The gala dinner at Melbourne Recital centre is one of many highlights that this beautiful space has to offer. For those lucky enough to see inside this event you will see a spectacular array of bouquets and dropping curtains across the stage as it is set for a feast.
Opening the evening with a welcome to country from Deborah Cheetham OA, Mission Songs project sang The Irex. Sung as a duet between Jessie Lloyd and Jessica Hitchcock the two stood up the back of the hall serenading guest who sat on the stand.
The story of the Irex
The Irex was the name of a boat that used to transport people from the mainland of Queensland over to Palm Island, many of those who travelled on this boat we displaced and removed as punishment under the Protection of Aborigines Act. This also included young children who are now considered part of the Stolen Generation.
‘The Irex’ was a song that was sung in memory of those lost children and loved ones, as families did not know if they would ever see them again. With the author unknown, it is assumed the song was sung on Palm Island since the 1920s-1930s, with many elders still familiar with the tune and its sentiment today.