Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Milestones Adding Up; Heidi Kath Pays Tribute to One of Gympie's Most Energetic Residents

Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Milestones Adding Up; Heidi Kath Pays Tribute to One of Gympie's Most Energetic Residents

Article excerpt

OUR Rita has just celebrated a big milestone with family and friends.

She doesn't specify the number on the milestone, and in her case it doesn't matter, because if someone told you, you wouldn't believe it anyway. So don't bother asking her directly.

Rita O'Neil may not be a household name around town for everyone, but all the people who went to Gympie High where she worked in the past few decades, plus their parents, and everyone who ever went to see any of the major plays and theatre productions that were staged over the years, would know Rita.

And that is a fair few people. Plus a small army of friends made through various other activities.

In her professional life Rita was - sorry, is - a physical education teacher. In her youth she took a liking to gymnastics, and the cast was set for lifelong physical activity. After migrating to Australia from England, she settled with her husband in Gympie and started teaching at Gympie High. When subjects like dance and drama were introduced at the school, she found her artistic calling. Many a speech night or other event was enhanced by dancing displays from her talented students.

Very early on she got involved in Gympie's rich culture of musicals and theatre productions. As a choreographer she quickly made a name for herself.

The Musical Union, the Zodiac Players and the producers of plays of the various schools all called on Rita for her artistic input, which sometimes entailed more than just the dancing - the odd paper mache dragon has been spotted in her garage awaiting its stage appearance. Those unforgettable plays that have been produced in Gympie over the years, like Jesus Christ Superstar, Oliver and Annie, to name just a few. Rita put her artistic stamp on all of them.

After her official retirement, she became fascinated with drumming and took it up with a vengeance. It would have been her enthusiasm that inspired a lot of other people, young and old, to share the drumming sessions and workshops. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.