Long-time fan and one-time fellow student Heather McGaw got the chance to catch up with Troy Cassar-Daley before he went on stage at Grafton Shoppingworld. Heather and Troy went to primary school together and their families still send each other Christmas cards. When asked if she regarded Troy as an idol as well as a friend, tears swelled in her eyes and Heather nodded
Long-time fan and one-time fellow student Heather McGaw got the chance to catch up with Troy Cassar-Daley before he went on stage at Grafton Shoppingworld. Heather and Troy went to primary school together and their families still send each other Christmas cards. When asked if she regarded Troy as an idol as well as a friend, tears swelled in her eyes and Heather nodded "Yes". JoJo Newby

Troy happy on home ground

THE emotion was palpable yesterday as the South Grafton Public School choir sang the Troy Cassar-Daley song Riverboy to the river boy himself at a special morning performance.

"I sat over there and felt like crying," Troy told the gathering of students, parents and teachers after the stirring performance.

"I was just overwhelmed.

"I don't get surprised very often these days," said the 42-year-old country music luminary who was in the area to promote the release of his new album Home and his much-anticipated performance at the Saraton Theatre on April 14.

Troy, who now lives in Brisbane with his wife and two children, also performed for about 20 minutes at Grafton Shoppingworld where he sang Happy Birthday to his mum Irene Daley with the help of the 500-strong crowd.

He then sat for just on two hours signing autographs and chatting to his adoring fans.

At South Public, he acknowledged his cousins and aunties in the school crowd and played three songs interspersed with stories from the road and of his childhood in the area (at Vincent St, just up the road).

"I went to school in South Grafton (St Joseph's), I rode bikes around South Grafton," he said.

"I wanted to see what's going on in the schools back here.

"When I was in school I loved to play guitar.

"I loved to play cricket and footy too but I really loved to play guitar.

"No one knew what to do with a kid that wanted to play guitar back then.

"I had a dream that I could play country music for a living, he said."

The former St Aloysius student encouraged the kids to dream and dream big because, he said, everyone had to have a go and then sung his 1995 hit Dream Out Loud.

"When I was a kid I didn't think my dreams where anywhere near attainable," he said.

Now with eight studio albums to his name as well as four ARIAs, 21 Golden Guitars, seven Deadly Awards and a happy home life to boot, clearly Troy is evidence that dreams can come true.

Of the title track of his newly released album Home, Troy said: "When I started writing this track I was about to go back to Grafton with my kids for a family catch-up so I wrote this song to prepare me for it.

"I got as far as 'two loving arms' in the lyrics and broke down crying ... this song goes from 2 Vincent St, South Grafton to our family homes in Queensland, where we live and everywhere in between."



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