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The Seekers singer Judith Durham honoured at state funeral

Judith Durham, the lead singer of The Seekers, was honoured with a state funeral on Tuesday, following her death at the age of 79.

It was only fitting that a memorial service for the Australian music legend should be an evening filled with song. 

The lead singer of folk group The Seekers died in August, following complications arising from a long-standing lung disease. 

Judith Durham (pictured in recent years) the lead singer of The Seekers, was honoured with a state funeral on Tuesday, following her death at the age of 79

Judith Durham (pictured in recent years) the lead singer of The Seekers, was honoured with a state funeral on Tuesday, following her death at the age of 79 

Crowds filed into Melbourne’s Hamer Hall to the sounds of live jazz for the service on Tuesday evening, hosted by Julia Zemiro and Brian Nankervis. 

David Campbell performed The Carnival is Over, and Dami Im also took to the stage for a musical tribute. 

Judith Durham’s older sister Beverley Sheehan also sang accompanied by Melbourne jazz band The Syncopators. 

It was only fitting that a memorial service for the Australian music legend should be an evening filled with song. Pictured is performer David Campbell

It was only fitting that a memorial service for the Australian music legend should be an evening filled with song. Pictured is performer David Campbell

It was only fitting that a memorial service for the Australian music legend should be an evening filled with song. Pictured is performer David Campbell

David performed The Carnival is Over at the service

David performed The Carnival is Over at the service

David performed The Carnival is Over at the service

Dami Im (pictured) also took to the stage for a musical tribute

Dami Im (pictured) also took to the stage for a musical tribute

Dami Im (pictured) also took to the stage for a musical tribute

‘This could be the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,’ she said. 

There were also recorded tributes from the likes of Kate Ceberano, Paul Kelly, Jimmy Barnes, Joanna Lumley and Rick Springfield. 

Paul Kelly related working on a song with Judith Durham, and when he mentioned that Morning Town was his daughters’ favourite song, she sang it to the children for their bedtime. 

Judith Durham's older sister Beverley Sheehan (pictured) also sang accompanied by Melbourne jazz band The Syncopators

Judith Durham's older sister Beverley Sheehan (pictured) also sang accompanied by Melbourne jazz band The Syncopators

Judith Durham’s older sister Beverley Sheehan (pictured) also sang accompanied by Melbourne jazz band The Syncopators

'This could be the hardest thing I've ever had to do,' she said

'This could be the hardest thing I've ever had to do,' she said

‘This could be the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,’ she said

‘That was Judith, kind hearted, generous, and loved to give other people joy,’ he said. 

‘But behind that sweetness and gentleness there was a hidden steel a strong independence of mind, she quietly and firmly went her own way, danced to her own drum.’ 

Soprano Deborah Cheetham sang Long Time Living Here with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra string quartet, before the Australian Children’s Choir sang the national anthem, and Vika and Linda Bull performed a duet accompanied on ukulele and double bass. 

The surviving members of The Seekers lead the on-stage tributes

The surviving members of The Seekers lead the on-stage tributes

The surviving members of The Seekers lead the on-stage tributes 

Crowds filed into Melbourne's Hamer Hall to the sounds of live jazz for the service on Tuesday evening, hosted by Julia Zemiro and Brian Nankervis

Crowds filed into Melbourne's Hamer Hall to the sounds of live jazz for the service on Tuesday evening, hosted by Julia Zemiro and Brian Nankervis

Crowds filed into Melbourne’s Hamer Hall to the sounds of live jazz for the service on Tuesday evening, hosted by Julia Zemiro and Brian Nankervis

A state funeral is bestowed upon noted Australian's seen to have made a significant contribution to the nation

A state funeral is bestowed upon noted Australian's seen to have made a significant contribution to the nation

A state funeral is bestowed upon noted Australian’s seen to have made a significant contribution to the nation

Judith Durham’s nephew Tony Sheehan gave a eulogy including stories from her childhood, growing up with a father who played the piano and a mother who hoped her children would be musical. 

