Fans push for site to honour Bundaberg singing star

FORTY years ago Gladys Moncrieff, the most famous singing star of Australian theatre, died after a 60-year career.

Now a dedicated team of volunteers is working hard to commemorate her talent for all time here in Bundaberg by creating a Gladys Moncrieff Centre in her memory.

"The Our Glad Association Inc has been established, and registered in Bundaberg, with the aim of creating a centre to house Gladys Moncrieff memorabilia here in her home city," Leonie Egan, president of the association said.

"We have a strong local committee of music lovers who are driving this project.

"On February 8, 2016, it will be 40 years since Gladys Moncrieff - the most famous singing star of Australian Theatre and one of the highest paid - passed away in 1976 on the Gold Coast.

"Now is the time for Bundaberg to bring home 'our Glad' and commemorate her in a manner that befits the impact she has had, and continues to have, on Australia's musical world."

Ms Egan said it was intended to set up a permanent centre in Bundaberg, which would include costumes, portraits, music, media articles and recordings and much more.

"We will seek general membership of the association throughout Australia and New Zealand to create this important centre," she said. "Nowhere in Australia will there be an opportunity for music lovers and interested fans to immediately access her amazing history as there will be in Bundaberg, thanks to this project."

Ms Egan said the name of the association had been chosen because, in 1936, comedian Arthur Stigant had dubbed Moncrieff "Our Glad" - a term of endearment with which the Australian public identified her from then on.

Ms Egan added: "The future will be exciting: putting together and collecting her costumes, music, portraits, scores, programs, CDs, LPs, anecdotes, broadcasts and press articles about her from 60 years in every capital city of Australia and New Zealand. Her overseas memorabilia will also be sought and be available to all those who seek again this wonder girl's remarkable career. She did so much, and there is so much to showcase. It is a great opportunity and one which we, as a community, must make happen to preserve her work and her memory."

Ms Egan said Moncrieff enjoyed a level of financial success hitherto not seen in the Australian musical theatre world.

"In the 1920s, Gladys had become the leading performer of the musical comedy stage and, at £150 a week, was one of the highest-paid performers in the history of Australian theatre," she said. "We should be very proud of 'Our Glad'."

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