Members Article: Barunga Village “In Concert” – an Anzac Day Special Event!

ImageHandler (1)

Barunga Village is an Aged Care facility in the small sea side town of Pt. Broughton some two hours north of Adelaide in South Australia.

As part of our regular activity program here, we have a choir made up of approx. 25 residents. We practice weekly on Tuesday mornings. After about 3 months of regular practice we put on a concert for the other residents in the home as well as other community members. In the past few years we have performed at the local RSL Club (for the Anzac Concert), as well as other aged care facilities in nearby towns and at Christmas time we perform as part of the Christmas festival held each year in the town.

The choir members are absolutely amazing. Each of our concerts is about an hour in length, of continuous singing. They love performing in front of a large audience, which in a small town is often hard to achieve. They love being part of the choir and they love their singing. At times I am amazed at how good a job they do – they seem to lift in their enthusiasm when the concert day arrives.

This year, for the choir’s Anzac concert, I wanted to do something special for the residents that we hadn’t done before. So I thought why not involve a nursing home in New Zealand? Australia and New Zealand are the two main countries that make up the Anzac tradition and this year is even more important as it is the Centenary of the Anzac tradition beginning.

I set about emailing nursing homes in New Zealand and after 2 weeks of no replies I threw caution to the wind, picked out a home off the internet and gave the home, which was the Radius Fulton Care Centre in Dunedin, on the South island of New Zealand, a phone call.

Getting a phone call from a fellow Lifestyle coordinator in far off South Australia was probably the last thing Beth Sizemore, the Diversional Therapy Coordinator at Radius Fulton, expected that morning!

I explained my idea to her, which was to do a Skype link up for our choir’s Anzac Concert. She was thrilled to receive my phone call and thought it a wonderful idea to involve her home in Dunedin with ours in Pt. Broughton, for the concert.

For the record, the concert will be on the 24th of April and will start at 10.30am South Australian time – 1pm Dunedin time). The President of our local RSL Club will deliver the Anzac Ode before our Chaplain Barbara Jeeves gives a short prayer. The choir will then sing the New Zealand National anthem followed by the Australian Nation Anthem. The choir will then sing a selection of their favourite war time songs.
At the conclusion of the concert, I will give a closing address followed by the choir and their audience, both in New Zealand and here in Pt. Broughton, singing Now Is The Hour, which is also known as ”The Maori’s Farewell”.

Our residents at Barunga Village are very excited at having the opportunity to sing to the audience in New Zealand this year. The regular practices each week, and then the concerts each year, bring all the residents at Barunga village together with the community. Whether they like to sing or just like to listen, we love to have them taking part in the choir performances. The choir members know they are part of something very special.

I would like to thank Beth Sizemore of the Radius Fulton Care Centre in Dunedin for her enthusiasm from the start of the project. I am sure it will be a wonderful day, and I think there is no reason why we can’t make it a regular event each year.

Submitted by Darren Robinson, Lifestyle Coordinator at Barunga Village, SA and DTA Tas Board Rep.

Scroll to Top