‘Hazel’s abiding wish was that her children not be tone deaf. She got her wish,’ he said. 

‘Divine singer, voice of a generation and faultlessly generous soul, we will miss you, but we are so proud of you.’ 

Vika Bull OAM and Linda Bull OAM, accompanied by Ben Edgar and Richard Bradbeer, performed during the state memorial service. All pictured

Vika Bull OAM and Linda Bull OAM, accompanied by Ben Edgar and Richard Bradbeer, performed during the state memorial service. All pictured

Vika Bull OAM and Linda Bull OAM, accompanied by Ben Edgar and Richard Bradbeer, performed during the state memorial service. All pictured 

Paul Kelly (pictured second from right)  related working on a song with Judith Durham, and when he mentioned that Morning Town was his daughters' favourite song, she sang it to the children for their bedtime

Paul Kelly (pictured second from right)  related working on a song with Judith Durham, and when he mentioned that Morning Town was his daughters' favourite song, she sang it to the children for their bedtime

Paul Kelly (pictured second from right)  related working on a song with Judith Durham, and when he mentioned that Morning Town was his daughters’ favourite song, she sang it to the children for their bedtime

'That was Judith, kind hearted, generous, and loved to give other people joy,' he said

'That was Judith, kind hearted, generous, and loved to give other people joy,' he said

‘That was Judith, kind hearted, generous, and loved to give other people joy,’ he said

The near-full hall watched recordings of The Seekers 50th Anniversary Golden Jubilee Tour, with the hit songs I’ll Never Find Another You, A World of our Own, Georgie Girl, and I am Australian. 

A state funeral is bestowed upon noted Australian’s seen to have made a significant contribution to the nation. 

It was offered to the families of actor Bud Tingwell and cricketer Shane Warne upon their passing. 

Judith Durham's nephew Tony Sheehan (pictured) gave a eulogy including stories from her childhood, growing up with a father who played the piano and a mother who hoped her children would be musical

Judith Durham's nephew Tony Sheehan (pictured) gave a eulogy including stories from her childhood, growing up with a father who played the piano and a mother who hoped her children would be musical

Judith Durham’s nephew Tony Sheehan (pictured) gave a eulogy including stories from her childhood, growing up with a father who played the piano and a mother who hoped her children would be musical

'Divine singer, voice of a generation and faultlessly generous soul, we will miss you, but we are so proud of you' he said

'Divine singer, voice of a generation and faultlessly generous soul, we will miss you, but we are so proud of you' he said

‘Divine singer, voice of a generation and faultlessly generous soul, we will miss you, but we are so proud of you’ he said 

Durham passed away following a long battle with chronic lung disease.

She had been in palliative care at the Alfred Hospital before her death from complications with the disease.

Durham, born in 1943 in Melbourne, gained international fame with upbeat hits like Georgy Girl and a series of covers and collaborations with the likes of Paul Simon. 

Durham passed away in August following a long battle with chronic lung disease. She had been in palliative care at the Alfred Hospital before her death from complications with the disease. Pictured in 2017

Durham passed away in August following a long battle with chronic lung disease. She had been in palliative care at the Alfred Hospital before her death from complications with the disease. Pictured in 2017

Durham passed away in August following a long battle with chronic lung disease. She had been in palliative care at the Alfred Hospital before her death from complications with the disease. Pictured in 2017

Durham made her first recording at 19, and achieved worldwide fame after joining The Seekers in 1963. 

The band, also including Athol Guy, Keith Potger and Bruce Woodley, climbed the charts in the 1960s with hits including The Carnival is Over and A World of Our Own. 

They became the first Australian band to achieve major chart and sales success in the United Kingdom and United States, eventually selling 50 million records.

