• Maude Telfer

Stories and comments
    • TELFER, Maude – War Worker (Entertainment), Anzac Buffet / St Dunstan’s Hostel
    • Posted by FrevFord, Monday, 7 May 2018

    Born Emelda/Imelda Maude on the 10th of December 1889 at Muswellbrook, NSW – the daughter of Edward TELFER and Catherine Mary PLUNKETT, who married in Tamworth in 1871. Edward, a Drover and Station Manager, mysteriously disappeared whilst working in Western Australia around 1907, and his family finally found closure in 1910 when his remains were found intact in the bush – apparently having died of natural causes. Catherine, with some of her children, was living at 57 Lavender St, Milson’s Point (Kirribilli), NSW from at least 1913 into the early 1930s – before she died on the 13/7/1933 at Kirribilli, NSW, aged 83 Siblings: William Edward b.13/7/1872 – Station Hand – WW1: Pte 713, 4th Tropical Force – d.30/6/1919 Field Hosp, Liverpool, NSW (Influenza); James b.1874; Agnes Anne b.1876 – marr Don P. McKEOWN 1906 – d.6/3/1953; Thomas b.1878; Andrew b.1878; Edward Patrick b.1880 – d.1928; Rosanna Gertrude b.1882; Mary Loyola (Lila) b.1885 – d.27/5/1953 (Teacher) Religion: Roman Catholic A Singer (Soprano), Maude left for England in May 1914, travelling on the Gneisenan and arriving at Southampton on the 30/6/1914, to join the Quinlan Opera Company, which unfortunately disbanded soon after her arrival due to the outbreak of war. WW1: Determined not to return to Australia without European experience, Maude obtained various concert engagements, and in 1916 joined the cast of Oscar Asche’s London production of “Chu Chin Chow” at His Majesty’s Theatre, which she stayed with for 3 years and 3 months. During her spare time she regularly devoted herself to entertaining Australian soldiers in the camps, the Y.M.C.A. and St Dunstan’s Hostel for Blind Soldiers, as well as serving at the Anzac Buffet. Departing England on the 1/11/1919 on board the Orvieto, Maude returned to Australia where she continued her singing career. When not travelling on concert tours, Maude lived with her mother and sister, Lila at 57 Lavender St, Milson’s Point. However, somewhere between 1930 and 1933 they had moved to 28 Carabella St, Milson’s Point. Following their mother’s death in 1933, the sisters remained at Carabella Street until at least 1949. Many of the concerts that Maude appeared in the 1930s, and also organized, were for the entertainment of returned soldiers. Lila died on the 27/5/1953 at her (probably their) residence “Cambooya,” Railway Pde, Warrimoo, NSW. Maude died on the 8th of April 1955 at Burwood, NSW – late of Balgowlah The Maitland Daily Mercury (NSW), Wed 18 Sept 1912 (p.7): MISS MAUD TELFER’S CONCERT In the Town Hall, to-morrow night (Thurday), Miss Maud Telfer’s concert will take place. Everything points to a large audience to welcome the popular young soprano. At a recent concert given by her at North Sydney, she was enthusiastically received, and many encores were demanded, she being the recipient of a shower of flowers. Miss Telfer will be assisted by……………….. The Daily Telegraph (Syd, NSW), Fri 27 Mar 1914 (p.14): MISS MAUDE TELFER’S CONCERT The farewell concert given in St James’s-hall, Phillip Street, last evening by Miss Maude Telfer, prior to her departure for Europe to join the Quinlan Opera Company, attracted a large audience. The soprano’s opening number was “Dear Hall of Song,” from “Tannhauser,” to which she gave effective expression, though the voice towards the close of the aria seemed a little tired. She was enthusiastically encored, and later gave, with much sweetness and charm, ……………………. https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/239141007 The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), Sat 27 Feb 1915 (p.18): MISS ROSA DORNBUSCH Miss Rosa Dornbusch, of Mosman, who has been away in Europe for some time past, studying music, is returning by the Orontes next month. During her absence she composed a new patriotic song, “Our Khaki Heroes,” which was successfully introduced in Belfast by Miss Maud Telfer, a Sydney soprano, now on that side. Jewish Herald (Vic), Fri 18 Jun 1915 (p.11): NOTES AND NEWS Miss Nathalie Rosenwax, who is in London, writes to her brother here of a big concert which she and a gentleman in the Commonwealth offices arranged for the Australian soldiers in England, of whom there are