Thursday 1 January 2015

BMC Anniversaries - 60th Anniversary Member's Dinner, Ermington Community Centre March 2014

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120 members and friends attended the dinner, and a good time was had by all!

The club provided a complimentary glass of bubbly or juice on arrival, caterers supplied roasts, salads and a dessert, Naomi Doherty made the second dessert, and Michelle Bolliger created our magnificent cake.

Cake photos - Sharyn Mattern


Thanks to Helen Romeo and the members of the Dinner subcommittee who did all the background work, and to all the members who came along on the night and made the evening a success!

Dave Johnson was after dinner speaker and gave a well-illustrated talk on BMC 1975-85, then after dessert the evening continued with music and dance.
photo - Bruce Downes

Comments from the Guest Book & Reviews of the evening

Cathy Richmond                  Happy Birthday BMC! Here’s to many more!
Naomi Bolliger                     Hello!!
George Bolliger                    Great to see lots of “old” friends!
Dale Dengate                       Glad to be here for another one – remember the 10th like yesterday!
Ann Maher                            So do I Dale. Does it make you feel old? Anyway, congratulations to the Club. Well done!
Frank Maher                         My great sorrow was missing the 50th (overseas)
Jamie Carlin                         Foundation member 1954
Margaret Walters                 Thanks for the memories!
 Karen Fong                         The BMC – what a great club / family it has been!
Sigrid                                   Thank you for a lovely night and for “The Virginia Reel”!
Margaret McCullagh-Dennis      Thanks for the dancing
Don & Sue Brian                   BMC – A great inspiration. Thanks
Judy Casey                          Thanks to all for a wonderful celebration
Sue & Pete McMahon           You Beauty!
Paul & Elizabeth Weaver      Fantastic 60th, great night!!
Fay Lau                                 A lovely mix, enjoyable wonderful catching up
Pete Cahill                             60 years yahoo!

A Diamond Jubilee calls for special events and the recent Member's Dinner was very special as it was an opportunity for reunions, a look back into the past and a celebration of all those who have contributed to the growth and development of the club. We gathered as a group of poets, musicians, singers and song writers, callers and dancers and BMC friends and so represented the diverse groups that are embraced under the club's banner. It was a night of great food, an amazing birthday cake and lively dancing to a wonderful array of musical instruments and musicians across the generations.
As a new member, it was an interesting night to learn more about the history of the club and associated bands. For me, bush music reminds me of the times I have danced in country woolsheds and enjoyed teaching favourite dances from Bushwackers albums to school children.
I discovered a sincere sense of history and pride in The BMC amongst the people at the Dinner so a well - deserved thankyou to the many who have played a part in keeping the BMC responding to challenge and growth from 1954 to 2014. 

Dianne Rodger


What a wonderful night!!

As part of the 60th Anniversary celebrations of the BMC, a members’ dinner was held on Saturday 29 March. What a great evening it was!

The Ermington Community Centre was decked out with plants and balloons and tables arranged around the hall and a photo slide show on the stage. A complimentary sparkling wine / orange juice was followed by a welcome by Sharyn Mattern, our President, with Helen Romeo our wonderful MC for the night.

After a lovely roast dinner, Helen introduced our guest speaker, the indefatigable Dave Johnson. Dave took us down memory lane in his talk “They were heady days”in which he highlighted what the Bush Music Club was up to from 1975 to 1985. It was interesting to learn of the other venues for the club (besides Tritton Hall at Marrickville), past presidents and club committee members and to learn of the many activities the BMC was involved in. These included collecting songs and tunes, publishing works such as John Dengate’s songs and poems in My Shout and a dance book Bush Dance and popularising our Australian traditional music, songs and dance to the wider Australian audience through regular bush dances and folk festivals. Thanks to Dave and Ann for presenting this.

Anniversary occasions wouldn’t be the same without a cake to celebrate with. Michelle Bolliger made a work of art ‘keyboard’ cake, which was jointly cut by past and present president/s of the BMC. The evening also included great music played by many members of the BMC with some tables moved to accommodate those of us with ‘itchy’ dancing feet.

Yes, a wonderful evening of catching up with friends and acquaintances and reminiscing about the contribution of many in the BMC to spreading the wonderful Australian bush tradition over the years.

Thanks to all involved in making it happen.

Karen Fong


BMC 60th Anniversary Dinner. R. Dale Dengate recollects… 

Out along Victoria Road on a Saturday night to Ermington on the bus from town is an interesting ride. As I lived in Ryde in the 1950s, I prepare for a trip back in time, so it is fascinating to see the changes along the way. Especially the demographics of the fellow travellers which have changed so that I find myself surrounded by people who would have been living in Asia and especially the subcontinent of India, in the fifties and sixties. 

