2017-04-01 Solidarity – Turning Thirty

We celebrated our 30th anniversary on Saturday 1st April 2017 at Addison Road Community Centre in Marrickville. We invited everyone who has been associated with us over 30 years to join in an afternoon and evening program of songs and entertainment centered on the Gumbramurra Hall and the surrounding Street Food Market (also on Facebook and on YouTube).

The broad outline of the program was:
1pm Welcome to Country (Budjari Gunyalungalung Baraya–La)
1:15pm-2:30pm Union Friends concert Solidarity, Sydney Trade Union Choir and more.
2:30–3pm Mingle and watch Black Joak Morris (outside)
3-4:30pm Ecopella and Solidarity including songs from Sue Gee and Paul Spencer.
4:30-5pm more mingling and Morris (outside)
5:30-6:30pm The party set. Sing along with some of your favourite Solidarity songs. Also short brackets from Miguel Heatwole, Cathy Rytmeister, Terry Clinton, Glenys Eddy and Jane Scott
6:30-7:10pm eat, drink, catch up with friends
7:10 til late The BIG Concert featuring Bob and Margaret Fagan, John Warner and Jenni MacAllister, Men with Day Jobs, Madadam, Margaret Walters, plus of course, Solidarity Choir.

The program was a series of mixed acts, unified by a social justice background as practiced by the Solidarity Choir and friends over the last thirty years. If you need more information contact Mark at markw1943@gmail.com or 0400-285-974.

The event is a fundraiser for APHEDA, a union-based overseas aid organisation, and for RACS, which helps people seeking protection (RACS stands for Refugee Advice & Casework Service).

The celebrations started at 1pm in the Gumbramurra Hall with performances from Solidarity and groups associated with us over the years, with ample opportunity to sing along and/or join in. The Street Food Market was active from 2pm until 9pm. The back of the Hall was open to the Market so the event served as a live entertainment component of the Market and a place to sit, eat and enjoy. The weather was fine, bright and sunny, and the lawn at the back of the hall was filled with lively activity as well as people relaxing with their exotic street food.

Our draft program opened at 1pm with a performance of Budjari Gunyalungalung Baraya–La (Let’s Sing Good Dreaming) which was composed for Australia Day at Barangaroo by aboriginal elder Jacinta Tobin and former member of the Stiff Gins, Nardi Simpson. We were delighted the composers were present to present the song with us.

We also joined with the Sydney Trade Union Choir to sing Mantaku, a Pitjantjatjara song from the handing back of Uluru in 1985. Former choir members were invited to sing along.

The afternoon section of the program continued with a session of songs by the Sydney Trade Union Choir and songs by a combined choir of members of trade union choirs around Australia, as far away as Victoria and Tasmania.

From about 3pm to 4:30pm there were songs from Solidarity choir and Ecopella and some solo acts from members of these choirs.

The next section of the program featured individual members of Solidarity choir and the choir itself.

The evening section of the program started about 7:15pm. The choir started it by singing Acknowledgement of Aboriginal Land.

The structure of the evening section of the program was entertainers associated with the choir, interspersed with short rounds of a fundraising social justice trivia competition. The acts were Margaret Walters, Madadam, The Fagans, John Warner and Jenni McAllister, and Men With Day Jobs.

The evening finished with a set of Solidarity hits that the audience and other musicians were invited to join in:

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