21st September 1941 - 19th July 2022
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Robert Thompson on Tuesday, 19th July 2022.
Robert joined Sisongke Choir in 2018 and became a committee member in 2019. In 2019, the choir developed a strategic plan to ensure that Sisongke could continue to grow and thrive. Robert was enthusiastic about these ideas. He developed an ambitious plan of performances including travelling to many places outside of the greater Hobart area. These included events at Oatlands and Triabunna.
2019 was our 25th birthday. Thanks to Robert’s energy and drive, we undertook 4 workshops with the support of the City of Hobart. They were a great success. In 2020, Robert and I had planned a series of events, which had to be cancelled due to the outbreak of COVID.
This did not stop Robert. He moved his plans to 2021 and we successfully held a workshop run by Rachel Hore and a concert “Songs of Suffering” held in the buildings of the old Queen's Orphan Asylum, now forming part of Kickstart Arts. We had planned another concert “Songs of Hope” at the Moonah Multicultural Hub. Unfortunately, this had to be cancelled due a snap shutdown resulting from the escape of an individual from his isolation premises.
Through all these events and cancellations, Robert was working on a Showcase Family Concert. The idea was that performers whose income had been negatively affected by COVID would have an opportunity to showcase their performances and earn some money. On the flip side, this would be a fun afternoon of general entertainment for the public who had been starved of such events during COVID shutdowns. We applied to the City of Hobart for a grant to enable payment to the performers. This concert finally happened on Saturday, 16th July 2022. Robert was the emcee, and he did a fantastic job. The concert was great – all the performers were extremely professional and entertaining. Robert was very happy and excited by the success of the afternoon after all the years of planning.
He was hoping to organise a friend, Peter Lehner, to come to Tasmania for a workshop in early 2023. And was busy planning more events – concerts, workshops, trips – for the choir. In the midst of all this energetic planning, he was taken from us. We will miss him – his booming voice, his enthusiasm, and his willingness to get involved.