A Sisterhood of Song

Scrapbooks of the Babaneek Women’s Choir

These scrapbooks were compiled by the Babaneek Ladies’ Choir (1950-1982) and are a reminder of their community work between 1950-1973 and 1979-1981. They trace the choir’s long performance history throughout the Lake Macquarie and Hunter Valley regions.

The Babaneek Ladies’ Choir was motivated by the charitable intention of bringing joy and comfort through song, this included to senior citizens and people living with disability. The scrapbooks reveal the many performances at events like fundraisers, weddings, and funerals.

The scrapbooks are full of interesting details. For instance, choir members noted things like the characteristics of performance spaces—perhaps a club with a ‘cramped’ stage or, more pleasingly, a church which made their voices ‘ring out’ beautifully. Other everyday details include notes about the weather on performance days, which members did and didn’t turn up, and which songs were sung. One book contains a detailed list of over 100 choir members, and the dates they joined and departed the choir.

Alongside many thank-you cards and letters from grateful listeners there are memory-filled notes from choir members, written when the choir began to fold in 1981. These notes speak to the decades-long friendships that formed in the choir and their dedication to their audiences. Forged through the joys and challenges of performance, the choir was a sisterhood of song.