MORRIS dancers aren’t what you would normally expect to see outside a church after a funeral service.
But that’s exactly what about 400 mourners at Orange Regional Gallery director Alan Sisley’s funeral witnessed yesterday.
Mr Sisley was a lifelong morris dancer, and a group of performers paid tribute to his love of the folk dance outside St Michael’s Anglican Church at Vaucluse.
Friends of the Orange Regional Gallery (FORG) member Gregson Edwards was one of many Orange residents who travelled to Sydney for the funeral.
“The morris dancers who formed up out the front of the church left a space for him,” he said.
Several artists and long time friends of Mr Sisley were among mourners including Tim Storrier and Rodney Pople.
The service sheet included two portraits of the late director - one of him laughing on the front and a more “wild and psychedelic” version of Mr Sisley in his brightest clothes on the back with his trademark quote: “whack-O the diddly-O”, according to the gallery’s collections manager Brad Hammond who was also among mourners.
“It was a beautiful service,” he said.
“It was funny at times and very sad at other times.”
Orange art identities Jane Raffin, Dr Andrew Flatau and Courtney Hawke also attended, along with Orange City Council’s cultural and community services director Scott Maunder, FORG president Ros Kemp, the gallery’s assistant director Brenda Gray, services coordinator Claire Buchanan and attendants Catherine Phillips and Heather Pike.