Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Life Members - information on our 25 Life Members - part 4 Dave Johnson, Frank Maher, Don Richmond, Helen Romeo, Harry Kay.

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Foundation Member John Meredith, unveils new Life Members' Board before launching his new book Duke of the Outback at the Bush Music Festival Oct 1983
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David Johnson

Dave directing Heritage Ensemble 030531, (Bob Bolton photo, 2003)
























Created life member 23rd March 1984 (source - membership card box)
David Johnson moved to Sydney in 1970 to study science at Sydney University. In 1971 he found and practically wore out Alex Hood's LP The First Hundred Years and discovered Australian literature by attending Manning Clarke's lectures on Henry Lawson and others.
A bit of sleuthing led him to the Bush Music Club's Beer and Cheese Night at Burwood in 1972, and then he was a regular, enjoying each session and then impatiently waiting for the next monthly instalment.
The BMC at the time was under the leadership of Jamie Carlin and Barry Collerson, and these two plus Eric Bolton, Bob Bolton, Tony McLachlan, Frank Maher, John Dengate, and others provided a remarkable immersion in Australian bush and contemporary songs.
His persistence was recognised and he was elected onto the committee and later vice-president and then president. By then Ralph Pride had returned from Tasmania and with him and Bob Bolton and David and a large team of committee and sub-committee members, the BMC became more active with music and dance workshops, monthly dances, annual balls, an annual festival, a booking agency, and publications.
David was instrumental in rewriting the BMC Constitution and was president for just three years, believing that the club would be better served by a turnover of leadership that would bring new ideas and energy.
In 1984 Bush Dance was published and soon followed by the companion Dance Instructions.

Dave was awarded life membership at the 1984 AGM in recognition of his service to the Club.

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Frank Maher - friend and workmate of Alan Scott, he came to BMC soon after Jamie did, around the same time Duke Tritton joined.

Extract from talk @ NFF 2012 ... The first event I went to was a Saturday Singabout Night held at the Y.W.C.A. on the corner of Wentworth Avenue and Liverpool Street. I worked with Alan Scott at the P.M.G. and he invited me to come along. This was in 1955 and as a result I started going every Tuesday to the Workshop Nights which in those days were held at Milsons Point. We rented a room from the Fellowship of Australian Writers. I usually sat in a corner and sang. I was eventually approached by Gay and Alan to join the club as I’d been coming for about a year. I joined in 1956, at about the same time as Duke Tritton ...

Created life member 23rd March 1984 (source - Membership card box) Concert Party at Orange at Lake Canobolas Regatta, Banjo Paterson Festival - Jamie Carlin, Jan Jones, Frank Maher, Gay Scott, Alan Scott, Jack Barrie. (BMC Archives)

Ann Maher, Jenny Loughlin (daughter of Life Members & founders Brian & Pam Loughlin), Chris Woodland, Sandra Nixon, Frank Maher, NFF 2017 (Chris Woodland collection)
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Don Richmond - Musician, dancer, caller, committee member, dance co-ordinator
Mulga Wire, no 90, April 1992, p.3

Wendy & Don receiving their Life Member badges at 60th Anniversary Concert, 2014 (Sandra Nixon photo)
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Helen Romeo - created lLife Member 1997 - moved Pete McMahon, seconded Dave Johnson























Joined the BMC in 1979. Attended and supported all BMC functions from 1979 to 1985 including regular Friday Night sessions, Beer and Cheese nights, Folkus nights, picnics and weekends away.

Southern Cross, 1986 Bush Music Festival (© Bob Bolton) 

Particularly involved in organising the following - Subscription & Heritage Balls, Bush Music Festivals, Bush Music Club Booking Agency, Monday night Dance Class & Dance Group, Bush Music Club regular dances at Glebe, Beecroft, Parramatta & Blacktown. Produced many brochures and posters for many BMC activities. Attended Dancing at the Rocks for many months in the early to mid 80s and other Club functions to promote the BMC. Joined Concert Party for a while in 1980, then formed a band in 1981. In the 90s Helen & Tony Romeo lead percussion workshops & started regular poetry sessions at Tritton Hall and hosted two or three BMC poetry dinners in City restaurants.

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Harry Kay - was the 5th member of the Bushwhackers, a cast member of the 1953/54 production of Reedy River & foundation member of the Bush Music Club.

New Theatre wiki Harry joined the Eureka Youth League and the Heathcote Bushwhackers. After the breakup of the Bushwhackers, he joined Chris Kempster and Alex Hood as the Rambleers. 

Wikipedia - The Bushwhackers (band) ...Years later, Meredith gave the following account of their formation: In June 1953 [sic: probably an error of recollection on Meredith's part; the year is given as 1952 in most other sources] a literary and musical evening held at Jack Barry's [sic] house at Heathcote was to have an "Australian Night" - something unique in those days when our own culture appeared in danger of being engulfed in the flood of second-rate canned American music. Jack, Brian Loughlin and I got together with button accordeon and two of our recent discoveries: a tea chest bass and a lagerphone. We stuck on false whiskers, dressed rough and gave out with our entire repertoire; Click Go The Shears, Botany Bay and Nine Miles From Gundagai. In spite of my whiskers falling off, or maybe because of them, we were an immediate success - as a comedy act! Chris Kempster joined us after that performance and then Harry Kay ...

The Bushwhackers by Alan Scott ... Harry Kay played the mouth organ, which he liked to call the harmonica...

Harry & Ann cut the cake for our 40th Ruby Anniversary, 1994 (Bob Bolton photo)

Harry cut the cake for our 50th Golden anniversary, 2004 (Sandra Nixon photo) 

Mulga Wire no. 78, April 1990 pp. 14-15



Harry with his son Peter, Australian Folk at Kiama,
1997
(Bob Bolton photo).








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