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REILLY, CONSTANCE AUDREY ELEANOR (CONNIE)

 

Connie Reilly was born in Greytown in 1885, the daughter of Bernard and Blanche Lois Reilly nee Payne.

 

Educated at St Mary's College, Wellington, Connie came to Hawera in 1903 to join her sister Daisy Reilly, and they began to work together as music teachers in the town.

 

In 1924, Connie went to England and Rome where she studied singing gaining her LRSM (London). Upon her return she began teaching the art of vocal music. The possessor of a fine voice, Connie was a recitalist and concert artist in performances throughout Taranaki and further afield. After her retirement from the platform, she continued her participation in summer schools of music in various centres, and played some part in bringing to Hawera, concert artists of renown.

 

Throughout the years of her professional career, Connie brought out the musical talents of a large number of pupils, many of whom have gone far as singers and pianists. In February 1931, Connie organised a musical recital to raise money for the Napier earthquake relief .

 

She was a life member of the Hawera Women's Club, having been a foundation member and president from 1952 to 1955. Connie was a member of the Hawera Horticulture Society, the South Taranaki Camellia Group, and the Royal Institute of Horticulture. She was a foundation member of the Hawera Repertory Society, and one of the first members of the Hawera Women's Golf Club in which she was president, and a member of St Joseph's Catholic Women's League.

 

Constance Audrey Eleanor Reilly died on the 26 October 1966 at Hawera aged 81 years, and is buried at the Hawera cemetery with her sister.

 

SOURCES

Obituary "Hawera Star" 27 Oct 1966

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