At a sad memorial with music, people remembered Judith Durham
We will miss you, you were a great singer, the voice of a generation, and a very kind person.
It was only right that Judith Durham’s memorial service, which took place in the evening, was full of music.
The lead singer of the folk group The Seekers died in August at the age of 79. He had been sick for a long time with a lung disease that caused complications.
Live jazz was playing as people came into Melbourne’s Hamer Hall on Tuesday evening for the service, which was led by Julia Zemiro and Brian Nankervis.
Aunty Di Kerr, a Wurundjeri elder, welcomed the star singer to her country by talking about when she was a teenager and listening to him.
“Morningtown, we all thought we were taking a train to Mornington because we lived in Moorabbin,” she said, referring to the Seekers song Morningtown Ride.
Then, soprano Deborah Cheetham sang “Long Time Living Here” with a string quartet from the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
Then, the Australian Children’s Choir sang the national anthem, and then Vika and Linda Bull sang a duet with a ukulele and a double bass.
Tony Sheehan, Judith Durham’s nephew, spoke at her funeral and told stories about her childhood. Her father played the piano, and her mother wanted her children to be musical.
“Hazel always wanted her kids to be able to hear music,” he said.
“She got what she wanted. “Divine singer, voice of a generation, and generous soul, we will miss you, but we are so proud of you.
The nearly full hall watched recordings of The Seekers’ 50th Anniversary Golden Jubilee Tour, which included the hit songs I’ll Never Find Another You, A World of Our Own, Georgie Girl, and I’m Australian.
David Campbell sang “The Carnival Is Over,” and Beverley Sheehan, Judith Durham’s older sister, also sang. The Melbourne jazz band The Syncopators played in the background.
She said, “This might be the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.”
Kate Ceberano, Paul Kelly, Jimmy Barnes, Joanna Lumley, and Rick Springfield, among others, also sent recorded tributes.
Paul Kelly said that he and Judith Durham worked on a song together. When he said that Morning Town was his daughters’ favorite song, she sang it to them before bed.
He said, “That was Judith. She was kind, generous, and loved to make other people happy.”
“But behind that sweetness and gentleness, there was a steely strength of mind that was hard to see.”
She went her own way, dancing to the beat of her own drum.
Durham made her first record when she was 19, and when she joined The Seekers in 1963, she became famous all over the world.
In the 1960s, the band, which also had Athol Guy, Keith Potger, and Bruce Woodley, had hits like “The Carnival is Over,” “A World of Our Own,” and “Georgy Girl.”
They were the first Australian band to do well on the charts and sell a lot of records in both the UK and the US. In the end, they sold 50 million records.
Durham went on his own in 1968, but he recorded again with The Seekers in the 1990s.