Sunday 30 July 2023

Posters in the Hut - History on our walls - part 3

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Posters in the Hut - History on our walls - part 1

Posters in the Hut, Part 2 - More History on our walls

In 2015 we renovated the Hut, first removing the posters from the wall after photographing them. Some posters were easily removed & were strong enough to keep, others were damaged & were not able to be preserved. The walls were covered with posters, & more were found behind furniture. Most were put on with good old-fashioned flour paste.

Photos 1 & 2, taken in 2014 when we started sub-letting the Hut show how it was before the renovation. Photos from Duke's Place, February, April, October & November 2014 give other views of the posters & Concert Party events give more detail. (all photos Sandra Nixon) 

Ray Gurney, a conservator assisted with the removal, but the majority of the posters were removed & stored by Ralph Pride. 

1.  East wall, 2014
2. South wall, 2014

3. West wall, 2014

4.  Dukes Place, Feb 2014 

5. Duke's Place, April 2014

6. Dukes Place, October 2014

7. Duke's Place, November 2014

8. Christmas 2010
9. Christmas 2010

10. Christmas 2013

11. April 2014



Saturday 29 July 2023

Obit - Harry Kay 1927 - 2022

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Harry with his son Peter at Jamberoo, 1997 (Bob Bolton photo) 

Farewell Harry Kay by Karen Fong 

The Australian folk scene and especially the Bush Music Club is a lot poorer with the passing of Harry Kay at 95 last year on the 19 August.

Harry Kay was a life member of the Bush Music Club and is remembered as being one of the Bushwhackers Band (1952-1957) In early photos of the Band, we see Harry playing his diatonic harmonica. Harry Kay and Chris Kempster joined the Heathcote Bushwhackers, consisting of John Meredith, Jack Barrie and Brian Loughlin. The band then became known as The Bushwhackers, singing Australian songs such as Botany Bay, Click go the Shears and Nine Miles to Gundagai to appreciative audiences at events such as union get-togethers. Alan Scott, Alex Hood and Cec Grivas joined the Band later.

All of the eight Bushwhackers were members of the Eureka Youth League, which originated from the Communist Party, and all had started out in a trade. Harry Kay was an apprentice at the Sidchrome Electrical Company in Brisbane, joined the Amalgamated Engineering Union (AEU) and later worked as a fitter and turner when he came to live in Sydney.

The play Reedy River by Dick Diamond in 1953 in Sydney played an important part in Harry’s life. The musical Reedy River was based around the shearers’ strike of 1891 and featured The Bushwhackers playing and singing Australian songs composed in the folk tradition. In the second production of the play in Sydney, Harry played the part of Nugget, a shearer, and had this to say about his acting ability (in an interview with Keith McKenry nearly two decades ago):  And I’ve always said that the best acting I’ve ever done in my life is to drink a beer and pretend that I liked it. Because I hate the damned stuff. I can’t stand the taste of it! That and Marmite, or Vegemite.

Harry’s wife Anne, who he met in the Unity Singers choir, was also in this production of Reedy River as one of the dancers. Anne went on to teach folk dancing at various venues with Harry often playing button accordion or mouth organ.

When The Bushwhackers stopped playing as a group in the later 1950s, Harry Kay, Alex Hood and Chris Kempster played on as The Rambleers. They did a couple of recordings: a 10-inch 33 rpm record called The Old Bark Hut in 1958 and a 7-inch 33 rpm record called Waltzing Matilda with the company Wattle. The two records also included dance tunes which Harry played solo on his mouth organ. The Rambleers were joined by two singers, Barbara Lisyak and Denis Kevans on some occasions.

Although we often see him playing his mouth organ, Harry Kay became proficient in many instruments. In the interview with Keith McKenry in 2004, Harry told Keith that, needing a bit of extra money, he was looking under ‘M’ for machinist in the Herald and saw an ad for a ‘Music teacher’. Harry had already taught himself how to play the English concertina and button accordion but the job in the Herald required a teacher for the mandolin and guitar. With the help of the Beresford School of Music Guitar Book, Harry taught himself these instruments and was soon teaching students. This love of teaching music continued throughout Harry’s life. Even in his early nineties, Harry managed to play a tune or two on his harmonica.


Fong, Karen 2023 Interview with Anne Kay, Northmead on 13 January 2023

McKenry, Keith 2004 Interview with Harry Kay, Baulkham Hills on 17 March 2004 available at the National Library of Australia

McKenry, Keith 2014 More than a Life: John Meredith and the Fight for Australian Tradition Rosenberg Publishing Pty Ltd, Dural, NSW

The Rambleers CD recording 2002 National Library of Australia, Recordings in the Wattle Collection.


Photos from the Kay family album  used with permission

 Harry & Ann playing harmonicas, 2018

Harry teaching his grandson Ben how to play the harmonica, Kiama 1985


Blog articles about Harry

From the archives - Harry Kay



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

From the Archives - A fine pair of Schottisches from Sally Sloane - Mulga Wire no.82, Dec 1990



BMC members and friends mentioned in Sydney New Theatre's Wiki.


Rambleers reunion, Illawarra Folk Festival, Jamberoo 2002


Archival photographs: The P-series of photos from the early days



From the Archives - Harry Kay collection (items scanned 2002)


50th Anniversary Reunion of The Bushwhackers, National Folk Festival 2002, part 1 - Concerts


50th Anniversary Reunion of The Bushwhackers, National Folk Festival 2002, part 2 - Reedy River with link to video


BMC Anniversaries - 40th 1994



From the Archives - 50th Anniversary, Golden Jubilee, 2004


Monday 24 July 2023

Obit - Jill Stubington, 1944 - 2023

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Video of Jill's funeral posted with permission of her daughter Clara Greo

Jill was a member of Wayne Richmond's Loosely Woven, & in August & September they will present a concert Waltz for Jill

Thanks to Wayne for providing these links - Wayne's photos of Jill in Loosely Woven & BMC's Heritage Ensemble & YouTube clip of Jill doing Stan Freberg’s hilarious parody of Banana Boat Song. 

