GAY AND INFORMAL
MAYORAL SUPPER PARTY
No doubt not a few Aucklanders present at the Mayoral supper party given in honour of Gracie Fields last night in the council chamber of the Town Hall were surprised by her appearance when she came in with Mr. Allum. They saw a slight woman, not as tall as she looks on the screen, with a lovely pink and white complexion and lustrous golden hair only slightly streaked with grey. (With typical humour, she admits herself, from the stage, that "it is 'touched up.'") , She was wearing a dashingly-cut black and white gown with panels of broderie anglaise, a slit skirt and a sequinned jacket, topped by a mink coat. Her "entrance"' was typical of her naturalness and gay informality. The three-piece orchestra evidently could not see her come in, through the press of the 200-odd guests, and continued playing, in spite of Mr. Allum's signals to them to stop.
Thereupon Gracie took up the wellknown ditty they were playing and sang it at the top of her voice. When the players stopped, she carried on for a moment, then made a cheery frimace and everyone roared with tughter. It could not even be said that the incident broke the ice, for there could be no ice, no pomposity nor formality, around Gracie.
Her spontaneous laughter, rolling of eyes and broad gestures, even on such an occasion, when she was not "performing" made the atmosphere crackle with warmth and happiness.
"I can't Introduce you all to Miss Fields," said Mr. Allum, "so please go up and talk to her:" Gracie rolled her eyes in mock despair, and when asked to say "two words" replied, "Thank you!" Then she wheeled round towards the supper table, said, "I need something on my throat. Have you got any coffee?" and with a broad come-hither gesture towards the supper with her arm she shouted to the guests, "Cum and get it!"
Then, of course, everyone "came," not to the supper table, but to Gracie. Everyone, it seemed, wanted to tell her they came from Lancashire, too, or at least from England. Or they wanted to know how she liked New Zealand audiences.
The Mayoress, Mrs. Allum, was unavoidably absent, in Wellington. The guests included city councillors and their wives, representatives of the Services and of various public bodies and their wives.
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GRACIE FIELDS, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 179, 31 July 1945
GRACIE FIELDS Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 179, 31 July 1945
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