Numurkah’s Isobel Hodge was born with music in her veins.
The daughter of a classic violinist, Mrs Hodge was just four when she picked up her first violin, igniting a life-long passion for music.
Awarded an Order of Australia today, she was recognised for her incredible contribution to the Numurkah community, musically and beyond.
Moving to the Goulburn Valley in 1948, Mrs Hodge forged ahead with a career in nursing following her schooling days.
But there was always a place for her musical prowess.
In 1985, Mrs Hodge formed the Numurkah and District Choristers.
‘‘We had a large classical choir,’’ she said.
‘‘There was around 70 choristers and 30 people in the orchestra.’’
But that was not the end of groups formed by Mrs Hodge.
She also brought together the Numurkah Singers where she was the musical director for 15 years and gained a life membership.
Mrs Hodge also started a small singing ensemble known as Polyphony.
‘‘I have enjoyed sharing my musical talents with the community,’’ she said.
‘‘Music is my passion and the sharing of that knowledge is what I really wanted to do.’’
Mrs Hodge was the driving force behind many young people also becoming passionate about music, teaching for many years.
‘‘I was privately teaching for around 35 years,’’ she said.
And it was her position in a string quartet, as a violinist, which made up one of the most important parts of her life.
Mrs Hodge’s husband John recalled spending many nights with her at Government House, where she played in the quartet.
Many Numurkah-based groups or organisations have been assisted by the selfless Mrs Hodge.
Mrs Hodge, now 76, still holds her position as founder and musical director of the Numurkah Town Band, of which she is also a life member.
A mother to three boys, Mrs Hodge has also dedicated her time to family.
She has been the Numurkah and District Parents and Carers Support Group president since 2014.
With such extensive community contribution, Mrs Hodge was awarded Citizen of the Year by the Numurkah Shire Council in 1989 as well receiving Numurkah Rotary Club’s community service award last year.