Sydney Eisteddfod has been graced by many hardworking, passionate and loyal volunteers over its 86-year history.
Operating with a very small staff, we are beyond thankful for our army of dedicated volunteers who are undoubtedly the lifeblood of our organisation.
We caught up recently with 98-year-old Charlotte Prior (also known as Lotte) who has been a loyal volunteer to Sydney Eisteddfod for many decades.
Lotte has been passionate about the performing arts since before she can even recall.
“I’ve always been interested in music.
My mother had a beautiful singing voice. We didn’t have enough money to buy a piano or anything like that, so we used to pretend on the furniture. After dinner my mother would push everything off the table as we’d play on the table as if it was piano”.
Lotte’s absolute favourite genre of all time has always been classical singing - her love for the opera was instilled in her from a young age by her mother.
"She [Lotte’s mother] used to talk about concerts, and I used to just long for it.
I haven’t got a musical bone in my body. My mum tried to teach me to play the piano, but she gave in... Yet I just love it. I suppose it is because of my love of opera that I became a Joan Sutherland fan right from the beginning of her career”.
Lotte took us back to when she first heard about Sydney Eisteddfod and started volunteering here years ago.
“I first went to the opera when a local girl, Yvonne Minton, went to perform. She used to be the Sunday School Teacher at Earlwood Presbyterian Church”.
She reflected on her time volunteering for Sydney Eisteddfod as being a life changing experience that she has cherished her entire life.
"I just lost myself in it. I absorbed it, a bit like reading a book. I just thought, how marvellous people were to get up there and perform so well.
“I feel as though I was blessed to have so much to do with Sydney Eisteddfod and the Opera.
Lotte mentioned that she has loved working with other passionate volunteers over the years. To this day, she still keeps in touch with another volunteer, now 92 years of age, who she used to attend the Opera with back in her 20’s.
"I used to pick my friend up in the car and drive her to and from the opera”.
Lotte finished our talk with a lovely statement about her time volunteering with Sydney Eisteddfod.
"It was one of the most magnificent parts of my life. I have absolutely loved doing the Eisteddfod and meeting all the wonderful people who sang."
The entire family at Sydney Eisteddfod, past and present, are so grateful for all the work Lotte has done over the years to keep the organisations heart beating so brightly.
Lotte's bubbly personality and incredible work in spreading our mission has undeniably left a positive mark on Sydney Eisteddfod which will endure for generations to come.
Thank you Lotte.