about 500. They succeeded in forming a strong concert party of fifteen artists, including Miss Ivy Schilling, Olive Lenton, Maude Telfer, and a number of other Australian performers. They were met at Romsey by Colonel Tunbridge, and driven to head-quarters on the estate of Colonel Ashley (once the home of Lord Palmerston), where they were most hospitably entertained for the weekend. Miss Rosenwax writes with enthusiasm of the wonderful magnificence of the mansion and of the ammunition park and other military apparatus in the extensive grounds. The concert was given at Southampton, to which town the company was motored from Romsey, and was a great success, each artist being applauded to the echo. Most of the Australian officers and men were present, and declared that, though they were treated in England with the utmost kindness by everyone, that evening was the happiest they had spent since they had left home. Queensland Figaro, Sat 2 Oct 1915 (p.19): AUSTRALIAN NATIVES’ ASSOCIATION War Anniversary Gathering The London branch of the Australian Natives’ Association continues to make splendid progress (says the “British-Australasian” of 12th August), and it is now becoming recognized that anything it undertakes to carry through will assuredly be crowned with success. The war anniversary function held on 4th August, at the Palace Hotel, Bloomsbury, attracted a large attendance, including convalescent officers and men from the Dardanelles, and it was marked by the utmost enthusiasm, not only for the admirable sentiments and high quality of the speeches delivered, but also in regard to the musical numbers, contributed entirely by Australian artistes. …………………………………………………………………………… The programme, which was arranged by Miss Grace Watson, was an excellent one, those who contributed being ……………, Miss M. Telfer, …………………. The Daily Telegraph (Syd, NSW), Thur 28 Oct 1915 (p.4): FOR WOMEN Miss Maud Telfer, who left Australia to join the Quinlan Opera Company in London, has received an important engagement with a revue company which opened at the Middlesex Theatre in August. Miss Telfer and Miss Logan, an English girl, sing a duet, which is regarded by the management as the draw of the piece. The young Australian, since leaving Sydney, has visited Ireland to fulfil engagements, and has sung at a number of important London musical functions. Miss Telfer was a pupil of Mr William Asprey. The Queenslander, Sat 17 Jun 1916 (p.14): THE STAGE Miss Maud Telfer, who left Australia to join the Quinlan Opera Company in London, is appearing at Bath, in a musical trio, with two Irish girls. Sunday Times (Syd, NSW), Sun 30 Jul 1916 (p.25): HOME and SOCIETY The reception given to Mr and Mrs Hughes by the High Commissioner for Australia, Mr Fisher, and Mrs Fisher, in London, was brilliant affair. The function was held at the Hotel Cecil, and over 2000 guests were present. The Anzac Band came up specially from Weymouth to perform. Other musical contributors, besides a string band stationed in one of the many crowded reception rooms, were Miss Maud Telfer, Miss Marguerite Gard, Mr Robert Cunningham, Private Robinson, and Private Bell. The Maitland Daily Mercury (NSW), Fri 1 Sept 1916 (p.2): A MUSWELLBROOK SINGER IN LONDON Miss Maud Telfer, a vocalist of considerable ability, and who is a native of Muswellbrook, has been residing in London for upwards of a year and making progress with her musical studies. She recently found pleasure in acting as guide to some Muswellbrook soldiers desirous of viewing the “lions” of the worlds metropolis, and according to letters received her gracious assistance in that way was much appreciated. The West Australian (Perth, WA), Tue 19 Sept 1916 (p.5): MUSICAL AND DRAMATIC NOTES Mr Oscar Asche, whose movements are naturally watched with interest by Australians, early this month is producing at His Majesty’s Theatre, London, a musical play which is to be staged on a gorgeous scale. The Shakespearean actor and Miss Lily Brayton will both appear in the cast. Miss Maud Telfer, the young Australian soprano, has been engaged by the company. The Maitland Daily Mercury (NSW), Thur 11 Oct 1917 (p.7): A MUSWELLBROOK SINGER IN LONDON I have previously had occasion to report that Miss Maud Telfer, a native of Muswellbrook, and gifted vocalist, had achieved success in London. Not only has she distinguished herself