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Popular piano teacher turns 100

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She's passed on her musical skills to dozens of young pianists — but on Saturday afternoon it was Olivette Burch Morris's turn to be entertained.

Nearly 150 friends and family gathered at the Cobbs Hill Gospel Hall to wish centenarian Ms Morris a happy birthday, with a series of musical performances including a singing quartet featuring her 92-year-old brother William.

Ms Burch Morris, a well-known piano teacher from St George's, was also joined by 94-year-old sister Ina Burch Pitcher to mark the occasion.

Former students that Mrs Morris had taught and tutored down the decades also attended the birthday celebrations of the popular senior, who now lives at Lefroy House.

“There was plenty of music to mark the occasion,” Sheila Burrows, Mrs Morris's niece, said. “Music has always been so important to my aunt so we had a quartet singing and people did solos too.

“She had a lovely afternoon and enjoyed all the music that was going on.”

Mrs Morris, a mother of five, worked for many years as the bookkeeper for George Trott Carpentry Shop on the North Shore.

But she is most well-known as a firm but fair piano teacher who took dozens of pupils under her wing and taught them how to play.

“She played the piano from the age of five,” Mrs Burrows said. “She was still playing the organ for the Gospel Hall Chapel in Glebe Road up until she was 89.

“She was a very articulate teacher; always humble and full of grace. I would describe her as a real lady of her times.”

Birthday girl: Olivette Burch Morris celebrates her 100th birthday at the Cobbs Hill Gospel Hall (Photographs by Blaire Simmons)
Olivette Burch Morris's 100th birthday at the Cobbs Hill Gospel Hall (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Olivette Burch Morris's 100th birthday at the Cobbs Hill Gospel Hall (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Unice Tucker, all smiles at the celebrations of Olivette Burch Morris's 100th birthday at the Cobbs Hill Gospel Hall (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Friends, family and past students, show their support at the celebration of Olivette Burch Morris 100th birthday at the Cobbs Hill Gospel Hall (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Friends, family and past students, show their support at the celebration of Olivette Burch Morris 100th birthday at the Cobbs Hill Gospel Hall (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Friends, family and past students, show their support at the celebration of Olivette Burch Morris 100th birthday at the Cobbs Hill Gospel Hall (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Friends, family and past students, show their support at the celebration of Olivette Burch Morris's 100th birthday at the Cobbs Hill Gospel Hall (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Olivette Burch Morris's 100th birthday at the Cobbs Hill Gospel Hall (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Friends, family and past students, show their support at the celebration of Olivette Burch Morris's 100th birthday at the Cobbs Hill Gospel Hall (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Friends, family and past students, show their support at the celebration of Olivette Burch Morris's 100th birthday at the Cobbs Hill Gospel Hall (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published October 24, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated October 24, 2016 at 8:35 am)

Popular piano teacher turns 100

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