Our Gifts in Wills supporters speak of their passion for the Performing Arts
“Gill and I have been visiting Arts Centre Melbourne since the early 1980s, enjoying a variety of theatrical, cultural and special events. This was a natural progression for us, having come from families where these activities were an integral part of our lives.
Our motivation for leaving a gift in our Will to ACM was to help improve access to such experiences for children and families who have been unable to make these connections.
We are honoured to be the inaugural Ambassadors of The Amsden Ensemble. It is a group which brings together people who have a collective interest and vision to improve access to Arts Centre programs for all communities.
Such gifts are vital when arts organisations need to build resources independent from government funding; which is why we want to encourage others to support the Arts Centre through a planned gift, too.”
A nostalgic expression drifts across Peter Game’s face as he looks out of the large windows at Arts Centre Melbourne. He is recalling a performance of Verdi’s Aida which he watched with his wife more than 30 years ago.
“It was the most magical moment. The moon was hanging in the sky over the open-air stage. It was such an experience – one that I’ll never forget,” he says.
“It is this ‘arousal of emotion and human spirit’, transporting people away from the daily grind of everyday life that make the Performing Arts so special,” Peter says.
“It is an escape. This fundamental desire to be entertained makes the Arts very important. It’s good for people, good for the soul.”
“We’ve seen most of our performances at Arts Centre Melbourne over the years. We enjoy orchestral concerts at Hamer Hall and the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. We’ve seen countless operas, musicals and plays at the State Theatre, Fairfax Studio and the Playhouse. We watched CHICAGO recently. It was magnificent. Terrific choreography.”
Peter was an award-winning journalist on The Herald for an incredible 61 years, but his passion for the performing arts dates back even further.
“I can remember my parents taking me to a pantomime at the Tivoli Theatre in Bourke Street as a child. I was fascinated by the people on stage even then.”
This experience would shape a love of the Arts that would last a lifetime. Peter has seen thousands of shows over the years – from musicals to opera, classical concerts to ballet, circus to theatre. At age 93, he certainly has a prolific audience résumé.
Peter married his wife Betty in 1953. He continues: “Performances and shows have been a big part of our lives. Even when we lived in London for two years from 1956, while I was a foreign correspondent on The Herald, we went to West End shows.”
It is their long association with Arts Centre Melbourne which made Peter and Betty decide to pledge a gift in their Will to this iconic Victorian performing arts organisation. Fulfilling a desire for the show to ‘always go on.’
“It would be a very dreary world without the Arts, and we are blessed that there is a big following in Melbourne. Bringing school children into the theatre whets their appetite and creates a new generation of performing art-lovers".
As Peter turns to admire the familiar Spire he adds, “The Arts Centre is an important part of Melbourne and Victoria’s life. The city and its people benefit greatly from it. It’s given us great joy, and Betty and I take great comfort in knowing that we are playing a part in ensuring that continues for future audiences.”
Peter and Betty Game
Interview: February 2020
"My arts journey began with musical theatre, which led on to attending orchestral concert performances and then opera and ballet. Plays had never appealed until attending a performance of the MSO which featured John Bell delivering a speech from Romeo and Juliet. The language was captivating. I was hooked and have never missed a performance of Bell Shakespeare since, although I still love anything and everything with music.
I started going to family and children performances with my great nieces and nephews, but no longer need them as an excuse, and happily attend on my own whenever anything appeals - which is often! I want the same enjoyment I get to be shared by others, especially those who may not have the same easy opportunity to attend as I have.
Why am I supporting the Access & Inclusion program though a bequest in my Will? It is because I want every child to have the chance to be as enthralled and entranced by the music, the movement, the language, as I was - and still am. To be able to forget everything for a while and be drawn into the magic and escapism happening on the stage. To see and hear something different and, hopefully, to just enjoy."
Alison C Pearce