Saturday, May 7, 2016

Portraits and Personalities of Townsville: Mr A.W. Trembath and the Townsville Apollo Club and Orchestra

Programme for a performance by
the Townsville Apollo Club
Mr A.W. Trembath was a dentist and choir conductor. Like others in this display living in the tropical north, whether by choice or accident, he too enriched the life of his community through his passion and work. In the 1920s he had lived in Charters Towers, where he joined the Charters Towers Curlew Choir.  He then established himself in Townsville and became the conductor of the Townsville Apollo Club and Orchestra. The Choir was principally for male voices and was very active in Townsville before World War II. With fifty members and success in competitions, the club was formed with elected officers and subscriptions.

Three concerts were given annually and the members represented Townsville in North Queensland and Queensland music competitions. The early concerts were held at what was then the largest theatre in North Queensland, the Wintergarten Theatre – a theatre built to conform to a ‘tropical theatre concept’ by George Birch, E.J. Carroll and Virgil Coyle.

The records held in the Special Collection include programmes of concerts for which he was conductor (held at the Wintergarten Theatre), his advice on his adjudication methods, and dentistry notes with hand written annotations on the use of ceramic in dentistry.

See more: 

Trisha Fielding's online article on the Wintergarden Theatre is worth a look.

Bianka Vidonja Balanzategui 
JCU PhD History Candidate

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