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New Zealand's Got Talent

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Olivia Turner


Singer, 91


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NZGT's oldest contestant was born in London emigrating to New Zealand with her family at the time of the Great Depression.

During the Second World War she was "man powered" as a ladies' tailor, sewing uniforms for soldiers. She used part of her wage to pay for singing lessons her secret passion and went on to sing on the radio and with big bands during the war years.

"Mum was always singing around the house," Olivia says. "She was my inspiration."

But for nearly two decades after she married, Olivia put her passion aside to concentrate of being a wife and mother of three. It wasn't until her 40s that she joined the Trinity Theatre workshop group in Christchurch and finally started indulging in her love of opera and musical theatre.

Olivia lives alone in a retirement village which she describes as "not nearly as nice as my last home" which she was forced to abandon because of damage caused by last September's earthquake.