Friday, August 18, 2017

Thames (NZ): 150 Event - 'Hearts of Gold' at Thames Museum

From the time the goldfield opened in 1867, music played an important part in the Thamesites life and the entertainment scene at the Thames. Concerts were the norm, with many contributing a song, musical recital and or variety act of some sort. Choirs were usually attached to a church group, so popular that they often performed at venues around the wider Thames and Auckland area.

There were several gifted songwriters at the Thames, notably Mr John Grigg whose work shall be explored in a later blog.

When the new display area at the Thames Museum was opened on Saturday 5 August 2017, a special song was once again heard at the Thames. Before the doors were opened the Just Harmony Choir sang 'Hearts of Gold.' You may well ask why and was it a special song?

The song 'Hearts of Gold' was written and performed at the 1927 60th Commemorations. Words by Miss E M Wilcox and Music by L Townson (Mrs Abel Rowe), and sung by Mr Abel Rowe. (see right for copy from the Diamond Jubilee by F Weston - enlarged version below)

The sentiments in the song echoed what all thought. For all those pioneers who had been on the Thames, the friendship and feelings they had for the town ran so deep. They treasured the time, no matter how hard it was. This resonated in the last two lines of the chorus:

"For riches rare we do not care
When hearts of gold we find."

The rendition performed by the Just Harmony Choir on Saturday 5 August 2017 can be heard on Youtube and we can imagine how proud our ancestors were of their old goldmining town:
Hearts of Gold by LIMBO Studios, New Zealand.
Above: Just Harmony Choir - video by LIMBO Studios, New Zealand.
***********CLICK LINK TO HEAR THE SONG*********