Lee remembered for dedication to music

THE funeral will be held today for Lee Quast, a woman described as one of the most dedicated lovers and supporters of the arts and music in Tamworth.

Mrs Quast, pictured two years ago, was a celebrated patron of the arts, particularly musical theatre in Tamworth, and was always in the crowd at local productions and a positive and supportive theatre goer.

In her younger days Mrs Quast was a leading lady in a number of Tamworth Arts Council productions, including in one memorable performance as Carmen.

Musical director and theatrical stalwart Bill Gleeson yesterday described Mrs Quast as a wonderful and generous personality who had supported the arts in Tamworth for years.

“She had a lovely soprano voice and even in her later years she was a member of the Tamworth Singers choir, and we had some wonderful Christmas parties at the Quast’s home at Moore Creek,” Gleeson said.

“She actually performed not long ago at a senior’s concert, and she sang an old June Bronhill song, she was just amazing, it was such a beautiful voice for a woman of her age.”

While she had a wonderful name for her musical ability, Lee Quast had also earned kudos for her flair with both business and community circles.

Alongside husband Col, she ran Quast’s Turkeys for years before son Col Jnr assumed the reins a few years back. The farm at Moore Creek has been a high-profile primary producer of turkeys, growing some 65,000 a year  with about two-thirds of those destined for Christmas tables.

Col Jnr’s wife Vicki has publicly promoted the “best” turkey tips each Christmas cooking season, and still says Lee’s tips were the standout.

Until recently Lee Quast was president of the Tamworth Friends of the Visually Impaired, originally the Black and White Committee, which disbanded after nearly 50 years of operations two years ago due to a lack of volunteers and ageing members. 

She was a mother of three to daughter Lynne and sons Philip and Col Jnr, grandmother to eight and a great- grandmother.

Mixing her maternal and musical loves was another notable characteristic of her life. Friends say she was always in the opening night of the latest production son Philip appeared in. That included the Sydney Theatre Company’s production of Waiting for Godot only a month before her death and three years ago when Philip starred in the Melbourne production of Mary Poppins. 

Philip Quast has won international acclaim for his roles on stage, including his roles as Javert in Les Miserables, both in Australian and in the West End of London.

Mrs Quast was 80. She died peacefully after a long battle with pancreatic cancer, five days before Christmas.

A service will be held at St John’s Anglican Church at 1pm today.

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