as a singer, but also as a patriotic Australian, by taking the most kindly interest in her martial countrymen, while they had occasion to sojourn in the world’s metropolis. Her kindness in that respect has been frequently referred to in letters received from Mr David Fleming from his three sons, Messrs D., R., and S. Fleming now at the front, and Mrs Holman, who has just returned to Sydney in an interview this week said: – “Miss Maud Telfer when not busy at the theatre, where she appears in “Chu Chin Chow,” gives all her attention to the Australian soldiers. I picked out Miss Telfer’s fine voice from many voices at His Majesty’s. The Catholic Press (Syd, NSW), Thur 11 Oct 1917 (p.40): SOCIAL NEWS AND GOSSIP Miss Maud Telfer, one of Sydney’s most brilliant sopranos, is doing well in London, and attracting the attention of the musical world considerably. This at a time when war troubles have forced most singers to seek other lands means that the young vocalist possesses gifts of no mean order. Miss Telfer’s Sydney friends should feel proud of her work, both on the operatic stage and the concert platform. The Mirror (Syd, NSW), Sun 3 Feb 1918 (p.14): Through the Eyes of a Woman The Soldiers’ Friend Miss Maud Telfer, the Sydney soprano, who has been so successful in London, is a great friend to boys on leave in London. She gives up all her spare time to them. Recently, with the permission of Oscar Asche and Lily Brayton, of whose company she is a member, she arranged a concert at the Australian Y.M.C.A., in which all the members of the Chu Chin Chow Company appeared. It was such a treat that the lads have written home about it. Miss Telfer’s people live at Lavender Bay. The Australasian (Melb, Vic), Sat 23 Feb 1918 (p.38): LADY’S LETTER FROM LONDON LONDON, December 28 ………………………… There were several Australian feasts in London, not the least jolly gathering being the one organized by the Australian Natives at the Anzac Buffet, in Victoria street. ………………. A thousand Anzacs sat down to dinner in the middle of the day, under the presidency of Sir John McCall, the chief of the A.N.A. organization in England. Later a concert was given, under the direction of Miss Maud Telfer. The Daily Telegraph (Syd, NSW), Wed 5 Jun 1918 (p.6): MISS MAUDE TELFER [Photo] One of Sydney’s song-birds who has made a place for herself on the English professional stage is Miss Maude Telfer. She will be remembered locally as the possessor, four or five years ago, of a dramatic soprano voice of delightful range and quality. For almost two years Miss Telfer has been appearing in Oscar Asche’s London production of “Chu Chin Chow” at His Majesty’s Theatre. She went to Europe in May, 1914, under engagement to the Quinlan Opera Company. Mr Quinlan himself having expressed warm appreciation of the young singer’s vocal ability and the tonal quality of her voice, which he considered of unusual purity and brilliance. The Quinlan Company, however, disbanded owing to the war soon after her arrival in London – indeed, she arrived there to find the members already dispersed. She was determined not to return to Australia without European experience, and while continuing her studies with Mr Shakespeare (she was a pupil of Mr W. Asprey in Sydney) busied herself with concert and “at home” engagements, and in helping in the entertainment of the Australian wounded who were then beginning to occupy the London hospitals. Miss Telfer is one of a band of Australians who manage to find time, in the midst of their work, to help make things cheery for the boys from her own country. She is a constant worker at Miss Ada Reeve’s pet institution (the Anzac Buffet) and at the Y.M.C.A., to which she regularly devotes a couple of mornings from her busy week. It is surprising, she says, how many Sydney lads frequent the buffet. Recently she was recognized by a former deckhand from the North Shore ferries, invalided to London after a bad time in France. He recognized her as a frequent passenger from “Lavender,” and entered into an animated discussion of the ferry boats and their patrons. The blind soldiers at St Dunstan’s, the sick men in hospital, and the Australians in camp have been cheered times out of number by concert parties in which Miss Telfer and other members of the “Chu Chin Chow” Company have assisted. Miss Telfer spent the Easter holidays at Maida Vale with