Drag icon Glenda Jackson’s memorial booked out within hours


Newcastle drag performer Glenda Jackson died last week
Images: Supplied

Late Newcastle drag legend Glenda Jackson has sold out one last venue, after her memorial service later in the month booked out within hours.

Last week, loved ones announced the sad news that Glen Oliver, who performed in drag as Glenda Jackson for over 50 years, had died after battling cancer.

Glenda’s death sparked hundreds of tributes to the “true local icon” and “Newcastle’s number one diva”.

Longtime friend Ian Tufrey confirmed plans for a memorial service at Glenda’s longtime local Carrington Bowling Club. It will start at 2pm on Saturday, June 23, 2024.

For years, the drag performer hosted Big Balls Bingo at that club.

But just hours after the free tickets went on sale, the entire venue booked out to capacity.

A full house of punters will gather to give Glenda “a good send-off,” with a livestream also being organised.

“The response to attending Glenda Jackson’s Celebration of Life event has been extraordinary and has reached the legal capacity for the club’s internal and external areas,” Glenda’s friends wrote on Facebook.

“It is unfortunate but there cannot be any further releases of tickets because of licensing and venue restrictions.

“Live streaming of the event is being organised for those unable to attend and details of the link will be forthcoming.”

Those attending the service are set to honour Glenda by wearing bling, boas, headwear, feathers and sparkles.

Newcastle drag queen Glenda Jackson
Image: Facebook

Glenda Jackson immortalised at former Star Hotel

Glenda Jackson first donned full drag in the early 1970s in the “steel city” of Newcastle. Speaking to podcast LGBTI Conversations in 2022, Glenda recalled her earliest days in drag.

She and her fellow showgirls performed at the Star Hotel, inspired by the iconic Les Girls they saw in Sydney.

Bernie’s Bar in Newcastle – formerly the Star Hotel – announced plans to create a permanent memorial to Glenda.

At the queer bar, locals laid flowers and messages to pay tribute to Glenda at the site of her original venue.

Glenda Jackson also performed across Newcastle at numerous venues for over 50 years, until her last performances last year.

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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