And the prop forward sang bass...

Oldest living Wallaby celebrates 100th with barbershop mates

GOOD NEWS
Latest in Entertainment
BACK IN PLAY: Members from Soundwaves Chorus sing with Eric Tweedale (in grey shirt) on his 100th birthday.

BACK IN PLAY: Members from Soundwaves Chorus sing with Eric Tweedale (in grey shirt) on his 100th birthday.

Aa

What a day it was for Eric Tweedale when the Soundwaves chorus came to visit.

Aa

Rugby and singing have always gone together.

So the boys from Soundwaves barbershop chorus were in full voice when they celebrated the 100th birthday of Australia's oldest living rugby international on May 5.

They were there because Eric Tweedale, a rugged prop forward in his day, has a lesser-known side: he was an early member of the chorus on the NSW Central Coast.

Fittingly for a big front rower, he sang bass.

About 15 choir members visited Eric for a sing-out at Peninsula Village in Umina Beach, where he has lived for four years.

Tears of joy in glistened in eyes, especially Eric's, as the men sang old favourites like I Still Call Australia Home, Pokarekare Ana and Wait Till The Sun Shines, Nellie.

In his speech, Eric said over and again how much it had made his day having his old mates from Soundwaves come to see him.

For their part, the singers, too, were deeply touched, as were Eric's friends at the village and staff members.

Eric was in fine form, belying his age by decades, as he delighted those gathered with stories about his life in rugby, especially while on tour.

A Parramatta man through and through - he played 123 first grade games for the Two Blues - packing down in the front row with Ken "Killer" Kearney (later off to rugby league with St George) and Len Wolfe.

Stand-out performances with Parramatta after his return from navy service saw Eric win the first of 10 Test caps in 1945, against the All Blacks in NZ.

But his career highlight came the following year when he played in the five-test tour of the UK and Europe.

Memorably, he was also selected in the first-ever match for an international team against Barbarians RUFC.

Known to many as a true gentleman of rugby, Eric is a life member of Parramatta Rugby Union and Parramatta Junior Rugby Union, club patron and a former captain, coach and president.

In coming days a plaque will be unveiled naming Eric Tweedale Stadium at Granville Park, home ground of the Western Sydney Two Blues.

For more on Eric's remarkable life, see this interview recorded by Gordon Bray last year, to mark his 99th birthday.

CHORUS OF CONTENT

Soundwaves Chorus is an all-male a cappella chorus affiliated with Central Coast Leagues Club in Dane Drive, Gosford.

Members rehearse every Monday from 7pm. Newcomers are always welcome and no singing experience is necessary.

For more information, call Frank Shapcott on 0431-225-489, email Dick Costin at quartetbs@optusnet.com.au or click HERE.

To find a chorus elsewhere in Australia, click HERE.

CHORUS OF CONTENT

Soundwaves Chorus is an all-male a cappella chorus affiliated with Central Coast Leagues Club in Dane Drive, Gosford.

Members rehearse at the club every Monday from 7pm. New members are always welcome and no singing experience is necessary.

For more information, call Frank Shapcott on 0431-225-489, email Dick Costin at quartetbs@optusnet.com.au or click HERE.

To find a chorus elsewhere in Australia, click HERE .

Aa