19 Oct


I copied the following from this website:   http://www.illawarrafolkfestival.com.au/lola-wrights-keg-night  and  http://bushmusicclub.blogspot.com.au/2014/07/lolas-keg-night-story-of-lola-wright.html

“Lola Wright’s Keg Night” is a musical memoir adapted by PP Cranney & Christina Mimmocchi from the autobiography of Lola Wright. It’s a new verbatim play with music based on the passionate life and times of former Illawarra resident, Lola Wright – teacher, activist, performer, wife, mother, lover. For over forty years, from the 1940s to the 1980s, Lola contributed to the Illawarra’s vibrant social history. Whether teaching nursery rhymes to primary students, establishing the South Coast’s first bush band, playing piano at local dances, singing The Red Flag at miners’ strikes, or leading a sing-along of The Internationale at one of her infamous Oak Flats Keg Nights, Lola’s passion for music, and social justice, left its mark on all who knew her. This is her story in her own words and the music that she loved – an entertaining, audience-participation reading-in-progress performed by Vashti Hughes, Laura Bishop and others.

With thanks to the Alistair Hulett Memorial Fund, the NSW Teachers’ Federation, the National Library of Australia, the Bush Music Club, the Illawarra Folk Club and Merrigong Theatre.

Lola’s keg night? Well, Lola was famous for her parties, where the keg was not broached until sufficient songs were sung! And no one could say they didn’t know the songs as the words were projected onto a screen. After all, she was a teacher.”


Mrs. Wright (Lola Wright)  was principal of Oak Flats Primary School in the 1960s. This is how our children know and remember her. She is 88 now and lives in Morundah, a small town in the South West of NSW with 22 dwellings, a pub and an Opera Centre. (See: http://www.morundahopera.com.au/contacts.html) In April 2013 we stayed in Fig Tree Motel in Narrandera for one night. It’s a pity we did not know then that Mrs. Wright lives in Morundah very close to Narrandera! https://auntyuta.com/2013/04/page/3/

Christina Mimmocchi, the producer of Lola’s Keg Night, says that she had the pleasure of delving into the National Library of Australia’s oral history and folklore archive to seek out old songs . . . . Christina listened to all fourteen hours of Lola’s interviews and recordings for the NLA. So everything in the play has been either said by Lola in her National Library interviews or has been written by her in her unpublished autobiography. http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/22720011?selectedversion=NBD24494996

  • Folkloric recording.
  • Lola Wright was born in Childers, Queensland. She recalls her childhood years frequently moving around the country because of her father’s work as a sleeper cutter &​ bushman; graduating from Armidale Teacher’s College, N.S.W, rising to the position of School Principal for Oaks Flats.; settling in the Illawarra, N.S.W. &​ becoming involved with the Communist and Union movement; the local communist party branch’s involvement in local folklore; working conditions for women in the 1950s; her actions as a feminist fighting for equal pay in the education system. She recalls forming &​ running the South Coast Bush Band in the mid-1950s after a visist from the original Bushwhackers to Wollongong; life during mining strikes.


Our family was very interested to see Lola’s Keg Night.  Caroline booked tickets online for six of us  for Saturday night, 11th of October 2014,  at the Merrigong Studio in Wollongong.


The above website shows pictures from the Merrigong Studio. There were individual small tables for the theater goers. There were candles and pictures on each table. Matthew organised the pushing together of some tables for our family group: There were Monika and Mark, Caroline and Matthew as well as Peter and myself. All of us had a terrific evening. In time I warmed up enough to join in the singing of some of the bushsongs. The texts were always displayed on the screen above the stage. Our group took to drinking beer. During intermission I felt that I’d rather have some hot tea to drink.  Matthew soon arrived with a lovely wooden tray with an old fashioned tea-pot on it plus a beautiful cup and a creamer and sugar. I enjoyed this tea very much.

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One Response to “UTA’S DIARY”

  1. Robert M. Weiss October 20, 2014 at 2:42 am #

    As a former oral historian, this work seems interesting and informative.

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