The incomparable Sister Stanislaus

Title:
The incomparable Sister Stanislaus
NFSA ID:
1245092
Year:
1982
Courtesy:
Mike Walsh AM, OBE Hayden Productions
Category:
Access fees

Sister Stansilaus Zgrajewski was a Sisters of Mercy Nun from Queensland who was invited to perform on The Mike Walsh Show with her wonderful mix of music and comedy in 1982.

Her first appearance caused such a sensation that she was invited back the next day. This clip comes from her second appearance.

Sister Stani, as she was known, was a cook at the Star of the Sea Convent but she also had a hobby making instruments and entertaining residents in nursing homes with her musical talents.

Here she plays 'Click Go the Shears' on the piano accordion and harmonica, ably assisted by her straight-lady Dorothy Parker (not the poet).

The combination of her self-taught musical prowess and can-do attitude with the traditional Australian bush ballad is a winning one, and the audience is obviously both amazed and amused.

Designed to evoke memories, happiness and laughter in her audience, Sister's performance of the iconic song succeeds in all three counts, even getting Walsh to join in with the clicks using one of her puppets.

Sister Stani goes on to belt out the chorus of the much-covered 'Do What You Do Well' - a more contemporary tune written by Ned Miller. She is a one-woman-band with banjo, bells, harmonica and a squeaky duck.

She died in 2015 at the ripe old age of 104.

Clip from The Mike Walsh Show: Episode 2189.