THE South Gippsland Shire Brass Band’s 130th birthday was celebrated by band members, their families, and guests last week following the band’s AGM.

Councillor Adrian Darakai was on hand for the occasion.

The evening began with the band playing three numbers – ‘Ain’t Misbehaving’, ‘Sailing’ and ‘Hooked on a Feeling’ – which set the ambience for what was to follow.

After formal reports were presented, band president Darryl Hunt introduced Mrs Marion Dewar, a former member of the band and bandmaster in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Marion can trace her association with the band back to her grandfather. Her late husband Ian was also in the band, as was her father Frank Scott, who was a life member.

Marion gave an inspiring insight into her memories of the band 50-plus years ago, noting that she was the first female to be granted permission to play with the band, on the occasion of a band competition in Bendigo.

The new committee is Darryl Hunt (president), Nigel Hutchinson-Brooks (vice-president), Judy Hunt (secretary/treasurer), musical director – vacant, Don Santin (deputy musical director), Graeme Heath (drum major), and property officers Bruce Jarrett and Doug Appleton, with Katie Cantwell and Rod Coughran-Lane being other band members.

When AGM formalities were out of the way and the party began, attendees enjoyed an amazing cake artistically created by Rachel Michael, with 130 and a gold cornet on top, and musical notes around the sides.

It tasted as good as it looked, with Marion Dewar given the honour of cutting the cake as she has the longest
association with the band.

Don Santin played and everyone sang ‘Happy Birthday’ and gave three cheers.

The South Gippsland Shire Brass Band was established on February 19, 1892, as the Leongatha Town Band, giving its first concert the following year.

Its name changed to the Woorayl Municipal Band in 1945, a title it carried until council amalgamations led to the adoption of its current name in 1995.

With the South Gippsland Shire Brass Band looking for a new musical director and brass players, anyone who can help out or wants to learn is encouraged to contact president Darryl Hunt on 0407 444 210.

The band supplies a uniform, and instrument if required, and membership fees are modest.