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The Nelson Photo News



The Lively Ladybirds

Take another look at our front cover and then come back to these pages. That's right, the happy girls featured here are members of the Ladybirds, one of the few all-female singing groups in New Zealand.

The Ladybirds first spread their wings in August, 1969, when they played at a dance at Ngawhatu. Heartened by their immediate success they turned to the demanding world of the professional musician - but (for most of the group anyway) it's only a part-time activity.

Their popularity in Nelson is emphasised by the heavy bookings which overcrowd their calendar and the next few months will be spent meeting these commitments.

You'll see the Ladybirds almost anywhere - at cabarets, dances, socials and in the pubs where they manage to make that beer taste so much better.

The Ladybirds' fame has spread and they have a booking in Blenheim and have had several offers from North Island centres.

A wide range of numbers is well handled by this bunch of birds and their sound has changed a bit from their original repertoire. A bass guitar has replaced a piano accordion and an electric organ has been introduced.


Playing in a group was about the obvious next step for Catherine Linton who is a music teacher. Catherine plays the organ and, naturally, the piano. Like most of the Ladybirds she has a wide range of outside interests, which include playing pool, art and playing records. She is particularly keen on blues music


Rae Goodwin, the group's drummer, is a fast lady. Most of us are content to watch those stock car drivers plough into each other but not Rae. She's one of the top women drivers in Nelson and is the Tasman Stock Car Club ladies' champ. Rae's working life is much more sedate. She is a typist with the Health Department. Like Catherine she's a pool shark.


Rae's the women's champ on the stock car track



Bass guitarist Josephine De Cesare is a hairdresser but in her spare time, apart from her activities as a Ladybird, she is a keen basketball player. Josephine loves Latin American music. As well as the guitar she plays the piano accordion.


Leader of the group, Emmlyn Amosa, plays the rhythm guitar and as this photo depicts she is a keen gardener. Emmlyn is married with two children (Ella and John). Apart from gardening her main hobby is photography.


Front girl for the Ladybirds is vocalist Sheena Edwards who, like Emmlyn, is married with two children (Michelle and Leighton). Sheena is a part-time assistant at Whareama where this photo was taken. With her is Miss M. A. Darkin who will be 90 in August. Tennis is a favourite with Sheena.