- Date, John C., RANVR (Rtd)
- Biographies and personal histories, History - WW2
- RAN Ships
- HMAS Canberra I, HMAS Shropshire
- March 1990 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
In 1946 Cedric joined the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, playing under Goossens, Sargent, Beecham, Klemperer and Hamilton Harty to name just a few of the great conductors of that time.
While being involved between 1946-1957 as Music Director of the Mosman Music Club, Cedric drifted into one of the most joyful periods of his musical career when in 1952 he was appointed Director of Music at The King’s School, Parramatta in a full-time teaching career. Immeasurable pleasure resulted when in each of the next 14 years under Cedric’s guidance the boys sang and performed a Gilbert and Sullivan opera.
And if all this involvement in music creation was not enough, in 1960 Joseph Post invited Cedric to join the staff at the Sydney Conservatorium and there he was appointed an examiner for the Australian Music Examination Board. All this while being co-founder of The Rockdale Municipal Opera Company in 1946 and remaining their conductor for 34 years, resigning in 1980.
Cedric’s great achievements were graciously acknowledged in 1980 when he was awarded the Queen’s Honour of the Member of the British Empire for services to music.
Since 1980 Cedric continues to be conductor of the Sutherland Shire Symphony Orchestra.
Cedric’s progression in fine art has continued throughout his life. During his naval service he frequently either drew scenes of life in a man-o-war or when given a few hours recreational leave ashore in such places as the palm studded forelands of the Admiralty Islands he drew scenes of relevance and great beauty.
While serving in HMAS AUSTRALIA, Cedric was asked by the Captain to do a painting suitable for presentation to the Admiral at a special dinner gathering of four people. The resulting classic depicted the aide-de-camp turned away in disgrace being truly ‘under the weather’ much to the amusement of the onlookers, the Admiral, Captain and Commander. The caption told the story – ‘…only seamen old and able may drink the Admiral out at the table.’
In a more recent painting Cedric has brought to life the mortal throes of HMAS CANBERRA just prior to her sinking in the Battle of Savo Island.
Even in 1990 Cedric is still gracing the company of members of The Naval Historical Society of Australia, in portraying for our pleasure his artistic attributes, covering subjects of historical significance.
In exhibiting professional excellence, artistic warmth in music and fine art, Cedric Ashton has endeared himself to all to whom he has come in contact and all have benefited richly from his charming personality.