“Mahboba is a force of nature who lets nothing stand in the way of her efforts to provide and care for the most vulnerable children and widows of Afghanistan,” Ms Gerstle said. “Neither Covid, war, nor politics have stopped her for even a day. Imagine a world with Mother Mahboba’s everywhere, given what one woman has managed to do.”
Dame Quentin Bryce, former Governor-General of Australia and Patron of the organisation, as quoted at mahbobaspromise.org, had this to say:
“Mahboba’s Promise upholds values of compassion, tolerance and peace by serving vulnerable women and children in Afghanistan. It strives to empower them to improve their quality of life. In Australia, Mahboba Rawi is a role model for inclusiveness and women’s rights. I encourage you to support the exceptional work done every day by this significant organisation.”
The Twilight Zone is led by singer Neil Ross from North Sydney.
The Twilight Zone, their devotees, and those keen to see Afghan women and girls with rights, raised $15,000 on the night. Included was a silent auction with an arresting, original painting by band-member, Rob Rogers, which swelled coffers beautifully.
The funds will be spent on Mahboba’s always pressing projects, which provide emergency aid; empower children; educate women; build bridges through education; and promote self-sufficiency among Afghanistan’s at-risk women and children.
The band cannot be found on any gig guide. But you might catch an advertisement for the odd charity line-up, especially at Mosman RSL, where The Beatles, Rolling Stones and all the big bands, are played with gusto by a group of dedicated rockers – who will always be younger than the originals.
Three of the band members went to Knox Grammar together.
The Twilight Zone does not derive any income from their fundraising gigs, the only thing they seek to recover is the cost of the sound guy and equipment.
“The origins of the band go back to my 50th birthday,” said the lead singer, Neil Ross of North Sydney, when the mates decided to put on a show. “From there, we just decided to keep it going, typically once a year, but now and then twice a year. With two years off due to Covid 19.”
Three band members met at Knox Grammar, Wahroonga. “In year 2, to be precise,” Mr Ross said.
“Wink Read, Rob Rogers, and I have known each other for 60 years,” Mr Ross said. “I’ve known Tony Bannon [who lives in Mosman] for over 40 years, and the bass-player Jeff Sanders for over 20 years. Our regular keyboard player and vocalist, Tony McMinn has known most of us for 40 years. And, of course, our drummer, Richard Pearce. He’s been with us for six years.”
The Twilight Zone does not derive any income from their fundraising gigs.
Perhaps the band’s longevity is explained by its infrequent concerts, no touring to speak of, and the fact rehearsals are compressed into a few weeks.
“[We] just have a frantic rush,” Mr Ross explained. “[Maybe] a series of practice sessions as the concert date approaches. It’s very difficult to get all six members together, so we often practise together with three or four.”
The Twilight Zone’s ability to boost dollars for their nominated charities obviously hit a rough patch with pandemic restrictions. However, given the raging success of this long-anticipated, come-back performance, this band’s not about to go quietly.