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 Rowena Jackson Retirement Village - Meet Hazel Christie

Hello! My name is Hazel Christie. I was born in 1926 and have lived in Invercargill all my life. Upon leaving school I worked in the Customs Dept as a typist, Charles Begg & Co Music Centre and the Southland Saving Bank. 

One day Mr Dick Webb of Southland Technical College asked if I would be interested in being an accompanist for the head of the Music Department, which I accepted. Shortly afterwards a school inspector found that I was on a full teaching salary, but did no teaching! So I was given commercial subjects, a mathematics class, accompanying the school choir and an embroidery class, which has become a life long interest.

Throughout those years music has played an important part of my life. I started playing the pipe organ when I was 14 years old at the Central Methodist Church, now Lindisfarne Methodist Church, where I am still the organist.

I also accompanied the Orpheus Ladies Choir in the 1940’s for ten years, followed by a similar role with the Invercargill Musical Union. About that time I also began playing for the Invercargill Garrison Band Soloists.

Being an official accompanist for the Southland Competitions Society for many years has been a rewarding experience, as was my association with Radio 4YZ for a number of years. In the 1990’s it was a highlight of my musical experiences to receive the M.N.Z.M. (Member of the NZ Order of Merit).

Life now is much simpler, but playing the piano and organ still gives me great pleasure and satisfaction.

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