Vale Mary Armstrong
30th September 1943 - 27th December 2021
Mary Armstrong was one of South West Music’s finest volunteers. Mary was there right back at the beginning, in the early 1980’s when her youngest son Peter enrolled in the Deniliquin/Finley Instrumental Tuition Program. Students from the Victorian College of Arts would drive up from Melbourne in a hire car and deliver lessons to our local students each fortnight. Always there to support the young teachers with her friendly smile and twinkling eyes, Mary made sure they felt welcome. With the advent of the South West Music Annual Music Camp, Mary volunteered to billet young participants and assist the organising committee.
From then until very recently, Mary followed her passion for music and music education by continuing to support our Regional Conservatorium. She was a long-time member of the Live Music Committee and it was here that we were blessed to spend time with her and to be the beneficiaries of her many personal qualities: her fun-loving nature, her willingness to get in and help with any task, her integrity and calm common sense approach to problems and her empathy for others. Her husband Peter was also a great support and always willing to help out at our Live Music performances.
Despite her illness, Mary always wanted to contribute in some way and she was determined to be a part of supporting live music and music education. She was a regular attendee at student recitals and scholarship auditions. She adored watching and listening to even the youngest of our students get up on stage and do their best. It was a particularly proud moment for Mary when her niece Charlotte performed at one of our very early online lunchtime recitals. Even when she could no longer attend our concerts due to ill health, it was always the first question on her lips, “How did the concert go?”
Mary instigated the development of our philanthropic marketing plan. This document will become an important template for our future attempts to attract funding from individuals and groups who seek to support not-for-profit organisations like ours.
She has left a wonderful legacy as a cherished SWM volunteer and a much loved friend. Mary’s husband Peter, their three sons and their families are in our thoughts.