I was walking one brisk morning in Melbourne recently when I looked up to see Scots’ Church, the first Presbyterian church in Victoria, and where my aunty married an American soldier over seventy years ago. It’s also the church where Australia’s Dame Nellie Melba, the world’s greatest operatic soprano, shared her beautiful voice with the public for the first time.
The church was built by Melba’s father in 1874, and each Sunday she sang in the choir there. What a treat that would have been, closing your eyes and hearing the song of a real life angel floating among the stone arches, and all for the price put in the collection plate.
Dame Nellie became so famous around the world, and her church with her, that the building has been visited twice by the current Queen Elizabeth.
The street walk light changed to green, I pulled up my collar a bit more in a vain attempt to hide from the cold Melbourne air, and walked past Melba’s church. No one else seemed to give even a passing thought.