Monday 24 June 2019

Vale - Kathie McMahon-Nolf, 3/7/1943 – 13/6/2019

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Kathie's Memorial Service will be held on her birthday, 3rd July at 11.30am at St Monica's Catholic Church, 1A Bourke St, Richmond

And afterwards at the Richmond Golf Club, 34 Bourke St, Richmond (nearest station is East Richmond)

Please join us in celebrating a life well lived.  Bring along your instruments.

2008 National Folk Festival.
Evan Mathieson singing Dale Marxen's Waltzing with Bears, based on Dr Suess's My Uncle Terwilliger Waltzes with Bears.  Bears designed & made by Sandra. (Sandra Nixon photo)

Kathie at Kiama Festival, 2009 (Beth Cambridge photo)

Kathie @ Zig Zag Ralway, 2011
Kathie @ Zig Zag Ralway, 2011

Kathie at Bush Traditions DanceFest, 2012 (Dave Johnson)

Kathie on her verandah, Kurrajong 2012 (Sandra Nixon photo)

Kathie at Bundanoon DanceFest, 2018  (Sandra Nixon photo)

Memories from Carole Helman, Bellingen, June 2019

Kathie was well-known in the NSW folk world via the Bush Music Club, Bush Traditions, and as a regular participant at many folk sessions, clubs and festival. She was a beautiful person who took lots of people under her wing and into her heart, with a generosity of spirit and enthusiasm for life.

BMC @ Australian PIoneer Village, Wilberforce, 2013 (Sandra Nixon photo)

BMC @ Australian PIoneer Village, Wilberforce, 2013 (Sharyn Mattern photo)

Following a stroke late last year, a move to aged care and a series of health issues, Kathie died peacefully on 13th June but had still been able to play her beloved accordion through much of that challenging journey.

BMC @ Australian PIoneer Village, Wilberforce, 2014 (Sandra Nixon photo)

BMC @ Australian Pioneer Village, Wilberforce, Sharyn Mattern & Kathie, 2014 (Sandra Nixon photo)

Kathleen Anne McMahon learnt piano when growing up at Bellbird Hill in the lower Blue Mountains, where the family had a farm and fruit stall, the Bellbird Echo. She trained in medical technology and worked in labs in Papua New Guinea, Canada and Australia. She married a French Canadian arctic pilot, and they had three children. During her years in Canada Kathie fell in love with Canadian music, especially the dance music from Quebec, and began playing button accordion, on which she could pump out those lively dance tunes, but also keep that sensitive touch for the airs, waltzes and song accompaniment that she was well-known for.

2017 Bush Traditions Gathering, Goulburn (Sandra Nixon photo)

2017 Bush Traditions Gathering, Goulburn (Sandra Nixon photo)
Kathie, Denis McKay, Ray Mulligan, Dave de Hugard, Session @ Bush Traditions visit to Binalong, 2017 (Sandra Nixon photo)

Australia was calling Kathie home, and after moving back to Kurrajong, she took on a cafe and gallery at the Bellbird Echo. Through becoming active in local folk clubs and the Bush Music Club she met zither player Alex Nolf, who became her second husband. The house they built at Kurrajong became host to many a concert, folk night or session, and a stopover for many a travelling musician. Kathie and Alex helped run the Macquarie Towns folk club at Richmond, and worked as volunteers at a lot of festivals. Kathie’s passion for local history led to involvement in a programme for teaching children local history through music and song.

Group photo,
Bush Traditions visit to Binalong, 2017 (Sandra Nixon photo)

After Alex died Kathie continued to take every opportunity to play music with friends and get to festivals, so she bought a camper van. She also downsized from Kurrajong to a small place in Belmont to be near Alex’s sister. Her gregariousness, and inclusive nature led to making new friends easily wherever she went, so it didn’t take long for her to be involved in a new circuit of sessions in the Newcastle area. Family was very important to Kathie, and she began to spend all our winters in Canada’s summers to be near her children and four grandchildren.

