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December 16, 2017

Music career spans 66 years

MUSIC LOVERS: Nancy Jones (second left) with Prof Margaret Barton (centre) and family.
MUSIC LOVERS: Nancy Jones (second left) with Prof Margaret Barton (centre) and family. Contributed

Lifetime of music

SIXTY-six years of teaching music in the one city came to an end for Nancy Jones (nee White) when she retired in 1986.

It was thought that this probably created state and Australian records in her field.

English-born Nancy came to Australia with her parents in 1914 and lived in Booval House.

This is near Blackstone and she was fostered in music by her father, the Welsh community and the Parry family.

Her tutor was the wonderful musician Ida Ponti. Nancy gained her teaching and music qualifications from only 13 years of age and in 1927 was offered a scholarship in London but, due to family circumstances, was unable to take advantage of the opportunity offered.

Thelma Bickle (Mrs Bridley) was Nancy’s first pupil from 1920 to 1925 when Nancy started teaching at 13 years of age and her last student prior to her retirement was Ken Ingram from 1976 to 1986.

In her early teens, Nancy was pianist for the silent movies when “mood” music was played to help the story along and later became leader of the Wintergarden Theatre orchestra.

This very busy musician over her 66 years of teaching was also pianist and conductor of the Blackstone/Ipswich Cambrian Choir, organist at St Stephen’s Presbyterian Church and also St Paul’s; formed the first orchestra for the Ipswich Little Theatre Society and started Saturday morning broadcasts of local artists over Radio Station 4IP.

Nancy Jones adjudicated at eisteddfods in many Queensland centres and was a life member of the Queensland Eisteddfod Council and the Blackstone/Ipswich Cambrian Choir.

Life had always centred on music during her lifetime and husband Ray Jones was an outstanding tenor in her earlier days.

Two of her most successful students were Professor Margaret Barton (Booval), later of Rome, Italy, who won the same scholarship offered to Nancy in 1927 and Dr Peter Roennfeldt.

Cottage hospital

HIS Excellency the Governor Sir William McGregor visited Esk on March 28, 1913, to formally open the new Esk general nursing home. A maternity nursing home had been in existence in Esk for five or six years, but it became necessary to establish a permanent nursing home.

The building of a cottage hospital on land donated by Mr J M Chaille was achieved with money lent to the committee by Mr Chaille.

It was a wooden building with eight bedrooms (six single and two double), a dining room, kitchen and storeroom with verandas back and front. There was also a smaller building with four bedrooms some distance behind the main building to be used as the isolation ward for those suffering infectious diseases.

At the opening ceremony, the Esk patrol of the legion of frontiersmen rode under its captain Ernest F Lord to meet his Excellency; the Esk Town band provided the music and scholars of the Esk State School were on hand wearing red, white and blue hat bands and sashes to sing “When the Empire Calls”.

Refrigeration

FIRST refrigerator in the colony… On October 5, 1897, The Queensland Times reported that an automatic refrigerator had been invented and constructed by Messrs Sealy, Malcolm and Napier, of Harrisville. It was said to be the first refrigerator of its kind to have been seen in the colony. A demonstration of its workings was given in Messrs Howes Bros Building, Countess St, Brisbane.

Opium

IN JANUARY 1883, members of the Glamorgan Vale farmers’ club were interested in the cultivation of opium. Members said the poppy seed had for many years been cultivated on the Richmond River area near the New South Wales border and they felt it could be successfully grown in Glamorgan Vale. There was an import duty of 20 shillings a pound on opium and this brought the price to be paid here to 35 shillings a pound.

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Music career spans 66 years