Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

A Woman of Integrity and Talent Remembered; Gifted and Successful Gympie Daughter Pamela O'Gorman Passed Away a Year Ago, Aged 74

Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

A Woman of Integrity and Talent Remembered; Gifted and Successful Gympie Daughter Pamela O'Gorman Passed Away a Year Ago, Aged 74

Article excerpt

IT is just on 12 months since talented Gympie musician Pamela O'Gorman died.

Pamela was born on October 6, 1935 to Eadith (nee Dawson) and Cedric O'Gorman, and was the eldest of three children.

She had one sister Janice and a brother Peter. Pam spent her first years on the Dawson strawberry farm at Two Mile and went to Two Mile Primary School.

The family returned to Brisbane but Pamela remained in Gympie with her aunt Ailsa Dawson to continue her piano lessons with Gympie's Maud Woolgar, as her musical talent was already very obvious and even then outstanding.

At four years-of-age she played by ear for Miss Woolgar, but this teacher would not take pupils until they had reached the age of eight.

Miss Woolgar trained both Alice Gidley and Alvie Williams, who both became highly respected music teachers in Gympie.

Pam studied at Gympie Intermediate and High School and was an outstanding student who also excelled at sport.

In her last full year at Gympie High (1952) Pam was form captain, captain of Fisher House sport's team and a senior prefect.

She was also a member of the school council, at the same time creating records in her music, an out-of-school activity in those times.

Pam was awarded the Language and English prizes at speech night 1952. In 1951, she had gained a pass of eight straight, as in the Junior Public Exam a the only student to do so.

Pam's musical career was even more prestigious as she became the most awarded student of Miss Woolgar's studio. She probably still holds the title of the youngest and most outstanding musician to have grown up and studied in Gympie.

Pam gained her A Mus A in 1948 at the age of 12, a then Australian record. She followed this with an Associate Performer Diploma from Trinity College of Music in London in 1949 (again believed to have been a record).

By the age of 14, Pam was a qualified music teacher.

In 1952, before her 17th birthday, she had been awarded a Fellowship of Trinity College of Music, London, playing 76 pages of music from memory, and had won an Empire Overseas Scholarship to continue her studies in London.

As this scholarship did not cover expenses, a committee was quickly formed to raise funds to enable Pam to take advantage of this great opportunity. In true Gympie style, the trust fund was quickly over-subscribed.

Pam gave a farewell recital on May 29, 1953 in the Soldiers' Hall in Reef Street where the Gympie Eisteddfod was held every year until the hall burnt down a few years later.

The Gympie Musical and Dramatic Union sponsored the concert and the president of the Appeal Committee, Mr EJ Balfe (a much loved teacher at Gympie High) presented Pam with a cheque for more than A[pounds sterling]1614 (almost $47,000 in today's money). …

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