Above: Pat, ready to perform with Para Hills Brass Band.
Above: Para Hills Band in Broken Hill. This shot was taken the memorial Park in Broken Hill before the Sunday morning Memorial Service fro the Bandsmen who died on the Titanic in 1912.
Above: Pat on the left during a Northern light Opera performance of The Belle of New York in 1972.
Above: Pat with Mum and Dad as featured in a newspaper article from 2005.
Pat Talbot, in my opinion, is a great example of the effect that unsupervised playtime during childhood has in producing resilient, strong and independent adults. Her place of birth in Northern England is about 2 hours and 23 minutes from mine by bus, that’s including changing buses at Warrington! While she was getting her wee playmates organised for their backyard show in Chester I was on the other side of the Mersey River in St Helens, riding my bike and exploring what was on offer in the world. Some sixty years later and twelve thousand miles away we are both more or less doing the same thing!
Those intervening six decades have not dulled Pat’s enthusiasm for putting on shows in her backyard. Her basic instinct for giving enjoyment and pleasure to others rolls along unabated. The Brass Band Movement in SA and Para Hills Brass Band in particular have been beneficiaries of her creative energy. Those of you who have had a go at organising something, and in the process have had to deal with the idiosyncrasies of a variety of people, will not need me to tell you that it has its “moments”. Pat is the sort of person who is able to draw on a reservoir of resilience and an extensive repertoire of retorts to deal with any situation.
According to Google women speak 20,000 words per day on average. Men pale into insignificance by comparison. A mere 7,000 “utterances”. Those of you out there in SA Brassbandland who know Pat Talbot will be nodding agreeably when I tell you that she is above average in more ways than one!
Goodonya Pat and thanks for your generosity.
Geoff Meikle, 2020
Brass Band Profile - PAT TALBOT
I was born in the historical City of Chester in England in 1953. Chester, which was a Roman fortress (Deva), built 2000 years ago, is on the North Wales border. It is a tourist spot which is well known for the huge Roman Wall. It circles the City along with an amphitheatre next to the River Dee. There are also lots of Tudor Inns (Bear and Billet originally built 1584 and Ye Olde King’s Head built 1622), black and white buildings called the Rows, a cathedral and the famous Chester Zoo.
We emigrated to Australia in 1964 because my mother was tired of the cold winters. As a girl in England, I went to ballroom dancing classes and I was always organizing big back garden concerts and fetes to raise money to buy flowers for our local Heath Lane Hospital (now Boughton Heath Academy). My parents, Aubrey and Irene Gannon, never stopped me. In fact, my Dad always made me whatever I wanted for these events. I went to Ellesmere Port Grammar School and I was terrified of the music classes because I could not understand what a semibreve was. I just needed some encouragement.
After spending six months in Finsbury Hostel, South Australia, my family settled in Salisbury. My Dad conducted Northern Light Operatic shows at the Shedley Theatre, Elizabeth and I joined as a dancer. I even choreographed three shows, Half a Sixpence, Oklahoma and Charlie Girl. I still love the romantic music from musicals. You know the themes….boy gets girl….boy loses girl…..boy gets girl back again.
During this time I also had a go at learning the piano but in time I went on to learn tenor horn under the direction of Joe Smith in the Elizabeth Brass Band. You see, my mother, Irene, also played the tenor horn. I eventually moved to Para Hills Brass Band with mum because Joe was conductor. However, as it turned out my Dad became conductor for 27 years. I had a go at playing cornet and flugel horn and now I am back on tenor horn. Ron Arthur handed one over to me and said “Patrick” this instrument suits you. I play it with Para Hills Band and The Fun Band.
During my brass banding years I have put on numerous back garden shows with Para Hills Band. The Band would play for half an hour and then we would do a short production of “Peter Pan” or “Rocky Horror Show” or “Wizard of Oz”, etc, all choreographed by me followed by a barbeque tea.
Brass banding opens up a lot of other doors. Back in 2014 another friend of mine from Chester, Pat Spry, and I organised a Migrant Reunion at our local “Somerset Hotel”. We asked the Salisbury Council for a grant for food and drink and we got it. Para Hills Band provided the music. The author of this series “Bonded by Brass” Geoff Meikle also played his cornet with us because his family came out from England too.
You make a lot of male and female friends in the brass banding world. There is always a concert or competition to go to.
In short, this young girl from Chester, England is very happy to be involved with her brass banding family in South Australia.
Pat Talbot, 2020