Mrs Pounds and her two daughters, Lorna and Tots. With a number of other Australians they visited Grantham, where they gave a concert in the local theatre in aid of the Grantham Soldiers’ Club. The audience was almost, if not entirely, Australian, and the concert party included Misses Alice Wyatt, Ada Gee, Lulu Benstead, and Maggie and Lena Chisholm. On Good Friday night the company attended the Palladium, where Miss Rene Maxwell was singing. The Soldiers’ Club at Grantham, by the way, was organized by another Australian – Mrs Phillips, the wife of the A.P.M. She entertained the party while at Grantham, and bore all the expense incidental to the trip. Miss Telfer is warm in her praise of the Australian residents in London. They are keenly alive to the needs of the boys, she says, and spare no effort in helping with their comfort and entertainment. https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/239261405 Table Talk (Melb, Vic), Thur 11 Sept 1919 (p.2): SYDNEY WEEK BY WEEK A Sydney artist who is expected back from London shortly is Miss Maude Telfer, who has been with the Oscar Asche Co. throughout the amazing run of “Chu Chin Chow” for nearly three years. Miss Telfer will be accompanied on the journey home by Mrs and Miss Hall and Miss Campion, all of whom have been active workers at the Anzac Buffet and elsewhere during the war. Darling Downs Gazette (Qld), Fri 19 Dec 1919 (p.3): AUSTRALIAN SINGERS IN LONDON Miss Maud Telfer, a Sydney singer who arrived from London by the Orvieto on Monday, speaks enthusiastically of the success of Australian artists in the great metropolis. ………………………………………………… During the last three and a half years of her stay in London Miss Telfer was with the Chu Chin Chow Company, and she speaks highly of this production, at the head of which is another Australian, Oscar Asche. Miss Telfer spent much of her time entertaining Australian soldiers and visiting St Dunstan’s, the hospital for the blind. She emphasized the popularity of the Aussies in England. Sunday Times (Syd, NSW), Sun 21 Dec 1919 (p.15): AUSTRALIAN SINGER BACK Breaks Record with the Chu Chin Chow Company in London [Photo] Miss Maud Telfer, a Sydney soprano, who set out for London in pre-war days under engagement with the Quinlan Opera Co., arrived home again by the Orvieto. The Sydney girl found all her set plans upset by the war just after her arrival in London, and had to seek other engagements. Her five and a half years in London were particularly bright and successful vocally, and, “for the privilege and pleasure of returning home” – as she herself patriotically puts it, she cancelled her engagement with Oscar Asche and Lily Brayton, and refused several advantageous offers from other musical managements. Three Years on One Play Miss Telfer played continuously with the Chu Chin Chow Co. for three years and three months, “long enough,” she says, with a bright smile, “to say I broke the world’s record with them.” Miss Telfer was one of five in the company who did not miss appearing in a performance for twelve months. Oscar Asche offered a £20 bonus, when the play had been running a few months, to those of the company who did not miss an appearance. Five became veterans and divided the £20, and were given a holiday. It was a greater accomplishment than the management hoped, for the company ran three matinees a week in the slackest times, four in normal times, and over the Christmas and New Year festivities two shows a day for five weeks. Wonderfully Dressed Show “The dressing, or, perhaps, more correctly speaking, the undressing of the production, particularly in the severe winter, also made it a case of survival of the fittest. Bare feet, diaphanous draperies, and few of them at that, and many parts of the body exposed, gave some of the company terrific and continuous colds. Others of us, although we had to keep moving to keep warm, kept remarkably well, and I was one of the exceptionally lucky ones. I never had one cold. I am wondering how Sydney people will like the undress of the show?” Miss Telfer queried. “But it is such a really wonderful production, a triumph of artistic color, movement and music, that it seems to embody all the finest atmosphere of the Orient. “The Asche-Brayton combination gets every ounce of effect out of every aspect of the production. Its dressing to-day is as fresh and