During the WWI years nearly every town had a Town Band – and they were a key part of WW1 commemorative events, farewells at Railway Stations and welcoming home at the Railway Stations. Over the years, most of the Town Bands have folded, however today we still have the City of Wollongong Brass Band.
Shared by Christine Wallbaum of the City of Wollongong Brass Band
“Up until 1979 it was known as the Wollongong Steelworks Brass Band which was formed by Jack (John) MacDonald Tougher in 1934.
This happened because the Lithgow Steelworks transferred their whole company to Port Kembla along with a lot of the employees and, of course bandsmen – hence the formation of the band.
When the second world war started members of our band were called up and they became the 34th Battalion Band. In 1979 we changed our name to the City of Wollongong Brass Band and we celebrated by holding our 80th Anniversary Concert in May at the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre (IPAC).
We are the only surviving community Brass Band left between Sutherland and Nowra and have sadly seen the demise of a total of 14 community brass bands from the Illawarra Area alone during this time.”
There is a wonderful story about Jack Tougher and the origins of the City of Wollongong Brass Band made available by the Illawarra Historical Society in conjunction with the University of Wollongong – click to download.
Also tales of Bobbie Grant and Brass Bands in the early 20th Century Years – click to download.