Life is too interesting to overlook anything. So says Chris Halbert, whose approach to life has seen her capture and preserve history in many forms, from football memorabilia to sheet music.
For Chris, each piece tells a story that keeps our history alive. The 74-year-old volunteer director collects stories of the memorabilia for archiving in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) History Centre which she manages.
And, as a choir librarian at Adelaide’s Bethlehem congregation, she is equally passionate about preserving the Lutheran Church’s history of church music.
Chris’s service to both fields – the history of Australian Rules football and music – was recognised with an Order of Australia medal in this year’s Australia Day Honours.
She believes we must keep alive and build on our tradition of church music. ‘The Lutheran Church has such a superb history of church music. I, and many others, are committed to keep this, build on it, and not lose it’, she says.
Chris has sung in the Bethlehem choir for two decades and is also part of a team that preserves and files hundreds of sheets of music.
She is just as passionate about preserving the history of South Australia through its SANFL History Centre. ‘The history of the SANFL is an important part of the history of South Australia’, she says.
That’s despite not knowing much about football until she met and married Sturt premiership player and Magarey Medallist John, her husband of 53 years. John’s large collection of football memorabilia prompted Chris to write to the SANFL asking what could be done with collectible items. The SANFL’s interest led to Chris’s involvement in establishing the SANFL History Centre in 2014.
Another love for her is working with others. ‘I am really passionate about volunteering in the community’, she says. ‘Everybody is blessed to be able to serve.’
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