1: The WA tour begins!

Today was the first day of the 2019 “The Meeting Place” Singers tour to WA!

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Our first stop was Brisbane airport, the departures lounge. Nice and early, the choristers arrived and checked in, excitement bubbling in the air for the flight.

After a smooth and easy plane ride, the Singers and Birralee staff members arrived in Perth, just after midday! They all hopped on a bus, heading to Wellington Cottages, with only one problem – the road was blocked. Fabulous staff to the rescue – they swiftly moved the road work blockades to allow us safe passage!

Arriving at the idyllic Wellington Cottages, we were greeted by quaint residences and a kangaroo family! This was very exciting for our young Singers. Meeting in the hall around 5pm, Mrs C gave us all a rundown of the next few days ahead, leaving the children in anticipation for tomorrow’s events!

Separating into our cabin groups, we all began to explore our own living spaces for the next two days! Staff members Jo Bottrell and Claire Pell helped come around to the various cottages to light and stoke the fireplaces to keep us warm in the WA evening chill. For dinner, each cottage had deconstructed burrito bowls and dessert ranged from ice cream and homemade brownies – YUM! With full stomachs we headed to bed, resting up for tomorrow!

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Sunday started with a brisk temperature but smiling faces – some young kangaroos came to say ‘hello’ to some Singers! Many Cottages had breakfasts of croissants, cereal and cheese on toast to fill us up for our first destination – the Dolphin Discovery Centre in Bunbury! This informative, interactive facility gave us all an opportunity to learn about the local aquatic wildlife in the Bunbury Bay Area. Turtles, manta ray, sharks and an array of amazing fish delighted the Singers and parents who met up with us. We viewed a feeding of a turtle and also a very sneaky octopus – who cheekily sprayed the closest Singers with some water! Singers then headed out to the beach, climbed aboard two boats and began their adventure to spot some dolphins! See some photos below of this incredible experience!

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Arriving back at midday, our Singers walked along the beachside to the Summer Beach Kiosk; our pre-ordered lunches were consumed with gusto! Our next stop was the Lighthouse Hotel, and we leisurely walked through beautiful Bunbury up to the point of the peninsula.

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Here we met with the Bunbury Men Of Song (BMOS) – a Choir Birralee love and have sung with many times! Here we rehearsed with BMOS and the Bunbury Boys our massed repertoire for the evening.

Doors opened at 5pm, and the concert this evening was live-streamed (head to the Bunbury Men Of Song Facebook page to see the entire show!). The Singers gave two well-received sets, singing successfully in their diverse repertoire. Highlights included ‘The Great Emu War’ with the Bunbury Boys featuring soloists Daniel Cusack and Mac Gynther, and ‘Peace Song’ with BBV/Singer duets and effective sign language movements. Our friends the BMOS sang an entertaining two sets with a repertoire including a touching ‘Homeward Bound’ and a selection of Paul Jarman pieces such as ‘Eye Of The Needle’ and ‘Follow The Drinking Gourd’! Finishing with massed pieces, the audience’s standing ovation rounded out a wonderful and thrilling musical night!

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Our night finished with a wonderful dinner in the local DOME cafe, hosted by BMOS – our communal dinner featured scrumptious servings of lasagna, salt and pepper squid salad and steak sandwiches! Our filling dinner and a busy day left our choristers a little exhausted so we headed back to our cosy cottages – with fireplaces rekindled – to sleep for our next day!

We invite you to keep following the journey of our WA tour!

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Written by: Joshua Clifford and Ally Dunk

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