History

The Dunedin RSA Choir had its origin on the grim Gallipoli battlefield. It was during a lull in the fighting in 1915 that Dunedin soldier Jimmy McNish was captivated by the singing of the enemy in a trench not more than a cricket pitch away. They sang well, harmonised splendidly.g

Young McNish was so taken with the singing that he made up his mind that, if he survived the war, he would start a soldiers' choir back at home. He did survive, became an early member of the committee of the Returned Soldiers Association, and called a meeting of singers. Only nine turned up, but so great was McNish's enthusiasm that they mustered friends from wartime days and by the end of 1919 there were 30 in the new choir.

For many years now the choir has numbered around 70, and has played an important and valued role in Dunedin City's commemorative celebrations of significant historical events.

ANZAC, of course, is one such occasion, and the ANZAC Revue held on the evening of every ANZAC Day, occupies a special place of honour in the choir's calendar.