The Story of Harpin' Momma

“On 16 November 1984, the Federal Police made contact with me at my place of work, Meredith Trade Lino Pty Ltd, to ask if my mother’s name was Lucy Bozic.  

I said that I believed it was my mother’s name, but that I hadn’t seen her for many years, in fact I thought she was dead. They said that Lucy Bozic had sought their help to find me because she had only weeks to live.

This is her story and mine.”

So begins Adele Meredith’s autobiography chronicling her years at Abbotsford Convent’s orphanage in Melbourne, finding her mother at age 34, and her journey into the world of blues music. Given only months to live, Adele has made it her wish to come back to Abbotsford Convent and play a farewell performance at Lentil As Anything.

Lucy Bozic was born in Yugoslavia in 1923. After witnessing the murder of her entire family by the Gestapo, Lucy was forced to work for the Nazis; checking the mouths of prisoners entering the concentration camps for gold. As an SS cadet she was tattooed under her left armpit with a swastika and the initials LB.

At the age of 17 Lucy was chosen to be part of the Lebensborn project. A secret and terrifying scheme whereby young women were raped or coerced into sleeping with German men in an attempt to create ‘pure’ German babies for the 4th Reich – Hilter’s hypothetical future.

Adele was born in 1946.

In 1950 Lucy and Adele boarded a ship heading for a new life in Australia. Lucy could never forget the way Adele was conceived, however, and immediately placed her at the St. Theresa Orphanage in Melbourne. She was four years old and would not see her mother again for 30 years.   

At the age of eight Adele was placed at Sacred Heart Class at the Abbotsford Convent. Life was hard at the convent. Adele was bullied, and the nuns were strict, she was forced to do manual labour to earn her keep. When Adele finally left the convent, she had learnt to be both humble and fierce. She had learnt to survive and what freedom really is.       

Throughout Adele’s life kindness often came in the form of music. From a piano accordion from her favourite nun, Mother Theresa, to the mouth organ from a foster parent Mr Ellul to learning the blues at the YWCA after she left the convent.

 And so Harpin’ Momma was born.

Adele has found fury, passion and solace in the blues. Her music portrays her strength, and her strength is what moves her music.

On the 10th of November Adele will return to the Abbotsford Convent. 

Don’t miss this incredible night.

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