Vale Belle Pearson, 1923-2018

LOCAL musician and educator Belle Pearson has died in her 95th year. Well known to generations of Derwent Valley residents through her work in local schools, in her retirement Mrs Pearson was one of the founders and key supporters of the Derwent Valley Concert Band.

Mrs Pearson arrived in New Norfolk from New South Wales in 1947 for a “two year stay” along with her husband Alan who was a pioneering research chemist at Australian Newsprint Mills (now Norkse Skog).

A qualified teacher, Mrs Pearson was put in charge of Grade 3 at New Norfolk Primary School with nearly 70 students in her class which was accommodated in the Drill Hall in Stephen St. She became involved in the establishing of the Blair St Kindergarten, and later, New Norfolk High School – where she would eventually serve as vice-principal.

In 1993 Mrs Pearson was one of the key drivers behind the forming of the Derwent Valley Concert Band. She served as its patron and was awarded life membership. She participated in a number of the band’s overseas tours including its performance at the wedding of Tasmania’s Mary Donaldson to Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, when Mrs Pearson famously knocked on the door of the royal palace in Denmark to provide a framed photo of the band.

Belle Pearson passed away yesterday morning, just a few weeks short of her 95th birthday. She is survived by daughters Ann and Judy, six grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. Funeral details will be published in the Mercury on Wednesday.

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