Friday, 27 October 2017

Left, right, left, right, left ...

This week our Sepia Saturday prompt shows a group of marching girls taking part in some parade. In reply I have a couple of photos that were taken by the father of one of the girls in the band, who has kindly consented to my posting them here. The date was Saturday 9 March 1963, the event was the annual Canberra Day Parade and the band was the Lyneham Prinary School Recorder and Drum Band. The girls played recorder and the boys played drums. I was a member of the band, so I must have been in there somewhere.  I didn't have much musical talent but could play the marching tunes we had to learn by rote, for example Men of Harlech, Yellow Rose of Texas, When Jonny Comes Marching Home, to name a few that I still remember. Of course we were supposed to march in step as well, which was a bit tricky. Our band never won any prizes but we enjoyed marching! I'm a little surprised that my Dad does not seem to have taken any photos himself, but he may have been away at the time.

The Canberra Day Parade was an annual event celebrating the naming of the City of Canberra in 1913, and this particular parade was of special note because 1963 was Canberra's Jubilee, marking 50 years since its beginning. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh came to join in the celebrations, although it appears they did not witness the parade itself. 

Here are some articles published in the Canberra Times and found on the National Library's invaluable Trove web site, reporting on the event.
10 January 1963:

23 February 1963:

11 March 1963:

I was one  of those thousands of school children who lined the city streets in the following week to catch a fleeting glimpse of the Queen back then, in a cavalcade of a different kind. Our then Prime Minister Robert Menzies was famous for saying at one point during the 1963 Royal Tour that
 " I did but see her passing by, and yet I love her til I die".

Below is a photo of our band in 1963, with me in the top row, far right, aged about 10. I was also a band member the following year, before going on to high school.

It's 54 years later, and Canberra has celebrated its centenary.  Canberra Day is commemorated with lots of events but I'm not sure whether or not they still have a parade. According to the  school web site,  Lyneham Primary School is still going strong and boasts at least two concert bands, who practise hard and regularly perform at various community events. They are full brass bands, no longer just girls playing recorders and boys on drums. I was a student there from the day it opened its doors in 1959.

 Now, get yourselves over to Sepia Saturday #391 to see more marching girls, brass bands and no doubt much more. Quick march!


La Nightingail said...

My grade school didn't have a band, but did have an orchestra and I wanted to play a violin in it. Unfortunately all the violins were taken by the time I asked about playing something, so I was assigned a cello. Well, I lived 5 blocks from school & I walked those 5 blocks to & from school & carrying that cello back & forth was no picnic, so I gave up joining the orchestra and decided to join the all-school chorus instead. Much easier to tote vocal chords around!

Barbara Rogers said...

How wonderful to be part of the celebrations, and to have looked for your Queen passing by.

Kristin said...

My Canadian remembered the day the King came to Windsor Ontario. He was so looking forward to it and so disappointed that he was just a man. Not sure what he expected.

Kristin said...

My Canadian Uncle. I forgot to add uncle up there.

Jo Featherston said...

Yes, I'm not a Royalist and wouldn't go out of my way to see her these days. I did see her close up in Scotland a few years but that's a bit different different.

Mollys Canopy said...

What a wonderful post! I learned recorder as a child, but have not heard of a recorder band before. You must have had so much fun being part of that in the parade. I was also struck by Mrs. Morrison's participation. I attended a similar parade a couple of years ago in the upstate New York town where my dad was born, and they also honored two senior residents -- a nice change from focusing only on the young participants :-)

tony said...

Fair Play to you! It must be nice to share your musical skill on such a public 'stage'.

Mike Brubaker said...

A super match for this weekend. Parades for special days are getting less common in America. Mostly just on holidays and now extravagant commercial floats selling stuff. The bands and marchers hardly get a mention. The recorder is my other instrument, renaissance and baroque. Never tried playing it while marching.