Above: Lorraine Strain with Melinda Gregor, Kathy and Darren Cameron
Above: Ron Arthur with Brenton and Anissa Strain
“G’day Geoff, Brenton Strain Enfield”.
It was the late 80’s, I was at the Festival Theatre Cabaret Room for a Galapagos Duck concert when a bloke suddenly appeared in front of me. He presented his outstretched hand backed up with a broad smile. That bloke was, and still is in fact, Lorraine Strain’s son Brenton. His greeting immediately told me two things, firstly he is proud to be Brenton Strain and secondly that he is proud to be a member of the Enfield Band.
Someone must have taught him that.
The person who can take at least 50% of the credit for his attitude and demeanour is Lorraine Strain. Lorraine and Ian Strain raised three good kids, proving that the proof of the pudding is in the progeny. Most significantly Brenton’s greeting included his Brass Band Tribe as a part of his identity. I was pleased and proud to shake Brenton Strain-Enfield’s hand that night and I am now pleased and proud to give Lorraine a much-deserved moment in the sun.
Her contribution to banding generally and Enfield Band particularly deserves to be recognised. She is every conductors dream, always there, always finding something to be happy about and playing her part both on and off the bandstand.
I am supremely confident that Lorraine’s story will find resonance with people who respect and treasure family values and commitment, an honest work ethic and loyalty to friends.
It is a genuine joy and privilege to stand alongside Lorraine as she presents her banding story to you.
Name: Lorraine Strain
Born: 3/8/37 in Adelaide to Hurtle and Winifred Weaver
Instrument: Bb Cornet
I became interested in brass banding in 1969 when I heard a young boys band playing on a Saturday morning at a local shopping centre. My eldest boy Darren, at 7 years of age was enthralled, and so the journey began with the Klemzig Boys Band, later renamed the Klemzig Junior Band with girls also joining the ranks. My husband, as a theatre manager, worked nights. My mother-in-law would baby-sit my two younger children while I took Darren to learners class.
During this time other parents would wait for their children. A friendship grew amongst the parents and a few of us decided to have a go at learning to play an instrument.
Fifty years later Jeannie Magin and I have a great friendship and still enjoy playing!
Ron Arthur would start our lesson and then Nel Wilsdon would take us into the kitchen area and continue the lesson whilst Ron had the juniors.
It was fun! As we improved we were allowed into the back row to gain confidence. The kids were so good both with playing and accepting us.
I joined the committee and in 1974 became Secretary to President Brian Doherty. By then we had a learners class, a junior band and the City of Enfield Senior Band.
The Klemzig Oompah Band was formed and monthly concerts were run as fundraisers for music and uniforms. These were very successful and lot of fun. Karl Schlicker presented Ron Arthur with much of the music for this group, brought back from Germany. The Oompah concerts included some choreography which we all enjoyed (and still do!) Jeannie and I would dance the Can-can (two fat ladies named Mimi and Fifi ). We were encouraged to enter “Red Faces” on Channel Nine, which was a wonderful experience. Apart from the host Darryl Somers, we met Eartha Kitt and Denis Walters.
And yes we won!!
All of this came about through Brass Banding.
Of course there were the band competitions and extra practices. Running the junior solos at Klemzig would start on a Friday night, run all weekend and finish on a Sunday night. Music for the contestants was own choice, it was wonderful to hear and see these children perform. I loved the camaraderie that evolved between the contestants, parents, families and bands as a whole. My two younger children Brenton and Anissa were now playing as well. It was always friendly competition. Those weekends of fellowship and wonderful music left everyone feeling tired but happy.
During my time on the SABA Committee I was fortunate enough to meet Bruce Raymond [President], Joan and Jim Mackison and delegates from all other registered bands. We exchanged ideas and planned further entertainment days.
Most of my spare time was spent within the banding movement Now at 82 years of age and having lived alone for the past seven years music has filled every day with pleasure. Unfortunately my two boys no longer play, but still remain friends with the Benger family. My daughter living in Darwin, plays in the Army Reserve, teaches music in three primary schools when required and on the weekends plays music in three entertainment venues with other types of bands.
This makes me very happy to know that the Music lives on and is available to all age groups.
I thank the Banding Movement for the enjoyment it has given me and still provides. Music is forever and friends, present and past, are never forgotten.
All the best, Lorraine Strain