M husband Peter Egan and I were both amateur singers. Peter was a broadcaster, presenting classical music on ABC FM, and we sang all our lives, and quite a lot for charity. We’d do some opera in the  first half of the program and then in the second we’d sing lighter music. Well, it turned out that the songs Gladys Moncrieff made famous suited my voice, and so I sang them often and knew them well. When my husband died in 2011, I came up to Bundaberg to be with my siblings.

I joined a classical music choir, the Orpheus Singers, and I started to meet people who loved classical music. I remembered that Gladys Moncrieff was born in Bundaberg (or as I later found out, in North Isis, near Bundaberg) so I started to look around for evidence of her.

Gladys Moncrieff (1892 – 1976) was the most famous, best-loved singer of operetta and musical comedy that Australia has ever produced. Her father was a pianist and a beautiful baritone and her mother was a professional singer. She was the youngest of four children, all talented musically. When Gladys was six, she sang The...

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