Why is Our Glad Association important to the Bundaberg Region?
Gladys Moncrieff was born just outside Bundaberg in the Wide Bay Shire of Isis.
She and her mum were taken to Bundaberg hospital and so she was registered here.
There are other singers Bundaberg can be proud of, but none made the exceptional success that Our Glad did.
She became the highest paid artist of her time and was celebrated for many years as the greatest Musical Hall singer of her day.
Gladys would sing full musical productions five days a week and on weekends through two world wars and for wartime charities, giving of her talent for free.
Gladys Moncrieff earned herself an OBE for her efforts.
What significant events does Our Glad celebrate?
As Gladys’ three important dates – birth, marriage and death – all fall around Easter, we try to hold functions for her, especially for her birthday on 13 April.
Last year her 130th was spectacular, with a full concert of her life.
This year her 131st was also a special event with a showing of her portraits donated by Stuart Greene of Sydney.
It marks the fact that the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre now has these permanently on display.
One of our aims is to make Gladys relevant to today’s youth and so in the near future we hope to organise a yearly talent quest to bring this about – watch this space!
Tell us about Our Glad Association Inc?
I know there are still people whose families remember Gladys and her own family for when they lived here.
I would very much like all stories that people have to be told to me so that I can write a more comprehensive book about her life.
She retired to the Gold Coast which upset many Bundaberg people, but she was a world figure and wanted to be accessible by airline travel.
She sincerely loved Queensland.
I continue to compile information re Gladys through a Facebook page called Gladys Moncrieff OBE Superstar.
Her biography is something to be proud of and needs to have her achievements remembered as the outstanding Australian she was.
I am determined not to have her forgotten by her hometown of Bundaberg.
At age six, she sang in public for the first time in the Queens Theatre in Woongarra Street where we placed a plaque on the building to commemorate the event.
The family went to Maryborough where she started primary school before dad took them further north chasing his work.
She sang in all her school productions of Gilbert and Sullivan and was famous later on for all those leading roles.
Our patron, Dr Roslyn Dunbar-Wells, won the Gladys Moncrieff Macquarie radio contest when she was 16.
She went on to have a very successful singing career.
How did Our Glad start?
In 2012 I came to Bundaberg from Sydney.
My husband Peter Egan OAM and I were both trained in classical voice, and we sang concerts for charity for 40 years.
Gladys’ songs suited my voice.
So, naturally I looked around to see how Bundaberg celebrated their own Gladys Moncrieff.
I decided to start an association about Our Glad.
How can the community become involved?
Our Association is open to all music lovers, especially if they admired Gladys.
We meet at 2 pm at the Spotted Dog on the first Tuesday of the month but it can vary depending.
Our members are regularly advised.