Vera, Jewel of Deloraine

Vera, Jewel of Deloraine

JANUARY 2018 | Hayley Manning

THE PEOPLE’S Choice Award for Dedication to the Country Music Industry was presented to Mrs Vera Wadley, at the Italian Club late in 2017.

Friends and associates refer to the long-term Reedy Marsh resident as: “Our Jewel of Deloraine,” for her tireless fundraising and musical achievements over the last 30 years.

Vera and The Charity Singers are supported by other enthusiastic country singers and players from around Tassie and the mainland, during their ‘fundraising fun nights’, which are held at the Deloraine RSL Club, on the third Saturday of each month.

Vera and co-founders Helen, Peter and Don, began raising funds ‘right at the start’ in order to purchase all their ‘gear’, and it slowly built up from there.

“We started off jamming at my place with our guitars but it soon became too small, so we began performing at the RSL,” she said.

Vera is still performing with her Charity Singers despite recent health issues and a specialist’s prediction that she would not sing again.

A defiant Vera said she got up and sang two songs the first night she was released from hospital!

“It was what I wanted to do. While I can still walk; it’s what keeps me going. That’s what I love”.

Reiki and meditation friend Liz Barrett said “She is just amazing. What she does for everyone while her health is not the best.”

A common theme among all the volunteer performers’ is that helping others during times of unexpected hardship can be a rewarding and life-enriching experience. The Charity Singers fund-raise for Cystic Fibrosis, Camp Quality and anyone in the community who requires assistance.

They raised $500 at their December 2017 event to help a widow, while other fundraisers have enabled children to travel to Melbourne or Hobart for surgery.

Vera has also taught people to sing with a ‘no nonsense approach’. “You have to be honest with them or they will not progress; many of my learners have left to continue on with their careers,” she said.

The gifted songwriter won an award in the Tasmanian and New Zealand Song Writing Competition in 2007, with two songs based on real-life events: My Treasured Picture and The Gift of Music, a song about a boy who was born with a disability and couldn’t read or write, but soon progressed after Vera introduced him to the guitar and drums.

Another major award was presented to Vera and other Cystic Fibrosis fundraisers by Tasmanian Governor, Peter Underwood (dec), for ‘significant contribution to Cystic Fibrosis Tasmania’ at Government House, Hobart in 2012, followed by a Meander Valley Council Certificate of Recognition for Contribution to Community: 3000 Voluntary Hours in 2013.

Hayley Manning

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