History .. the first ten years – Compiled by Barbara Hall
Homestead was originally known as Bribie Island branch of the ACMA. The branch was formed on the Island with mainly Bribie Island residents as members. They met in the little Ningi Hall but soon outgrew the venue so moved to several places on Bribie Island – the RSL being one. Due to a shift in the geographic location of the members and many other factors, it was decided that a more central location to hold meetings and socials would be beneficial so a move to the old Stanmore hall was made.
As happens with most clubs, internal turmoil began and the once strong Bribie club was facing the dilemma of possibly closing its doors. It was during this troubled time that the remaining members decided that a name not defining the branch to a specific area would be an advantage in an attempt to rebuild. On 9th July, 1996, Barbara Hall moved that the name of the branch be changed to Homestead country music branch of the ACMA Inc. The motion was seconded by Peter Bigg and carried unanimously.
The night being the AGM, a new president was elected and Barbara Hall became the first President of the newly named branch. At the time, the membership had dwindled to eight financial members as follows:
|Barbara Hall – President|
|Marianne Harth – Vice President|
|Tracey Nicholson – Secretary|
|Gary Nicholson – Treasurer|
|Winston Walker – Entertainment officer/stage manager|
All those present decided that the branch was worth fighting for and with a bank balance to match the membership, set out to prove the sceptics wrong. Some socials saw Barbara and Peter as the only musicians to back entertainers who were mostly ‘walk up’ artists and the audience was these artists waiting their turn on stage!!
In December of ’96, the socials nights changed from a Sunday afternoon to the third Friday night of the month and this move saw the beginning of the rebuilding of both audience and membership.
However, this did not see the end of discontent and Homestead once again spiralled down hill as the quality and content of the music presented did not meet either the audience’s needs or those of the original remaining members. Through the persistence and hard work of these members, once again the wheels slowly turned in the other direction and Homestead’s distinct repertoire of quality and variety began to emerge.
Peter Bigg was voted in as President on 11th August 1998 and has been very successful in holding the branch together through the ensuing years. Other than the Presidency, all of the positions have had several moves over time but the present committee had remained fairly stable and consistent and run the Homestead ‘ship’ admirably.
Members have also varied over the years but within the branch, there is a dedicated core group of people who have remained and supported Homestead through thick and thin. The branch proudly boasts many talented performers and musicians who put a lot of time and effort into both practice nights and socials to ensure that our audience gets the quality of entertainment that has become Homestead’s signature.
Homestead doesn’t stick to home soil however, and perform at various charity events, music clubs and aged care facilities throughout the year. The biggest achievement to date has been the inclusion in the Urban Country Music Festival at Caboolture where alongside Pumistone County Music Club; members entertain in the Lions Park throughout the long weekend.
It is hard to imagine that some Friday nights of years past, a cat or two could be swung in the old hall on social nights but it is thanks to the people who believed in the members and kept coming back that it is once again a strong and viable branch and has remained so for many years. Homestead has come a long way from those days to where it is today with over 35 active performing members, with many other members who offer great support and help behind the scenes. Social nights are played to a full hall with a lot of regular faces turning up through all sorts of weather to be entertained, have a drink at the bar, enjoy delicious food from the canteen and enjoy the comradeship that makes Homestead unique.
We can all tell our own little stories of what has happened over the preceding years but as Homestead’s tenth anniversary looms in July of 2006, we look back with pride at our slow won achievements and thank everyone for their unfailing support.