Personality Profile – Lyn Dickman

Lyn Dickman. Photo by Keer Moriarty.

A love of singing is one of the enduring factors in Lyn Dickman’s life.

Born in Townsville, Lyn’s father served in Bougainville during the war.

After the war he joined the bank and the family, including Lyn’s sisters Glenda and Judy, moved around Queensland many times.

“Mum never threw a newspaper out, because Dad would come home and say ‘we’ve been transferred to…’ and out would come the newspaper and she’d start wrapping,” said Lyn.

When she was about ten years old, the family lived in Ipswich and Lyn had the choice of two picture theatres, both within two blocks of her home.

It was there she discovered her love of musicals, watching Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Oklahoma.

“I’d float home with Gordon McRae singing in my head,” she recalls.

She joined the Junior Cambian Choir and the Ipswich Central Girls and Infants School Choir, who won the Courier Mail Shield at the Eistefford.

She attended boarding school in Toowoomba but hated being away from her family, saying the choir was the only thing that kept her going.

Lyn finished school when she was 14 and the family moved to St George.

She worked at a chemist shop and the Irrigation and Water Supply Commission.

Her love of music continued and she often sang in the hotel beer garden.

It was in St George that she met her husband, Barry and the couple moved to Surat, farming sheep and cattle.

When it was time for their children, Jennifer, Karen and Narelle, to attend school, they had to travel 35 miles to the school.

Lyn was offered a job as a teacher aide at the school, but then the opportunity to buy the local Foodlands store came up, so Lyn ran the store and Barry ran the farm.

They were very busy, but as Lyn says, they just did it.

“It just seemed to work.  I really enjoyed it – it was great fun.”

They later moved to Brisbane where Lyn became involved with a local musical theatre group.

Barry was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2000 and they began thinking about retiring.

They built their home on a block of land owned by their daughter Jennifer and her husband Trevor, where the couple lived until Barry passed away 10 years ago, and Lyn lives today.

Lyn was quickly introduced to local choir Glad’s Girls via Probus.

Glad had just retired from conducting and Joy Duffield had taken over.  When Joy moved away, Lyn became the conductor.

She organised the programs and music and they gave five concerts a year,  raising money for charity.

June Farmers was the pianist, but as her health declined and Covid restrictions made performances difficult, the decision was made to disband the group.

Glad’s Girls gave their final performance in 2019, but Lyn still catches up with several members of the choir at the time of their usual choir practice.

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Small town newspaper Editor, journo, social media manager and tea lady.