bright as when it first dazzled the London public. The best evidence of its popularity lies in the fact that it kept His Majesty’s Theatre, Haymarket, open in August. It has always been the custom to close this theatre in that month, as most of its patrons go out of town. Saw It Seventy Times “I met a man just before leaving London, who told me he had seen Chu Chin Chow seventy times, and hoped he could see it seventy times more. Quite lots of people claim to have seen it fifty times. “We were a very happy family under Oscar Asche’s management,” continued Miss Telfer. “Both he and Lily Brayton seemed to have a personal interest in each member of the company. However, there was a certain measure of restraint. No visitors were allowed at the theatre. In fact, His Majesty’s was known as the Sunday School while the Chu Chin Chow Company was running there. “There were two other Australian girls in the company, Ethel Keys, of Melbourne, and Ruby Nicholson.” War Work in Spare Time Miss Telfer gave all her spare time to singing at the Australian camps, and serving at the Anzac Buffet. She says the A.I.F. was the big touch of home, and that already when she sailed the absence of the dear old hats was making London feel lonely to Australians. Miss Alice Wyatt, another Sydneyite, ran a concert party for the camps for Sundays. The artists were, beside herself and Miss Telfer, Lorna and Toots Pounds, Lena and Margaret Chisholm, Ada Gee, and Princess Iwa, a New Zealand contralto. Australian Artists in London Of Australians making progress in London, Miss Telfer speaks most enthusiastically of Rene Maxwell, whom she says has done great things with her charming voice, and commands a big audience whenever she appears. “It was a great privilege to be in London all through the war, but it is a still greater privilege to be home again,” Miss Telfer tells you. “One happy circumstance about absence is that it teaches one to appreciate home. I am just reveling in the sun, welcoming freckles and sunburn. I don’t care how the thermometer rises. I will never never grumble about the heat, as long as the bright sun lights up our blue skies.” The Maitland Daily Mercury (NSW), Wed 17 Mar 1920 (p.2): IRISH NATIONAL CONCERT In connection with the celebration of St Patrick’s Day a grand national concert will be given in the Town Hall to-night. The artists will include Miss Maude Telfer, who has just returned after a four years’ engagement with the Oscar Asche Company in London, ………………….. The Daily Mail (Brisb, Qld), Sat Dec 1920 (p.2): AMUSEMENTS THE SPARKLERS – At Palace Gardens this week an exceptionally fine programme is being rendered by the members of the company. Miss Maud Telfer delights all by the way in which she carries out her part of the performance. The Telegraph (Brisb, Qld), Fri 11 Mar 1921 (p.9): ENTERTAINMENTS THE SPARKLERS – Brilliant music gave distinction to last night’s new programme at Palace Gardens, and a large audience enjoyed the company’s efforts. Miss Maude Telfer was once again well enough to sing, and her sweet and powerful rendering of Gounod’s “Ave Maria” was an outstanding feature. The Maitland Daily Mercury (NSW), Fri 16 Mar 1923 (p.2): ST PATRICK’S CONCERT St Patrick’s concert will be held to-morrow night in the Catholic Hall. Excellent artists have been engaged. Miss Maud Telfer, the popular Sydney soprano, will appear. She has sung with the Oscar Asche Co., Quinlan’s Opera Co., Sydney Philharmonic Society, the State Orchestra, etc., and has appeared in all the Australian capitals, as well as in London, and other cities in England, Ireland, and Scotland. She was in England during the war, where she visited the Australian camps all over the country, and sang for the Australian soldiers. ……………………………….. The Brisbane Courier (Qld), Mon 13 Sept 1926 (p.9): MISS MAUDE TELFER AT CREMORNE In addition to the unusually bright programme presented at Cremorne Theatre, Miss Maude Telfer, the popular soprano, made a welcome reappearance before Brisbane audiences on Saturday. Miss Telfer is no stranger to theatregoers, having appeared here formerly at the Palace Gardens, and later with G.P. Hanna at Cremorne, after which she went to London and appeared with success with Mr Oscar Asche in “Chu Chin Chow” during the entire London production. ………………………. Truth (Syd, NSW), Sun 20 Mar 1927 (p.19): [Photo] https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/168681962 Illawarra Mercury (Wollongong, NSW), Fri 16 Mar 1928 (p.13): St Patrick’s Concert – AT WOLLONGONG ………………………………………….. Miss Maude Telfer captivated the audience with her soprano solos. She has a sweet voice, with remarkable range. She was recalled three and four times after each of her songs. ………….. Sunday Times (Syd, NSW), Sun 20 Oct 1929 (p.20): Youth and Beauty MISS MAUDE TELFER, who has been visiting Parkes and Peak Hill, has been delighting her many friends with her songs. Miss Telfer contributed to the programme of the Caledonian concerts given at a number of inland towns, and will return to Sydney early this week. Freeman’s Journal (Syd, NSW), Thur 3 Apr 1930 (p.42): SUCCESSFUL CONCERT AT LAVENDER BAY On Wednesday night, 19th March, a very successful concert was held in St Francis Xavier’s school hall, Lavender Bay, in aid of the funds of the local Conference of the Society of St Vincent de Paul. The concert was arranged and organized by Miss Maude Telfer, the well-known soprano, and the result was a great tribute to her efforts as there was a full capacity audience, which included his Excellency the Apostolic Delegate (Archbishop Cattaneo). The artists who contributed to the programme were Miss Maud Telfer (soprano), …………………………………. The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), Sat 25 Oct 1930 (p.7): ANZAC FELLOWSHIP The successful flight of Wing-Commander Kingsford Smith was celebrated on Thursday night by the Anzac Fellowship of Women at their monthly concert for the patients in Graythwaite Convalescent Home, North Sydney. The programme was arranged by Miss Maud Telfer, and consisted of excerpts from several operas. The contributing artists were Miss Maud Telfer, ………………………… The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), Sat 19 Sept 1931 (p.7): FELLOWSHIP OF WRITERS Music and recitations, followed by supper and dancing, was the programme arranged by the Fellowship of Australian Writers for the party given by members at the Lyceum Club last night. …………………………………………………………… Miss Clem Robertson recited verse by Australian poets; Miss Maude Telfer sang, and Miss May Courtenay played some of her own compositions for the piano. The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), Mon 29 Aug 1932 (p.3): NEAR AND FAR Dr and Mrs D. Kelly lent their residence at Kirribilli last week for a card party and musicale to benefit the funds of the local branch of the St Vincent de Paul Society. ……………………… The musicale programme was provided by Mesdames D. Kelly, …………., and Miss Maude Telfer. The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), Thur 26 Apr 1934 (p.6): OUT OF TOWN NEWS A sprig of rosemary “for remembrance” was handed to each guest at a delightful concert arranged by Miss Maude Telfer for the Anzac Fellowship of Women’s music circle and held during the week at Graythwaite, the Red Cross convalescent home at North Sydney. The returned soldier patients thoroughly enjoyed a well-balanced musical programme contributed to by Miss Telfer, ………….. Catholic Freeman’s Journal (Syd, NSW), Thur 20 Jul 1939 (p.15): The Social Round A very successful Musicale in aid of St Lucy’s Dominican School for the Blind at Homebush was held at the home of the Misses Telfer at Kirribilli on July 8. The artists were Miss Maude Telfer, Miss Marie Modini, Miss Marjorie Deed, Miss Alisole Tindale, all from the studio of Miss Maude Telfer; ……………. The Catholic Press (Syd, NSW). Thur 8 Feb 1940 (p.15): The Catholic Women’s Association AN EVENING FOR CUSA That the welfare of our soldiers and the enthusiasm for CUSA have taken firm hold was amply shown at the musicale held under the auspices of the Catholic Women’s Association on Tuesday evening, 6th inst. The proceeds will be devoted to the furnishing of the Catholic “hut” for soldiers, in the Domain. ………………………………………………. The artists who contributed to the programme were Miss Josephine Bell, Miss Maud Telfer (who was a student in London during the last war, and now sings at soldiers’ concerts); …………….. Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), Sat 9 Apr 1955 (p.36): DEATHS TELFER, Maude – April 8,1955, loved sister of Agnes, Gertrude and Lila (all deceased), and dear aunt of Dot Riddington, of 24 Dudley Street, Balgowlah. Requiescat in pace. For funeral notice see Monday’s “Herald.”