Kaye Wilmott has been a Milton musician all her life. She was born and raised in Milton, venturing only to Mollymook later in life and to IRT Sarah Claydon two years ago.
She has been nominated for an International Women’s Day award for her musical volunteer work, though who nominated her is still a secret.
Her family were all lovers of music and they started performing together to entertain soldiers who had returned from the first and second world wars to keep them upbeat.
The then Maher sisters would tour around and perform at venues like the Marlin Hotel on a regular basis.
They travelled up and down the coast performing and while they made a little money from their ventures, they did most of their shows as volunteers for the love of it.
They were also founding members of The Entertainers, a local fundraising group who perform each year to raise money for local people in need.
Her sister, Patti Yates who died last year was the director of The Entertainers for more than 20 years and Kaye was a member of the group too.
Kaye still performs at Mimosa, the dementia wing of IRT Sarah Claydon as well as in the main part of the retirement village. She also does one on one performances with those who are too unwell to make the shows.
She visits Ulladulla Primary School and Milton Daycare to perform for children and does it all as a volunteer.
“I just like making people happy,” Kaye said.
“It’s not about making money.
“I sometimes help the dementia patients dance and sing songs.
“They can remember the words even with dementia,” she said.
Kaye and her family are passionate about research into cures for dementia because of their family history with the disease.
“It was a family secret for a long time but mum encouraged them to participate in research and help find a cure,” said Kaye’s son John.
In addition to her musical volunteer work and medical research, Kaye has done many beautiful things for people in her lifetime.
Her son recalls a time when she bought a caravan for a homeless person in the 1980s and allowed them to live on the property.
“She’s done so many things for people over the years,” he said.
Kaye will be recognised at a special breakfast in Ulladulla next week for outstanding women in the community.
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