Patriotic Concert, "Lads of the Southern Cross"

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Six women standing in a line, dressed in dancing costumes. From left to right are Joan Taylor, Dawn Mitchell, Betty Byars, Jean Morris, Elva Clouston and Patty Parkes. The women are in their costumes for the ballet "Lads of the Southern Cross" which they performed as part of the 1940 Opunake Patriotic Concert.
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Extract from a review in the Opunake Times: "In the military number, “Lads of the Southern Cross,” the ballet wore black busbys and scarlet tunics trimmed with gold buttons, black velvet shorts with scarlet stripes, scarlet gauntlets and black shoes, and they carried scarlet and gold canes. Betty Richards, as drummer, was attired similarly. The soloist, Mrs J. Morris, wore a black busby, scarlet frock with gold epaulettes, scarlet gauntlets and a military cape, and she also carried a cane." The "Lads of the Southern Cross" ballet was performed to a composition written by Donnie Morris and arranged by Don Richards. The lyrics are below: Lads of the Southern Cross (Lyrics and Music by Mrs. J. Morris, arranged by Mr. W.D. Richards). Verse: Did you hear the call from the Empire To the men ‘neath the southern skies Did you hear them proudly answer Our duty with England lies. Chorus: Cheer the men of New Zealand As they answer the country’s call; Cheer them on with a rousing song. Raise your voices one and all; and March with the men of New Zealand. Duty will be done to a man. March in thought with the boys you love And do your bit if you can. For they are the sons of the Empire And England must not suffer loss, So in the Army, Navy and Air Force Are the Lads of the Southern Cross. So fight with the men of New Zealand. Stalwart brothers, white and brown, With courage high, and the battle cry Forever freedom for England’s crown. Verse: To the stirring call to the colours, Responds every loyal heart; As their fathers marched before them. Youth now must play its part.

- Pam Childs on 11-11-2014 23:47:51

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