Dorothy and Peter Heard spoke to the club about the history of the Numurkah Town Band.
As far back as 1883 Numurkah had brass bands, but in 1903 musician John Tracey moved to Numurkah and was asked to form a band of young students which a debut as the Numurkah Town Band in 1904, playing at a dance in the Mechanics Institute.
Prior to TV, the band provided entertainment and amusement for the town, In 1908 a band rotunda was built for the band to perform concerts monthly. The rotunda has been moved and modified several times, since.
In 1909 the band made 106 appearances. During World War I the band played at the railway station for departing troops. 1939 band was in recess during World War II, reforming under George Paterson in 1949 with new grey uniforms.
Highlights of those years were the massed band competition with up to a dozen bands competing. The band has had many band masters including George Paterson after the war, Col McPherson, Arthur Smith and present leader Isobel Hodge, the longest serving as director of music with Michelle Davis as assistant.
Membership has fluctuated going down to 10, then 5 in 2007, presently 25. Spasmodic attendances and shortage of money have always been a problem, with Moira Shire, Rotary & Lions and business houses assisting, and regular Bunnings BBQs held, to raise funds to repair old or purchase new instruments.
Initially the band rehearsed in various shops and venues. In 1883 the Railway Hotel built a dinning room which was later purchased for $200 in 1977 and moved to current site. Unfortunately the hall became a target for vandalism. When the Shire amalgamated, Moira Shire took over ownership and increased security.
Peter has been a member for 60 years with lots of memories, with many highlights and some sombre days.
Numurkah Town Band exists to serve the community by providing entertainment and opportunity for locals to join and learn.