When I enter the brightly decorated hall, most of the people look as if their ancestors may have come from Europe at any time in the past 200 years. I sit at a table with some of the earlier BMC members - Ann and Frank Maher and Jamie Carlin whose ancestors would include English, Scottish and Irish. We are joined by Pat and Bob Bolton, then a number of people join us for a chat about previous BMC anniversaries. 

It really doesn’t seem that fifty years have flown since we were celebrating the tenth  anniversary upstairs at the Tai Yuen in Chinatown. In 1964, the BMC Concert Party brought out a record  with the impossible title Dinki Di! We do love singing fair dinkum Aussie songs the best.

I don’t know who at Festival records would claim responsibility for that title, but it did acknowledge it was the 10th Anniversary Album of the Bush Music Club and that the singers on the record work  as ‘ librarian, telephone technician, clerk, school teacher and mail sorter’. The last track was a polka tune printed as Cruck ‘o the Ark or Give a fair go. Later it was realised that the Polish tune was called Craco viac. Indeed a number of things have changed over those years. 

David Johnson gave us a fine talk about BMC activities in the 1980s. I found this especially interesting as neither John nor I were involved in the club activities during that period. Ann Pidcock had assisted with slides and accurate details, so together they presented an interesting piece of the Club history. It was delightful to see so many musicians and dancers enjoying themselves after the formalities. 


Bruce Downes photos

Life Members -
Frank Maher, Jamie Carlin, Wendy Richmond, Dave Johnson, 
Ralph Pride, Helen Romeo, Mike Young, Sandra Nixon, Bob Bolton
Presidents of the Bush Music Club from the 60s to today
seated - Sue McMahon (1994-98)), Sharyn Mattern (2011-date), Ann Maher (1965)
standing - Dave Johnson (1980-82), Paul Weaver, (1986-88) Jamie Carlin (1963, 1975, 1977-78), Ralph Pride (1979), Frank Maher (1964 & 1969)

Current committee -
Vice President Bob Bolton,President Sharyn Mattern, Webmaster MikeYoung, committee member Brian Freeman, Secretary Sandra Nixon, Treasurer Allen Davis. (MC Helen Romeo)


  The cutting of the cake was a long & complicated business - first the Presidents gathered to make the first slice - Frank's name tag needed fixing, then ...





Sharyn Mattern photos

Margaret Walters, Don & Sue Brian, Prue Cancian & Chris Maltby, Naomi & Claire Doherty

Jamie Carlin, Bob & Pat Bolton, Dale Dengate, Ann & Frank Maher

Ann Pidcock, George Bolliger

Rosslyn Young, Avis Hanning, Bruna Paraskavas & Julia Attford

The Band  - Aart Bark, Mariamma Mitchell, Emily, Chris Poleson, Bob Bolton, Ralph Pride, Margaret Poleson

Bruce Downes

front - Dale Dengate & Pat Bolton, back Ann & Frank Maher

Elaine Ellmers, Allen Davis, Doug Richardson, Bob Foggin


front - Colin & Karen Fong, Suzanne, Trecialee Murphy & Keith Woods, Fay Lau, Judy Casey, Margaret?

Frank Maher, Jamie Carlin, Dave Johnson

Frank Maher, Jamie Carlin, Dave Johnson

Helen Romeo, Michelle Bolliger

Helen Romeo

Brian & Barbara Freeman, 2 unidentified, Michaela Simoni & Simon Farrugia

Sutherland Bush Dancers

Rose Pride, Helen Romeo, Pat Bolton

Rose Pride, Helen Romeo, Pat Bolton

Peter Cahill, Terry Pybus, unidentified, Margaret Poleson, Emily

Brian Freeman, Bob Vickery, Kerry Doherty, Claire Doherty, Terry Pybus, Peter Cahill, Samantha O'Brien

Margaret & Chris Poleson, Emily, Lynne & John Poleson

Sam O'Brien, Lynne & John Poleson, Chris Poleson

Dave Johnson, Ralph Pride, Julie & Alex Bishop

Naomi & Claire Doherty

Richmonds & Bolligers & friends

Sigrid Marden, others unidentified

Bruce Downes, Tony Romeo, Michelle & George Bolliger, Wendy Richmond,  Lisa & Anthony Simon

Dave Johnson

Dave Johnson



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