Australian Police

Australian Police

The Thin Blue Line – Australian Police

Post War Years


NSW Police Concert Band

Post War Years

Following the War, the Band returned to the typical engagements of pre-war years. Rehearsals appear to have moved to the Redfern Academy and membership remained fairly constant. During this time, engagements numbered between eighty and one hundred per year. A highlight during this time, was the Queen’s visit in 1954 when, besides playing in Newcastle and Wollongong, the Band visited Broken Hill for four days, accompanying the Queen. During 1954, the Band also broadcast on Radio 2SM and performed their first Police Passing Out Parade. The early fifties also saw the start of a learner’s class for the benefit of Police interested in joining the Band. If enough progress was made, they become full members of the Band. This practice was maintained for many years and was seen as essential in maintaining the number of young Police recruits in the band.

NSW Police Band – Photo taken approx. 1956 – 1957. (click to enlarge)

Alec Coulter, Reg Edwards, Lofty Sharp, Angus Boras, Sid Stubbs, Keith Mathews, Sid Hull,
Keith McIntosh, Bob Gunyon, Harry Rudd, Fred Gregory, Arthur Wilson, John Maroney, Ron Webb, Percy Rath, Jack Williams, Ron Morris, Harry Tucker, Col Smith, Bill Brown, Ken Mills, Bill Halford, Dick Elphick, Bill Lewis, Jack Nicholson, Reg Meyer, Carl Schutrumph, Eric Bower, Supt. Cec Jardine, George Kemp, Bruce Braithwaite, Lloyd Turnbull.

Above – the NSW Police Concert Band of 1995

The Members of the Band in 1988 were:

Special Constable Anthony Brahe, Ross McKinlay, John Woodbury, Merv Knott, Drum Major Sergeant Ian Keuning, Constable First Class Robert White, David Hatch, John Simensen, Ron Davidson, Mal Pearce, Graham Nichols, Robert Gillespie, Ray Bensted, Bob Harris, David Llewellyn, Senior Constable Trevor Marsdem, Jim Nairn, Paul Blankesteijn, Bill Stojcevski, Ted Bromfield, Laurie Goodfellow, Ray Willis, Constable Rod Hunter-Brittain, Mick Reid, Ken Dean, Martin Anderson, Ron Gillett, Mark Holland, John Saunders, Melissa Telford, Director of Music, Sergeant Dennis Williams, Commander, Senior Sergeant Barry Grove-Jones, Administration Officer, Senior Constable Rob McMaster, Steve Nolan, Constable First Class Michael Donohoe, Special Constable Peter Almond.

The only non-policeman employed by the Band throughout the thirties, forties and fifties, besides Bandmasters, was Angus Boras who had, by 1954, become the first and only “Special” Sergeant. His duties included: librarian, learner’s class teacher, police Boys Club Instructor and assistant secretary. Only eight to ten hours per week were spent performing with the Band.

The Band appears to have started their association with Police Boys (Youth) Clubs during the 1950’s. A Bandmaster’s class was started to coach Bandmasters in the role of Bandmaster for the various Police Boys Club Bands. Time spent at Police Boys Clubs was included in weekly duty for most Band members up until the 1980’s.

In 1956, Mr. Summerton retired and, in 1957, Mr. George Jackson became the eighth appointed Bandmaster. In 1960, Mr. Mason Brockie became only the third Special Constable to join as a playing member. He was an ex Sydney Symphony clarinettist and was solo clarinet assisting Special Sergeant Angus Boras. The Police Centenary was celebrated in 1962 and the Band released their first LP recording to commemorate this event.

During the late fifties, and early sixties, the Band was in quite a healthy state. Membership was around forty-two playing members, with a learner’s class and improvers class. George Jackson had also introduced regular sectional rehearsals. Several Town Hall concerts were performed with the ABC Radio broadcasting highlights. Band members, however, appeared to be penalised by some members of the Police Force for being Bandsmen and were restricted in the performance of certain duties thus limiting their promotion opportunities. The Band allowance, which was set in 1936 at sixpence a day, was still the same in 1969. In 1967, the conditions in the Band had deteriorated to the extent that the conductor, Mr. Jackson, was prepared to go direct to the Commissioner. Band duties were only a secondary consideration at stations and some new recruits to the Force who had musical experience were known to not mention their talents so as to “not be required to perform unattractive duties with the Band”. Band morale was low and membership was down to thirty-four.

The Band was still heavily involved with Police Boys Clubs, with members accruing many hours overtime. Rehearsals were even held at Police Boys Clubs, mainly East Sydney, during the late sixties and early seventies. Throughout this period, the Band was busier than ever, regularly performing approximately 120 to 130 engagements per year. These still consisted of hospital and park concerts, fetes, parades, Police and State functions, country shows and even the Miss NSW Quest, live-to-air every year from 1967 to 1972 at the Sydney Trocadero Ballroom.

NSW Police Band at Redfern Police Academy – March 1966 (click to enlarge)

Lindsay Chate, Fred Gregory, Ron Webb, Bill Brown, George Jackson, Lofty Sharp, Arthur Wilson, Rex Waddington, Bruce Constable.

2nd ROW L – R:Max Gruggen, Peter Williams, Harry Salter, Graeme Bates, Bill Martin, Ken Mills, Bill Lewis, Barry Grove-Jones, Max Hammond, Gordon Crompton, Ron Cawthray.

3rd ROW L – R:
Ben Acton, Jack Nicholson, Darcy Hay, Jack Williams, Mason Brockie, Neville Trevelyan, Alf Ewards, Dennis Williams, Alan Hines, John Corbett, Ron Morris.

4th ROW L – R:
Lloyd Turnbull, Les Lambert, Hugh Barnwell, Alan Gallagher, Bill Halford, Bill Beaver, Don Lewis


NSW Police Band – The New Era

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