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Esk organist proves age no barrier

Marj Skinner
WHEN MARJ Skinner first played the organ for Esk Methodist Church the congregation was swelled by soldiers based in the local showgrounds and saleyards.

It was a sad day for Esk when they were shipped out to defend New Guinea against the Japanese.

“The Sunday services were not the same after that,” she said.

On 16 March Mrs Skinner celebrates her 88th birthday.

Mrs Skinner remembered fondly how the soldiers would sing heartily in church.

Some evenings they gathered round her mother’s piano for a sing song and supper afterwards.

Since 1943 Mrs Skinner has accompanied many different ministers and was one of five organists who regularly played
in churches up and down the Brisbane Valley.

In 1953 she married Ted Skinner.

In 1977 she played at Esk’s first Uniting Church service.

When she played for a friend’s wedding in the town’s Anglican Church, the bridal party was an hour late but Mrs Skinner kept playing until the organ strap broke.

The only way she could keep the music coming was to play fast and furious, her feet and fingers zipping up and down the pedals and keys.

Her love of music extends beyond the church organ.

She sang for many years with the Esk Community Choir.

The congregation says youcan’t beat a traditional church organ when Mrs Skinner launches into much-loved hymns like Thine Be The Glory.

She has served the Brisbane Valley ministry with her music for almost 70 years and they pray she will long continue to do so.

Photo : Marj Skinner