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VALE Margaret Sim

VALE Margaret Jean Sim 21 December 1947 - 29 October 2019 Margaret’s lovely voice was noticed by her mother in New Zealand. She arranged for Margaret to start singing lessons while she was still at school. On settling in Canberra in 1970 Margaret resumed lessons with Lois Bogg, an ANZATS inaugural member. She also travelled to Melbourne fortnightly to study with Dame Joan Hammond. Margaret’s singing career was over 40 years long: the music she loved ranged over 400. She loved Handel and was also in demand for singing contemporary classical music, often written with her voice in mind. Margaret sang as soloist for many Canberra musical societies including Canberra Choral Society, ANU Choral Society, Canberra Children’s Choir, Canberra Opera, Canberra New Music Ensemble, Gaudeamus and A Chorus of Women and formed a long standing partnership with international accompanist Geoffrey Wilson, making numerous recordings and performing for ACT Lieder Society (Art Song Canberra). She also performed many times with pianist Malcolm Tapscott. As a private teacher, the first singing teacher employed by Canberra Girls Grammar School, and then Boys Grammar, Margaret fostered a love of singing and supported young developing singers. As a member of the Singing Division Committee of the Australian National Eisteddfod Society she spent many hours working on tasks such as developing the syllabus, programming and checking printing. ANATS was a big part of Margaret’s life and in recognition of her long and valuable contribution to the ACT Chapter and as National Treasurer she was awarded Life Membership in 2010. Margaret was on the steering committee for the 1993 National Conference ‘Canberra in Springtime’. She was a member of the ACT Chapter Committee from at least 1997 (the first year for which ACT Chapter has records) to 2017, serving as Secretary/Treasurer in 1997, Membership Secretary from 2013 to 2017, and ACT National Councillor from at least 2001 to 2008. In 2002 Margaret resolved issues around changes to public liability for ANATS at National and Chapter level. Margaret and her husband Mike worked hard to research the implications of the new company structure and to make meaningful comments that would make the constitution work for ANATS. We remember Margaret as quiet, capable and always ready to help – no matter how frustrating the task. Consistently calm, well-prepared and good-humoured, she was a storehouse of corporate memory for ANATS, a generous mentor to new teachers and a friend to colleagues, enjoying happy times and lots of laughs over the years.


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