A friend so Kind – Irene Gruber

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Irene’s beloved Dragons

Oh you’re a Manly fan?  What are we going to do about you!  And like this, for many Manly fans, great friendships start. 

A dear friend of mine Irene Gruber passed into glory this Monday.  As passionate about her Dragons as I am about the Sea Eagles, she nevertheless deigned to watch many a Friday Night Football with me.  

We met when I arrived in Canowindra to study at the Cornerstone Community there.  Ian and Irene had gifted the land the training centre was built on, and their farm was, back then, the principal source of work.  Their cottage at the end of the quaintly named Cucumber Lane became a cherished haven away from the deprivations of first year training at Cornerstone.  

Irene was born in Carcoar, into the Kind family.  And I have this song called “A friend so Kind” which just seems so incredibly pertinent to Irene’s passing.  

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Reflections on The Choir

The Choir, Steve Hindalong, Derri DaughertyRecently one of my favourite bands, The Choir, released a new album – Burning like the Midnight Sun (BLTMS).  Since its release it’s an album that has received the critical credit it deserves from album reviewers in the United States.

The first time I heard The Choir was their song “Chase the Kangaroo” on a Myrrh Records sampler in the late 1980s.  The full album was impossible to source in Australia until the Doulos ship docked in Townsville and I was able to get my hands on Chase the Kangaroo album and its predecessor Diamonds and Rain.  And so a long love affair was born for this “Happy Fool”.

The purchase was made in the middle of that phase most church kids seem to go through – the “I don’t (or am not allowed to) listen to secular music” phase.  My phase lasted less than three years at a time when Christian music was dominated by the late 80’s saccharine pop

offerings dominated by Amy Grant, Michael W Smith, Kenny Marks and Kim Boyce.  I’m going to be diplomatic and leave it at this – save from Steve Taylor and then The Choir it all left me cold.

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