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Singing & dancing in the heart of City Hall
20 Aug 2012

I have special memories of Brisbane’s City Hall. As a young boy attending Saint James’ Christian Brothers School in Boundary Street Fortitude Valley in the 1940s, we had a school choir that used to sing in the Crypt Church – beneath what is now the Cathedral Place apartment block. In the choir, I sang at all the Saint Patrick’s Day concerts that were held in City Hall – they were very popular, crowded with lots of families and children attending.

I was born at West End in 1933 and spent my teenage years growing up in the Rock n roll era of the 1950s. I remember going to concerts at City Hall and saw many wonderful artists perform there, including Johnny O’Keefe. Wooden chairs were arranged on the dance floor to seat the people attending the concerts, but these were soon pushed aside to make room to jive to the very good music being played! We had lots of fun singing and dancing in City Hall!

I’m almost 80 years old and really thrilled that City Hall is being restored, so that current and future generations can continue to sing and dance in her amazing auditorium. Whether its whistling a tune, being part of a choir or holding hands in a waltz or jive – I don’t know what kind of Rock n roll people will be dancing to in 2059, but I’m sure everyone will be having the same butterflies just before you go on stage or dancing up a storm on her wooden floor boards just as we did in the 1950s!

Story written by Len Yow & Leonie Leong.

Photo: Mr Len Yow with Lord Mayor Graham Quirk at City Hall fundraiser with a wooden memento of City Hall, Brisbane, August 2012.

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