The Choir community was saddened to learn of the passing of Yvonne Bird OAM, the NBCA’s long-serving Treasurer.
Mrs Bird was the NBCA’s Treasurer for 18 years, during the 1970’s, 80’s and early 90’s. Her tireless work established the financial framework that enabled the NBCA to realise its vision in acquiring its own premises. The NBCA’s home in Pilgrim Court is where current choristers attend rehearsals, in-house showcases and other Choir community activities including audition days, fundraising events and more. Our Choir community has been travelling to Pilgrim Court since 1992, a location that has allowed the NBCA to grow and flourish. Without Mrs Bird’s work, the NBCA would not be nurturing the talents of 200+ choristers across three choirs each year in such spacious surrounds. Come Christmas rehearsal time, the Performing Choir, Men’s Choir and full orchestra all fit in the Casey Studio. Mrs Bird saw the need for larger premises (a ‘home’ in her words), having worked with the Choir during those earlier years of rehearsals being held at NBCA Founder, Mr Kevin Casey’s home and holding Choir camps in Mirboo North in country Victoria and later at Scots School in Bathurst in New South Wales. Those earlier camps became what the NBCA now knows as weekend workshops. The location of Pilgrim Court in proximity to the M3 allows the NBCA to recruit choristers from further afield.
At the start of each year the NBCA welcomes Elementary choristers to commence their choral journey, and Junior choir to continue their studies, in the Bird Studio. The Bird Studio is a nod to both Mrs Bird and her husband Mr Harold Bird OAM. Mr Bird was NBCA’s Administrative Director for 27 years. Mrs Bird was awarded her OAM in 2008 for her services to the community, particularly the NBCA community and the Heidelberg Ladies Probus.
The NBCA was honoured to acknowledge Mrs Bird’s admirable dedication to the Choir at a memorial service in July. A small selection of Performing choristers sang How blest are they who fear the Lord by Stephen Oliver, conducted by Mr Peter Casey.