Featured Member – Margaret Cornwell
Picture this: the theatre is dark until a bright light shines down onto something rising from a gap in the floor. At last we see it, the theatre organ complete with a seated figure whose hands and feet dance out the grand swell of the music.
Fate works in mysterious ways. A lifelong devotee of the instrument, Margaret’s late husband signed them both up for membership of the Gold Coast Theatre Organ Society when they moved here some twenty years ago, and it was for this group that Margaret was one day asked to compose extra song verses. She not only wrote them but discovered her own passion – the writing life.
She first joined a poetry group run by GCWA members Caroline Glenn and Corrie de Haaf. On finding that her personal response to each monthly theme resulted in children’s’ verse, she also joined the Ten Penners. In 2001 she published her first volume Poems for the Young and Young at Heart which can be found at the Gold Coast Library along with her memoir A Fall from Grace which is about her life during the war years. Her next major project was to research frogs, moths, bees, penguins, sea horses, beetles, butterflies and moths creating a small book for each from the point of view of the creature itself in a series called Hello There.
Australian history is an ongoing interest for Margaret. She has recently enjoyed reading life member Terry Spring’s Transported, which tells the story of convict turned Dubbo entrepreneur George Smith and also The Silent Frontier by recent GCWA speaker Peter Weir, about the little knowndeployment of 2,000 Australian troops to help quell the 1860 Maori rebellion. She also admires Ernestine Hill’s poetic prose in My Love Must Wait, the story of Matthew Flinders’ solo voyage charting the coast of Australia.
Sport too has played a major part in Margaret’s leisure life. She has been an active member of the Palm Beach Tennis Club for many years, and you can still find her on the sidelines watching and chatting, for at the heart of her many pursuits lies a deep and abiding interest in people, as her encouragement and support of a number of GWCA members will attest.