".

I attended East Sydney Tech three nights a week. I just had time to eat on the run, attend class and then run like mad to play in some theatre orchestra till about 10.30pm. I would then go home and study. My time at Smith's was great. I met most of the players from Australia's orchestras as well as, and yes i have to name drop, Menuhin, Campoli and even went to the movies with Michael Rabin. I won Aust Amateur hour on 2CH and 2UW, as well as played for the ABC. I managed to get my Leaving Certificate, and I also made three violins during this time. My first I still play, and March 2014 it has a 60th birthday.

Read more: People

What to expect in 2014...

More delightful afternoons!

Helen Lancaster & Lilly CamdenOur first guest speaker was longtime friend Helen Lancaster, Ph.D. (pictured left with Lilly Camden)

Among other things, Helen spoke about her adventures establishing and running conservatoria in Central Queensland and Thailand, lecturing and examining in Hong Kong as well as guest speaking all over the world.

Read more: What to expect in 2014...

...And the Ecstasy

Lilly and ViolinEcstasy: Oxford dictionary: Exalted state of feeling, rapture (esp. of delight) (Med) morbid state of nerves in which mind is occupied solely by one idea.

Oh dear! I think I’ve used the wrong word. We are happy. There! that’s more to the point.

Over the past year we have had some truly beautiful concerts, two of them in the magnificent home of Richard and Amanda McCarthy at Verrierdale set in the midst of a veritable botanical garden.

The last concert featured violinists Lilly Camden (pictured) and her daughter, Sasha, accompanied by Sayuri Kishi-Debski on piano. 15 year-old Sasha made her concert debut and although very nervous, as one would expect, she acquitted herself beautifully.

Lilly’s emotional playing of Massenet’s Meditation from Thais was hauntingly beautiful.

I hope we can repeat such a lovely concert again, in the same location, in the not too distant future.

We thank Richard and Amanda for their very generous gesture.

Afternoon Delight No. 2

March 21st

Our second guest speaker is Ralph Cadman. Some of you may have attended his U3A lectures, others he may have taught to play Bridge. Indeed, Ralph is a man of many and varied talents.

Following is our press release for this upcoming event, a fascinating story.

"Ralph said that he grew up with a love of music, but no musical background. However, the gods were kind. He happened to live close to the Royal Albert Hall which he frequented often, enjoying the music made in this very illustrious place. He saw over three hundred Prom concerts there as well.

After retiring from the City of London as an investment director and lecturer he went to live in Spain. With his German companion, the two of them followed opera to fifteen countries in Europe, South Africa, Barbados and New York.

Ten years later Ralph sold his Spanish Villa and returned to London and occasional charity work. Six years ago he came to Australia and continued to work for charity. But his story does not stop there.

For the past two years Ralph has been a lecturer at U3A, talking on subjects as diverse as history, economics, on-line share trading and classical music, and weekly classes on Bridge and Opera. Ralph has an enormous collection of opera and aria DVDs which he uses in his lectures. He considers that Dame Joan Sutherland had one of the most fantastic voices and presence on the Opera stage, as did Pavarotti. His collection holds several DVDs and books on the Dame. Hopefully we'll be able to see and hear some".

For bookings call Pat Hahn on 5473 0809

We will schedule one or two more interesting Afternoon Delights between now and July 25. We will also hold a couple of fund-raising parties.

Fund-Raising... Where does all the money go?

We are not just a hedonistic association hell-bent on enjoying ourselves. Our partying has a purpose.

Through your membership fees, proceeds from concerts and other undertakings, generous donations and grants, we have raised enough money to present the Dame Joan Sutherland Vocal Award, purchase the Capellini cello ($30,000), the Primavera violin ($16,000) for the Anthony Camden Fund and the Davidoff cello ($6,600) for the Schools Instrument Bank.

We have also had various instruments donated to us for the SIB.

We are now raising money for a viola for the SIB.

Proceeds from the next number of concerts and/or fund-raisers will go towards that project and, of course Dame Joan Sutherland Award.

