16th of February, 2015

Our “Real” Music History


"Whyalla Citizens Band"

A summary of the Whyalla Concert Band from Hummock Hill Brass band of 1912,

to Whyalla Concert Band in 2013…. And beyond!!

PICTURE: Believed to be Hummock Hill Brass Band, (Whyalla Citizen Band), 1912. The period clothing alone attests to the early 1900s! Re-produced for fair review. The original is available to all at; http://www.satiche.org.uk/vinbbp/phot6428.jpg

"A New Era"

Whyalla Community Brass has a proud association with the past Whyalla Citizens Band, (Whyalla Concert

Band) – not in its "disbandment”, but as retaining past members of the Whyalla Citizens Band, (Concert

Band). Whyalla Community Brass has maintained contact with the surviving relatives of past

Bandmasters (Music Directors) and members, whom are enthusiastically supporting the new entity known as

“Whyalla Community Brass”.

Input from the relatives of Perce Busch, Ralph Penglase, well known prior Bandmaster to Whyalla Citizens

Band and Whyalla Salvation Army Citadel Band, family of the late Jim Terry, has been received with thanks.

Many are known to members of Whyalla Community Brass, as are their relatives. In fact 40% of Whyalla

Community Brass membership comprises people whom remained, or have been members of the Whyalla

Citizens Band, some “Life Members”!

Whyalla Community Brass is determined to ensure that accurate history is told, and that photos and

documents are preserved. In fact, Whyalla Community Brass is the only traditional brass band on Eyre

Peninsula, and in central South Australia! Its members do not benefit personally either financially, directly,

indirectly - nor as a result of “networking”. We are a totally “not for profit group”. We have no association with

industry - or commercial interests, other than donations received to the group from our wonderful sponsors!

Recently, groups with - what we believe,

apparent little knowledge of the Whyalla

Citizens Band, have attempted to describe

the history of the band. We hope this brief

summary will be informative, and corrects or

“fills in the important gaps”. We have

received a flood of information,

photographs from surviving family and past

members of Whyalla Citizens Band. We have

no doubt that more will be on the way.

PICTURE RIGHT: Tanunda, home of the first brass band to be commenced in the Southern Hemisphere, hosts the South Australian Band Competitions. Whyalla is seen marching. The year is 1938.

A group in Whyalla, (believed involved primarily in country and the popular “live music industry”), reported on

their website under the heading - “Whyalla Music History” that; “The Whyalla Citizens Band began circa 1924

and moved into the Whyalla Band Hall in 1938…

This is not exactly the way our proud history actually occurred! In fact the band was called the “Hummock Hill

Brass Band” and it was formed in 1912, just a few years prior to the First World War! Thought that was all to

it? No, our history is even more involved than that! When the township of “Hummock Hill” changed its name

to “Whyalla”, so too did the name of our town band.
It then became known as “Whyalla Town Band”. It was

recorded that in 1925 a “bandstand was erected in Gay Street, opposite the Whyalla Institute and later lights

were installed at the beach so night concerts could be performed by band…
(Source; Earlier Whyalla News).

All of these transitions in the Whyalla Citizens Bands history can actually be said to mean that the band was

in fact 101 years old when "disbanded", in 2013
! An important Whyalla milestone - for both the band and

Whyalla. This is much more significant we feel, to that which was believed to have been reported by a Whyalla

group, and subsequently the local news paper, on November 28th 2013. “A Family Fun Day at Jessop-White

Park on Sunday, December 1 will celebrate the 89-year chapter of the Whyalla Citizens Band.
(Source; http://www.whyallanewsonline.com.au/story/1936318/citizens-band-celebrates-89-years/)

Our then "town band" it could be said, was in fact 101 years old when disbanded in 2013!

What did happen in 1938 then?

The McBryde Terrace “Band Hall” was donated by

the Broken Hill Pty Ltd in 1938. “The Company”

maintained the premises, which also doubled as

the companies “Pay Office”. Thus Whyalla Citizens

Band became known what it is today. A life member

with Whyalla Citizens Band, (now with its “offshoot”,

Whyalla Community Brass), recalls the days of this

use. “There even used to be a security man

standing next to the stalls holding a rifle
” Mr

Stewart said.

                                                                                                                   PICTURE: Northern Band Carnival: Whyalla and other Brass Bands
                                                                                                                                                                            competing in the carnival at Port Pirie.

One of the most memorable performances of the newly instituted “Whyalla Citizens Band”, was on the visit of

Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, to Whyalla, in 1954. Following the Queens visit, the Whyalla community

rallied to show support for the towns band. The public, local business and the Broken Hill Pty Ltd, donated

3,600 pounds to the band as a gift, ($7,200). This was a huge boost and went to the purchase of much

needed new instruments.

  PICTURE: The re-named Whyalla Citizens Band - "Whyalla Concert
  Band" renamed in 2002. Photo acknowledgement; Whyalla News.