(precede) For 19 years, choir group leader Mary Simms has raised her voice in Sing Australia Geelong. The local branch of the country-wide organisation is dedicated to showing the power of singing for health and wellbeing. The Geelong local has lived there since 1990, growing friendships and a career. Mary told Elsie Lange what she loves about the life she’s built, her delight in music and her connection to her home.
Tell us a bit about you and what you do?
I am the eldest of eight children, I am blessed with four children and six grandchildren and have a little dog named Tuppence. I have worked in aged care as a diversional therapist since 1995 – a busy but very rewarding career. I enjoy my garden, art and crafts and a wide variety of music. I play the piano, guitar, handbells and the harp and I love to sing.
What groups are you involved in?
I have been involved in Sing Australia Geelong for 19 years, currently as group leader. Singing with the choir makes you feel good and reduces stress and singing together gives us a connection not only within our group, but the wider community.
I have also been a bell ringer with the Geelong Handbell Choir for about six years.
What’s your connection to Geelong?
I came to live in Geelong in 1990 with my family, have made some wonderful friends, and found and made a career in diversional therapy. It has given me lots of opportunities to grow as a person.
What do you like about where you live?
I like living in Leopold as I feel safe, I am close to shops, work and amenities and don’t have to travel far to be either at the beach or in the bush – the best of both worlds at your doorstep.
What, if anything, would you change about where you live?
I don’t think I’d change anything about where I live, but I often wish I had a fairy godmother who would renovate my home for me.
Where is your favourite local place to spend time?
My favourite local place to spend time is taking a stroll along one of our lovely beaches.
Tell us something people would be surprised to know about you.
I collect golliwogs.
Sing Australia Geelong meets on Wednesday evenings at the Belmont Seniors Centre, 52 Thomson Street, Belmont from 7.30-9.30 pm. No auditions necessary, just a love of singing.