We are still hopeful of presenting it again in the year 2014, providing a sponsor comes forth.

As we have previously stated, time and time again, none of this could happen without your financial, physical and moral support. Our gratitude is boundless.

Dame Joan Award Returns

After a hiatus of four years we will be holding the 2014 Dame Joan Sutherland Vocal Competition on Friday 25th July. Mark it in your diaries as a must see. It is in conjunction with the Noosa Longweekend Festival and will showcase the cream of young classical Australian talent. It is due to the generosity of a friend, Lorraine Copley, that we have been able to present the Award this year.

Brad Jarrett

Brad Jarrett and Ike ElkinsIt is with great pleasure that we welcome our new Artistic Adviser, Brad Jarrett.

Brad is one of our DJS Award Judges. He has a vast knowledge of musical and drama productions as well as opera. He has a Diploma in Teaching and a BMG Dip. in Guitar, studied classical singing, was Stage Manager for the Australian Opera Company, created and directed for five years the “Spiers Festival” in South Africa , and is now the Artistic Administrator for Opera Queensland.

In 2003 he was awarded the Australian Centenary Medal for Service to Australian Society and Opera.

Pictured L to R: Brad Jarrett and the late Ike Elkins

Your support has been invaluable to us

Without it, morally and financially, we could not have achieved half of what we have over the past twenty five years. Only once, in all those years, have we had to cancel an event. That was through circumstances not of our making.

We hope you and your friends will join us for one or more of our forthcoming events.

For any information or bookings call Pat Hahn on 07 5473 0809.

Regards, Meg Lawrence


Congratulations to Suzanne Wright

Suzanne busy signing books

Long-time member Suzanne has written a book for dog lovers, specifically to help overcome the trauma of owning and training a new puppy. As she said, it all began when her daughter, Sophie, who lives in New York, rang her and said she had bought a new puppy - “Help! What do I do?”

Many hours of phone calls followed—at the end of which Sophie suggested her mother put all that advice down on paper to help other new pet owners.

So, she did.

The Essential Guide to Puppy Parenting was successfully launched at the Noosa Animal Hospital in Rene Street on Friday 13th in the company of humans and their four pawed friends, many of whom were Suzanne’s puppy school alumni.

The book is available on line as an e-book, and copies are on sale at Annie’s Bookshop in Peregian, Berkelouw’s, Eumundi, and the Noosa Animal Hospital.

Another author in our midst is Susan Beaver, and we mustn’t forget our cynical prose writer, Iain MacLean.

Are there any more authors, poets, song-writers out there? We would love to have a contribution or some information from you to include in our next Newsletter.

Send to PO Box 173, Noosa Heads, or email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Newsletter - Spring / Summer 2012

The Agony and the Ecstasy

Dame Joan Sutherland Award JudgesThe Agony: We have had to defer the Dame Joan Sutherland Vocal Award for yet another year because of lack of sponsorship.

A local philanthropist has offered us a $10,000 donation towards the Award, but we need two more $10,000 donations before we can proceed.

If we were to hold a sporting event, the sponsors would be coming out of the woodwork, so to speak. A cultural Award does not attract a sponsor that easily.

This is not a grievance, but a fact of living in Noosa.

We, at NFA, think we have the best vehicle for sponsorship. We have the richest, most prestigious vocal competition in regional Australia, much sought after by advanced students from every State in Australia. As a national award it is most suitable for a national corporation.

As part of the Noosa longweekend festival, the Finals always attract a full house. The audience is keen to see who of the final six contestants will be the victor.

Probably our most well-known winner on the international stage is Mirusia Louwerse who, a week after winning the Dame Joan Sutherland Award, was asked to audition for Andre Rieu.

Is there anyone out there?

Pictured L to R: Dame Joan Sutherland Award Judges - James Christiensen, Marilyn Richardson, the late Greta Elkins and Brad Jarrett.

Our Association is a properly constituted body

We have monthly meetings, and an AGM..

We are made up of a Management Committee, with Standing Committees reporting to Management.

All meetings are duly minuted. These Minutes are readily available to Members upon request.