Monday 19 February 2018

Death of Dr Harry Gardner (1927-2018), Victorian Folk Music Club

Click on pictures for full-screen image

A Memorial Celebration for Harry will be held at 11am Saturday 24th February at the East Ringwood Hall (Knaith Road, behind childcare centre), East Ringwood.

Harry was a Life member & had been President of Victorian Folk Music Club (est. 1959 as Melbourne Bush Music Club) and will be sorely missed by friends & fellow musicians.

He was co-author with Peter Ellis of the book Music Makes Me Smile that includes the music from the Nariel Valley in Victoria and in particular the music of Con Klippel. Harry transcribed all the music notation and also contributed some of the text.

Harry also wrote some of his own songs and was part of, or started a few groups through the VFMC, including the Fireside Fiddlers who in more recent years met at his place to play music by ear.

He was part of the Billabong Band, a club band that played at various events and accompanied the Colonial Dance Balls. The Billabong Band was
established in 1955 and is Australia's oldest Bush Band.

He loved playing music with the people and so had a number of groups practise at his house in recent years and also busked regularly at the East Ringwood Shops.

He attended many festivals including the National Folk Festival each year and enjoyed attending the Bush Traditions Gatherings from the first in 2006 until his health kept him away in recent years.

This year he celebrated his 91st birthday and his music friends and family gathered at his house to celebrate.

Goodbye, friend.

In October 2019 Harry was in Sydney for medical treatment & he & his son Henry attended the Beecroft dance - see photos below

Vale Dr Harry Gardner (1927 - 2018)

    1.  2006 Harry with his grandson

2.  2006 - Dave Johnson, Kathy McMahon, Glenys from far north Qld, Harry

3.  2006 - Julie, Harry & Don Brian 

4.   2007  

5.  2007   Session in the courtyard

6.   2007

7.  2007

8.  2007 - Harry & Helen Romeo

9.  2008

10.  2009

11.  2009

In 2009 Harry presented Waltzing Matilda using his late wife's marionettes





17.  lesson for 7-year old Claire

18.  2010  Garry Tooth & Harry

19.  2011

20. 2011 - Harry with his son Henry

21. 2011 - Henry

22.  2012  Harry with the Harry Gardner Backing Band at the Sunday night concert

23.   2012

24.  2012

25.   2013

26.  2013 - Helen, Harry & Glenys

27.   2013 - Harry with his son Henry & grandson
(Photos - Sandra Nixon)
Harry & Henry at October 2017 Beecroft Bush Dance, photos 28-33



(Photos  28 & 29 - Sharyn Mattern)


Barangaroo (Chris Poleson, Allen Davis, Marianna Mitchell, Ralph Pride) with caller John Short & Harry

Barangaroo (Chris Poleson, Allen Davis, Marianna Mitchell, Ralph Pride) with caller John Short & Henry

33. Henry & Harry

(Photos 30 to 33,  Mike Young)

34. Celebration of Harry's Life (BryceD photo)





39 & 40 - Australian Tradition- Newsletter of the Victorian Folk Music Club Inc, April 2018

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  1. Vale Harry. Fiddler, teacher, encourager, inspirer, keeper of the tradition and true gentle man. I always loved playing music with him and will miss him sitting impishly with his eternal smile and sparkling eyes, bowing that fiddle. (Bruce Watson)

  2. Thanks for letting us know. This is indeed sad news. Another of our troops gone to that great dance in the sky. Harry was a lovely old gentleman & a fine musician. I will miss him greatly as will all of us. He always had a smile & a tune for everyone. RIP Harry.

    (Chris Poleson)

  3. Sorry to hear of Harry's death earlier this year. I played a fair few fiddle tunes with Harry. He taught me the Swedish tune "Gardybylaten" and I've still got his 6 part transcription of "The Mason's Apron" that we were both trying to learn at the time. He was a gentleman.