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Mrs Gretchen Maclean made an outstanding contribution to the musical community in Invercargill and it was with great sadness that she passed away. Mrs Maclean was born in Wellington but spent most of her youth in Timaru where James Craigie, her grandfather, was a former mayor as well as a Member of Parliament.
She married Mr Peter Maclean of Timaru and they both came to Invercargill in 1939. Mr Maclean was the manager of the Trustees Executors and Agency Company before establishing the accounting firm of Maclean, Cooke and Company.
Gretchen was a member of the Invercargill Community Arts Society where she served as president for 14 years. She was awarded a life membership at their last annual meeting.
Mrs Maclean was also interested in the University Association of Southland, the Invercargill Public Art Gallery Society and the Southland Museum.
Mrs Maclean was also a first member of the Invercargill Musician Union when it was established in 1944. She loved to sing in the choir and the Union sang some serious works. Gretchen also sang in the choir of the St Paul's Presbyterian Church in Dee Street as a soprano chorister and one fine presentation she was involved in was Bach's St Matthew's Passion.
As a member of the staff of James Hargest High School in recent years, she was the main conductor and was responsible for many memorable musicals that came out of the school. One of the most recent musicals was "A Festival of Carols"
Mrs Maclean was 55 when she died and is survived by her husband, Peter, her daughter, Joan and her son, Hugh.
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