THE STORY OF SHARON LACEY
It must be 39 - 40 ago that I first heard the voice of Sharon Lacey.
I was guest caller at a birthday function of the local Square Dance Club.
A young 16 year old Sharon sang 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' whilst sitting on a couch in the background to the caller named Steve O'Connor doing a duet with him as a singing call and had lots of sets dancing and enjoying what was happening. The reception for Sharon was wonderful and it was obvious with her beautiful voice she would become an entertainer somewhere in the future. Lucky for Square Dancing she decided to take up the pastime of Square Dancing and it was not long before she was asked if she would like to be a caller.
Sharon started her training with a well known caller by the name of Lee MacFadyean but shortly thereafter was informed that in order to become a member of the V.C.A. (Victorian Callers' Association) that she would have to become a trainee to a caller who was running a club. Due to ill health Lee was not running a club at the time and so he telephoned me (Frank Kennedy} and asked me if I would take Sharon on as a trainee which I did with no hesitation. Due to Sharon becoming my trainee it then opened the door for her to become the first ever 'Trainee Caller' of the Victorian Callers' Association in 1986.
On October 22nd 1987 Sharon started her own Square Dance Club named 'Diamond Valley Sqaures' and after 12 months of officially running her own club and because i was President of the 'Callers' Association at the time i was then very proudly able to take off her trainee badge and pin her caller's badge on her at her 1st Birthday celebration of 'Diamond Valley Sqaures' which promoted her from being a trainee to club caller to her own club but also made her officially one of the callers of the Victorian Callers' Association.
Sharon Lacey ran her club 'Diamond Valley Squares' for 28 years with the support of her mother and father (Nola & Des Lacey) who were always in the background and giving her all the support that they could which Sharon appreciated a great deal.
As well as running 'Diamond Valley Squares' Sharon has had many successful achievements in the Square Dance World. Singing on radio & television where she competed in the most successful Caller Competition on New Faces. Sharon was feature caller to the Dress Set Parade at a State Convention in (Albury Wadonga). Sharon has also went to a Square Dance Club in America with her father and when the caller of that club realised that Sharon was a caller he then let Sharon share the night with him. Thus she was very proud to say that she had called in America and whilst doing so, taught the Americans how to do 'A Yellow Rock'. Sharon was never too busy to arrange demos for Senior Citizens and Old Age homes etc and was never too busy to entertain. She also used to work as an entertainer running 'One Night Shows' as she calls them better known as 'Gigs' to the newer generation.
Sharon was also was one of the callers who helped me together with Wally Cook & Bill Pendlebury to run another Square Dance Club called R.S.L. Footscray which we all started together in February in 1998 and ran successfully for the next 6 years every Wednesday afternoon.
Another achievement I know that Sharon was very proud of is that she made a professional CD with another caller named David Smythe which was very well done.
If you were to ask Sharon what is her greatest achievement, she will immediately tell you the birth of her daughter 'Amy'. Both mother and daughter have a very close relationship.
Sharon loves to sing and loves music especially ABBA, The Carpenters or Country 'n' Western music and often plays music a lot at home.
She plays piano and also guitar very well and any time I visit I can hear her beautiful voice singing in her home. (I am also a fan}.
Maybe I have a prejudice, but I have had the pleasure of this hearing this beautiful voice and overseeing all of the wonderful things that this young lady has achieved over the last almost 40 years. I gained a daughter I never had and I also gained the friendship of a young lady I have the ultimate respect for. I feel the only comment that will make people appreciate this young lady is the realisation that Sharon hides very well the fact that she is 'Legally Blind'. Her confidence on stage is an inspiration to any young person wanting to achieve greater things in life.
Written-by Frank Kennedy.
The Silver Fox