Military wives are often also partners of veteran's....here is what happened when the two collided!
Early in 2015 I received a request from Mrs Linda Hurley, the Patron of the Australian Military Wives Choir (AMWChoir). Linda was the keynote speaker at an Australian Defence Force families event and wanted to use Military Wife as part of her address - she needed a recording.
Following her speech, Linda was approached by the National President of the Partners of Veterans Association of Australia (PVA), Narelle Bromhead. The message of the song resonated deeply with Narelle and she asked Linda where she could obtain a copy - she was interested in presenting it to the PVA representatives at an upcoming conference. Narelle felt it would make a great association song.
Narelle requested a recording of the song to play at a reception hosted by Lady Lyn Cosgrove, wife of His Excellency, the Governor General of Australia. Assuming that this reception would be held in Canberra, I responded by saying, ‘I can send you a recording, but why don’t we come and sing it for you in person?’
Narelle became very excited and as she revealed more detail about the conference I realised that I had just committed the choir, based largely in Canberra at the time, to performing at Admiralty House - in Sydney!
Ah, well. It was only a month away. I doubted that the security and other clearances for such an event could be obtained in that time frame. I let the AMWChoir committee know, but did not consider it a high possibility. I did confirm with our accompanist, Sylvia, just in case.
Never underestimated the bond of ‘military wives’. Years before, Narelle and Lady Cosgrove were neighbours! Two weeks prior to the PVA reception we were seated in a national committee meeting when I received a phone call from Narelle. Yes, we were invited; yes, they wanted us to sing Military Wife; yes, we needed to supply the details of all participants for security clearance!
I came back to the meeting table with a sheepish grin. I had to grin! We had just been invited to sing for PVA representative’s, the Governor General and Lady Cosgrove! Sheepishness was also appropriate as Sydney was a three hour trip and the choir had to commit funds to get the singers there. You can imagine the excitement that spilled over onto the table and the unanimous, ‘we have the funds, lets do it!’
Two weeks later we found ourselves travelling to Admiralty House, Sydney, with fifteen voices between two vehicles - rehearsing over a phone!
The response to the song from PVA representatives was touching. Though further along the military wife path than our singers, the message resonated strongly - they were moved. PVA representatives voted to adopt Military Wife as their association song, Lady Cosgrove validated the songs message to our singers, and the Governor General asked that the song be made available to all serving Defence members - particularly those serving in conflict.
Never underestimate the power of military wives colliding! (Or should that be colluding?!)