Military Wife in China

by Amita Monterola


Amita was among the first few women to appear at the back of Duntroon Chapel in Canberra when the AMWChoir held its first 'come & try' rehearsal. Now posted to China, Amita continues to share the joy of singing with other women. Here is an update on their latest singing adventure:

Pictured above are Bessie (Malawi), Wisiri (China/Thailand, Christina (Denmark), Annette (Sweden) and Amita (Australia).

Pictured above are Bessie (Malawi), Wisiri (China/Thailand, Christina (Denmark), Annette (Sweden) and Amita (Australia).

"Soon after [Mr Turnbull's visit to China], I travelled to Hangzhou. We sang Military Wife in front of 91 wives and daughters of Military Attaches in Beijing plus the Regional Commander of the People Liberation’s Army, his staff and the wives of important generals. It was quite a big event as there were eight performances by the PLA band members (eg, traditional instruments, jazz saxophone etc) and PLA dancers. Then our ladies performed dances from South America and Russia, a traditional song from Africa and a pop song from Europe. It also showed how much the Chinese military values singing as the officers and wives performed one patriotic song and the Hangzhou Regional Commander’s wife sang a romantic song on her own.

So I was very proud to introduce ['Military Wife'] coming from Australia and all of the ladies in the audience were very touched by the lyrics. We only had a small group because some singers did not travel on this trip but I was pleased that the group represented many continents: Europe (2 Scandinavians), Asia (a Chinese lady married to a Thai attache), Africa (Malawi) and myself.

After the performance I was even more excited to hear that another lady who has just arrived from France is a concert pianist so I have the idea to ask her to learn the accompaniment so a bigger group can perform in front of our husbands and more PLA generals at the end of the year. I will keep you informed!

Bella laying a wreath on behalf of Australian children at an ANZAC Dawn Service in China.

Bella laying a wreath on behalf of Australian children at an ANZAC Dawn Service in China.

Of course this week during Anzac Day I was thinking of you and the choir. I hope everything went smoothly. My mother is here and so it was a special experience to have Simon host his last big dawn service here, and see Bella lay a wreath for Australian kids.

I will be keeping an eye on the choir website for more exciting news including the choirs in different parts of Sydney."

Amita - Lifetime AMWChoir member