After 40 years living in Australia, a stalwart of the Orange music scene is packing her bags to return to her hometown of New Plymouth in New Zealand where she still has family and friends.
When Beverley Glover moves at the end of the month, she will leave behind plenty of other friends and will be return to her homeland as an Australian citizen.
“It’s exciting but the parting is bittersweet and I will come back,” she said.
Ever since Mrs Glover and her late husband Les Glover moved to Orange 28 years ago, she has been the piano accompanist for the Orange Male Voice Choir.
“We’d just moved to Orange from Canowindra where we’d been the newsagents and I was invited to play for the Rowland Gregory Orpheus Singers [as the choir was then known],” she said.
On Saturday she will perform at her final concert with the choir at at 7.30pm at St Mary’s Church on Saturday.
However, her final performance will be a more intimate show at the Wesley Uniting Church on June 25.
Mrs Glover has been involved with choirs since she was in high school and has already lined up an accompanist position with the Taranaki Male Voice Choir in New Zealand, who the Orange choir has sung with before.
Her favourite experience with the choir was during a 2002 tour of England, Wales and Ireland when the choir performed in front of 7000 people at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
“The most exciting part of that was when they announced [then] conductor Leon Paix and I, and they all stood up, there was 1000 men on stage,” Mrs Glover said.
Another memorable moment was when the choir sang I Still Call Australia Home on the Great Wall of China.
As well as accompanying the choir, Mrs Glover has also supported and raised money for people with cancer and went through her own battle with the disease.
She has also worked for three politicians including former Member for Orange Russell Turner, who she worked for seven years, and described as the best boss.
“She’s contributed enormously in the music scene in Orange and was instrumental in keeping the Male Voice Choir together,” Mr Turner said.
“I saw in the last 12 months or so it was inevitable she would return to her New Zealand homeland after losing her beloved husband Les.”