Photos no.s 1-18 courtesy of Clara Greo

1.  Jill & her parents 1944

2.  Jill, brother John & parents, undated

3. Jill with her mother & brother John

4.  Jill, Clara & her parents 

5.  Graduation photograph of Jill

6.  Jill's mother Lucy, Jill, ?, John, dated 1986 

7.  Jill collecting 

8.  Jill collecting 

9.   Jill & Teoh's family group, dated 26-11-00

10.  Academics - John, Clara, ?, Jill, Teoh

11. Launch of Singing the Land

12. Launch of Singing the Land

13. Jill & Chester

14.  Jill & Hugo

15. Jill @ The Hut, Heritage Ensemble practice  (photo - Wayne Richmond) 

16. Jill & Helen Romeo, Heritage Ensemble (photo - Wayne Richmond) 

17. Heritage Ensemble rehearsal @ The Hut   (photo - Wayne Richmond) 

18. Heritage Ensemble (photo - Wayne Richmond) 

19. Folklore Collectors Forum UNSW, 4-6 Dec, 1987 (BMC Archives)

20. Jill & Wayne, 2012 Heritage Ball (photo Sandra Nixon) 

21. Jill & Wayne, 2012 Heritage Ball (photo Sandra Nixon) 

22. Jill & Wayne, 2012 Heritage Ball (photo Sandra Nixon) 

23. Jill & Wayne, 2012 Heritage Ball (photo Sandra Nixon) 

24. Jill & Wayne, 2012 Heritage Ball (photo Sandra Nixon) 

25. Jill & Wayne, 2012 Heritage Ball (photo Sandra Nixon) 

26. Heritage Ensemble, 2012 Heritage Ball (photo Sandra Nixon) 

27.  2012 Heritage Ball (photo Sandra Nixon) 


Dr Gwenyth Jill Stubington (known as Jill)


Gwenyth Jill Stubington (known as Jill) was born in Brisbane in 1944 to Lucy and Frank Stubington. Her brother John was born a few years later.

She grew up loving playing the piano, and played her whole life. Open on her piano even now are the last few pieces she played - Beethoven’s Fur Elise, Puff the Magic Dragon (which she had practised to sing with her grandson Luca when he visited), and Billy Joel’s Goodnight my Angel.

Jill attended the Girls’ Grammar School in Brisbane. In the early 60s she worked at the ABC in Brisbane and studied at business college. She also matriculated at night school and finished her advanced music exams.


Jill moved to Melbourne 1965. She was lucky to get a position with Alice Moyle (an ethnomusicologist and founder of Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies) in Melbourne from 1967 until 1973, which kickstarted her career working with First nations communities and their music.

She married her first husband David Lowery in the early 70s, and this marriage lasted 4 years.

Arnhem Land

In 1973 to 1975 Jill travelled to Arnhem Land to work with First Nations communities and make recordings with and for them. A lot of these relationships, learnings and recordings were used as the source material for her book. Jill’s colleague Dorottya Fabian said Jill’s book Singing the Land "is a treasure-trove of clearly narrated insights into music, rituals, and community. It is not only a testament to her sensitive, ethical scholarship and the love and admiration she felt for Aboriginal people but also a reflection of her discreet intellect.”. There are copies of Singing the Land available from Clara Greo, please get in touch if you're interested in one.

Jill married again in 1977 to Choon-Hooi Teoh. Clara (their only child) was born in June 1981.


Jill and her family moved to Sydney in 1983 for a job at UNSW, researching and teaching Australian folk music and Australian aboriginal music.

During this time she played in the concertina band, and in many bush music club folk dances through the years. She was later closely involved with Loosely Woven. Her beautiful Lachenal concertina will be coming back to the UK with her daughter Clara, a much treasured possession.

Unfortunately Teoh had a stroke in 1991 leading to a challenging time juggling work, teaching, writing, caring for her family and musical endeavours, alongside preparing the family home to be disability friendly.

In 1994 Jill and a student co-wrote the groundbreaking article Yothu Yindi's 'Treaty': Ganma in Music for Popular Music. This piece shows how Yothu Yindi’s album Tribal Voice (1991) already extended an invitation to all Australians to walk together.

Jill was head of music at UNSW for several years. She taught hundreds of students, supervised many PhDs and wrote many articles, before retiring in 2004.

Jill’s book, Singing the Land, was published in 2007.

Jill’s first grandchild Luca was born in the UK in 2016, and Jill spent great efforts getting to know and spend time with him - despite being on the other side of the world (Luca’s family was based in the UK). There was a second surprise grandchild, Ada, who was born in 2022. Jill was lucky enough to spend several months with Clara and her family after they moved back to Australia in 2023.

Jill died peacefully surrounded by her husband, friends and family in May 2023. She is, and will forever be, greatly missed.

Bye Jill, thanks for everything. (Alistair Grey, Clara's partner)


As a member of the Music Board of the Australia Council I was lobbying to have funds to Folk Music increased and found they would not fund Folk Festivals or Folk Clubs but would help fund a teaching position in a University for a Musicologist skilled in a related field.

Jill applied for and gained the advertised position at the University Of New South Wales.  As a Musicologist specialising in Aboriginal Music and with high personal attributes of integrity, commitment, balanced approach and the ability to play concertina, Jill contributed much to the Folk Culture here, especially in the area of Bush Dance. I valued her as a cultural contributor and as a friend.

Phyl Lobl