Kathie & Alex at first Bundanoon DanceFest, 2009

Her circle of friends was extremely broad and she looked for the best in people, and made them feel valued. She was interested in other people’s stories, and encouraged them to follow their interests and dreams, whether it be music, song (– folk, country or opera), theatre, local history, bush regeneration, arts and crafts. As she brought such diverse people together, and didn’t like conflict, whenever conversations became a bit too political or heated, she had a knack of suddenly bringing out a serving of food, asking someone to sing a song, or getting some tunes going. Kathie did know how to call a spade a spade when
necessary sometimes landing her in a comical moment with the recipient.

Carole & Kathie, Bundanoon 2011 (Sandra Nixon photo)

Kathie, Bundanon 2013 (Sandra Nixon photo)

 At many festivals, and especially the Bundanoon Dance Fest, Kathie will be remembered for regularly being one of the last up at late night sessions, almost asleep around 3am or later, laid back on the lounge, accordion on chest, still playing..…or saying “let’s play just one more”.
Don & Band, Bundanoon 2015 (Sandra Nixon photo)

In the words of her sister Sue, with her quick wit, good humour and wonderful musicality, she will be missed by many. Remember her with a smile and with that button accordion by her side. Remember the laughs and good times and her love of family, friends, music, and local history.    
Photos by Sharyn Mattern, Australian Pioneer Village, Wilberforce, 2013


Thursday 6 June 2019

UK CD re-release -Beyond The Seas by Lawrence Hoy

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Folk fans will finally get the chance to hear a Wigan musician’s tribute to Australia’s first settlers on CD three decades after it was first released.

email from  Lawrence Hoy, Folk Singer/songwriter from Wigan - please contact him if you would like a copy.

In 1988, I released an album: a memorial of the First Fleet to Botany Bay. On The Friendship and The Lady Penrhyn there were two people from Wigan, Henry Taylor & Mary Smith. The story of their transportation forms the basis of my album Beyond The Seas.
In 1988 it was released on vinyl and cassette.

I released it on CD last year: I’m currently working on the Folk Clubs around here presenting the album as a show.

Hope you enjoy the song-suite  


Review in Wigan Today/Wigan Observer/Wigan Post, February 2018 -

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Report on Goulburn Railway Sesquicentenary Ball aka 2019 Heritage Ball

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The Ball was one of the events celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the Arrival of the Railway into Goulburn and Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AO QC, Governor of New South Wales was the Guest of Honour for the celebrations and attended the Ball with her husband Mr Dennis Wilson.
Photo gallery from website of the Governor of New South Wales

Newspaper report of Opening of Great Southern Railway to Goulburn, Sydney Morning Herald1869.

Goulburn station with train c.1879 (Wikipedia Commons)

Wayne Richmond's photos

Photos 1-9
© Victor Pickel



3. Official table

4. Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AO QC, Governor of New South Wales and her husband Mr Dennis Wilson with President Sharyn Mattern


6. Treasurer Allen Davis & President Sharyn Mattern

7. Grand March

8. Caller Don Richmond with Heritage Ensemble Musical Director Dave Johnson

9. Ralph Pride, Sharyn Mattern
Thanks to Victor Pickel who attended the Ball to make a photographic record of the evening. Copies of these and other photos are available from Victor or 0412 561 756.
2 videos of the train trip

On the 25th of May, 2019, the NSW Rail Museum operated a tour to Goulburn

Scenes recorded on Saturday May 25th, 2019, of steam locomotive 3526, assisted by diesels 4403 & 4490, working a train to Goulburn to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the opening of the railway to the city.

Photos 10-12  © Mike Young

10.  Table decorations
11.  Heritage Ensemble

12.  David and Kathy Potter, Adrienne and Bill Unger

© Mike Young


13.  Dance card & coaster

14.  Dance card

15.  Dance list
Photos 16-24 © Anthony Simon