Popular Cessnock music teacher bids a bittersweet farewell

BITTERSWEET: Popular Cessnock music teacher Anne Whale is leaving the region after 16 years.

BITTERSWEET: Popular Cessnock music teacher Anne Whale is leaving the region after 16 years.

If there has been a musical note played, in the region over the past 16 year, chances are Cessnock’s Anne Whale has had something to do with.

The popular music teacher has won the affection of the area after molding countless young minds as well as taking music to the region’s retirement homes and working with council on various official functions.

Sadly though, Mrs Whale will be picking up stumps and moving to Bathurst where she was born and raised next week.

Tragically, the reasons for Anne’s move were due to the fact that her daughter passed away suddenly last year, leaving behind a 10-year-old autistic daughter.

With Mrs Whale leaving the region on September 13, she said the last few weeks had been emotional.

“I get very emotional when I think about saying goodbye to my students and my friends,” she said.  “I’ve had this week to say goodbye to some of my students and, I must admit, I had some tears in my eyes – so did they.”

Mts Whale added that aside from the countless lives she touched with her music, she also wanted to pay a debt of gratitude to former Cessnock mayor Allison Davey.

“I used to be on the committee that organised the music for council’s official events like Australia Day and the citizenship ceremonies,” she said. “I used to work closely with Allison Davey and I would like to thank her for all her support.”

Also, Mrs Whale formed the The Tone Shadows Choir in 2006 which performed at several events thorughout the region as well as the Bimbadeen Balladeers – a senior citizens choir that she formed with residents of the Calvary Cessnock retirement community.

As testament to Mrs Whale’s impact on the local community she said she is already fielding inquiries from friends about wanting to come and stay with her once she settles in Bathurst.

Mrs Whale added that she intended to scale back on the teaching once she makes the move, preferring to concentrate on another of her talents – coordinating Eisteddfods.

But don’t expect her to give teaching away completely.

“I already have three new students,” she laughed. “ But I do want to concentrate on Eisteddfods more because after 50 or 60 years teaching I think I deserve a break.”

In a fitting farewell, a concert featuring Anne’s students will be held at the Masonic Retirement Village (30A West Avenue, Cessnock) from 6.30pm on Tuesday 11 September. Entry is by a gold coin donation.

“It’s a farewell concert with a lot of my students but I will be accompanying most of them,” she laughed. “My work is never done.”

I get very emotional when I think about saying goodbye

Anne Whale