I was at the Buddhist Happiness & Its Causes Conference in Sydney a few days ago. It was, as in years past, a wonderful event. It concluded with a real tear-jerker. The Merry Makers performed. This is a Sydney-based dance group for people with intellectual and/or physical disabilities. Their performance was both graceful and honest. I cried through most of it.
The Merry Makers was started in 1978 by Rosemary Marriott who discovered how enlivened a severely retarded boy became when she played music to him. After Rosemary’s death in 1994, Lucinda Bryant, only 18 at the time, became the artistic director, and has remained so since then. Lucinda says she witnesses miracles daily.
They have been the subject of a movie, “The music in me”, and the book, “Love is in the air”, will be released by ABC Books in October this year.
I couldn’t help thinking that, while Merry Makers is doing so much good, it’s nonetheless one small group of people in all those who need it. So I was delighted to read that they are holding a series of master classes to explain their techniques and how they run their organisation so that people who want to set up a similar group in other states, indeed in other countries, can attend: www.merrymakers.com.au
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