Folk-pop legends The Seekers are pictured in 1964. The group are best known for their hits like I'll Never Find Another You and Georgy Girl

Folk-pop legends The Seekers are pictured in 1964. The group are best known for their hits like I'll Never Find Another You and Georgy Girl

Folk-pop legends The Seekers are pictured in 1964. The group are best known for their hits like I’ll Never Find Another You and Georgy Girl

Durham made her first recording at 19, and achieved worldwide fame after joining The Seekers in 1963

Durham made her first recording at 19, and achieved worldwide fame after joining The Seekers in 1963

Durham made her first recording at 19, and achieved worldwide fame after joining The Seekers in 1963

They famously performed on The Ed Sullivan Show multiple times and in 1966 they performed in front of the Queen Mother Elizabeth at the London Palladium. 

Durham embarked on a solo career in 1968, recording with The Seekers again in the 1990s.

The Seekers have sold over 50million records throughout their career.

Durham embarked on a solo career in 1968, recording with The Seekers again in the 1990s. A young Judith is pictured juicing carrots in a promotional photo from 1971

Durham embarked on a solo career in 1968, recording with The Seekers again in the 1990s. A young Judith is pictured juicing carrots in a promotional photo from 1971

Durham embarked on a solo career in 1968, recording with The Seekers again in the 1990s. A young Judith is pictured juicing carrots in a promotional photo from 1971

They were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 1996 and received the Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2014.

At home, The Seekers are still a household name and are well known to younger Australians for the song I am an Australian, which is still the theme song of the country’s public broadcaster ABC. 

Her Seekers bandmates Keith Potger, Bruce Woodley, and Athol Guy called her a ‘lifelong friend’ in a shared statement.

Her Seekers bandmates Keith Potger, Bruce Woodley, and Athol Guy called her a 'lifelong friend' in a shared statement. All pictured together in 2016

Her Seekers bandmates Keith Potger, Bruce Woodley, and Athol Guy called her a 'lifelong friend' in a shared statement. All pictured together in 2016

Her Seekers bandmates Keith Potger, Bruce Woodley, and Athol Guy called her a ‘lifelong friend’ in a shared statement. All pictured together in 2016

‘Our lives are changed forever losing our treasured lifelong friend and shining star,’ they said.

‘Her struggle was intense and heroic – never complaining of her destiny and fully accepting its conclusion. 

‘Her magnificent musical legacy Keith, Bruce and [Athol] are so blessed to share.’ 

Outside of The Seekers, Judith pursued a solo career with albums including Climb Ev'ry Mountain and Let Me Find Love

Outside of The Seekers, Judith pursued a solo career with albums including Climb Ev'ry Mountain and Let Me Find Love

Outside of The Seekers, Judith pursued a solo career with albums including Climb Ev’ry Mountain and Let Me Find Love 

Outside of The Seekers, Judith pursued a solo career with albums including Climb Ev’ry Mountain and Let Me Find Love. 

Judith married musical director, British pianist Ron Edgeworth, in 1969. 

Edgeworth died in 1994 following a battle with motor neurone disease, and Judith spent many years afterwards raising awareness around the disease. 

The Seekers are pictured performing in front of the Queen Mother Elizabeth at the London Palladium in 1966

The Seekers are pictured performing in front of the Queen Mother Elizabeth at the London Palladium in 1966

The Seekers are pictured performing in front of the Queen Mother Elizabeth at the London Palladium in 1966

‘Ron was a tremendous optimist and thought his body would heal itself. He’d always believed that he would live to 120 and that I, with my lung condition, would fall off the perch about 60,’ she told the Sydney Morning Herald in 2010.

Tributes flowed for the beloved singer, with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese describing Durham as ‘a national treasure and an Australian icon.’

‘Judith Durham gave voice to a new strand of our identity and helped blaze a trail for a new generation of Aussie artists,’ Albanese wrote on Twitter.

The Seekers on Thank Your Lucky Stars TV programme circa 1961 - 1966

The Seekers on Thank Your Lucky Stars TV programme circa 1961 - 1966

The Seekers on Thank Your Lucky Stars TV programme circa 1961 – 1966

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