Campaign to celebrate Moncrieff starts in earnest
LEONIE Egan was in the mood for singing yesterday morning.
Back in 1898 at the tender age of 6, Gladys Moncrieff, Leonie's idol, made her public performance debut as the Merriest Girl About.
Nearly 120 years later, a plaque has been unveiled in Gladys's honour at the very spot where she sang: the Queen's Theatre on Woongarra St.
These days the building is a shopping arcade, but its art deco personality is still there if you care to look up - and Leonie, president of the Our Glad association, wants it to become a place dedicated to celebrating Glad's memory.
As a classical singer from Sydney, Leonie fell in love with Bundaberg and decided to move here, but felt the city needed a Moncrieff museum - somewhere people could enjoy her recordings, costumes, portraits and other pieces of her story.
"I couldn't find her. There's no centre,” Mrs Egan said.
"I thought, if nobody's doing it, I'll do it.”
It has taken a year to form the Our Glad committee, and cutting the ribbon on the plaque with Mayor Jack Dempsey was a symbol of the real work beginning, Leonie said.
As a location, the stately Queen's Theatre is "the only place”, she said.
"There are fabulous back rooms - but we can't afford to rent them yet. So there's a lot of work ahead.”
She will present her plans to Cr Dempsey this month.
"Gladys Moncrieff wasn't just an iconic feature of Bundaberg, she was a national treasure,” he said.
"When you hear her voice...she brought people together around the world.
"Our community values her, and needs to know more about her.”