Presidential Musing – November 2020

G’day all,

Well the AGM is done & dusted & it looks like you’ve got me for your President for the next year. I’d like to introduce you to the other committee members.

Robert Eckley – Secretary, Adam Briscoe – Treasurer, Gavin Kelly – Musicians Rep,   Sue Stevenson – Membership Officer, Cam Hall – general committee and Denis Marotte – general committee.

Tickets for this month’s Jam are almost sold out, so if you haven’t got yours yet, you better get in quick. Tickets are also selling fast for our Xmas Blues Jam on Sunday 20 December, so hop online & purchase them now. Member discount codes available by emailing contact@canberrabluessociety.com.au

CBS presents Geoff Achison down in the Keller at the Harmonie German Club on Thursday 3 December. Very limited tickets available.

Dancing in The Shadows of Motown is coming back to the Harmonie German Club on Friday 4 December. Sure to be another great night.

Presidents Report 2020 AGM (25/10/2020)

Welcome to our AGM and thank you for coming. 

Well what a year 2019-20 turned out to be.

Everything was cruising along in the latter half of 2019 and the Canberra Blues Society (CBS) was going from strength to strength. All the usual events were well attended and more and more new faces were turning up.

We continued our cooperative efforts with the Harmonie German Club (HGC), Lone Wolf Promotions at the Austrian Club, The Candelo Blues Club, The Australian Blues Music Festival at Goulburn and all the other Blues friendly venues around town and beyond. 

Discount deals were made for members to events run by other venues in Canberra.

Every month Kerry Sattler produced the Blues News – Canberra’s most thorough and informative source for Blues information relevant to the region and beyond

The August 2019 International Blues Music Day featured the Bellhops, Bluetone Specials, Rambal, Kate Lush, Queen Juanita, Electric Tommy Johnson & Flynn Gurry.

October 2019 we once again participated in The HGC Oktoberfest Pork Knuckle stall to raise funds for both the HGC & the CBS.

November saw, once again, our sponsorship of the Blues prize ($300) at the Cooma Busking Festival. The winner was C J Fairleight from Penrith NSW.

The Christmas party went off like a bomb and Bucky’s Big Budweiser Birthday Bash rolled on like clockwork in January.

February 2020 CBS once again ran the Blues Jam at the Australian Blues Music Festival at Goulburn. Host bands were Muddy Wolfe and Dean Edgecombe & the Seventh Sons. Thanks to the volunteers who helped out

Then COVID arrived in earnest in March 2020 and we were very lucky to squeeze our monthly jam in.

Regular events were cancelled from the end of March 2020 through to August 2020 including our Youth in Blues Jam for August. Narrabundah College were ready to go but we couldn’t provide the venue.  We’re hoping next year will be a goer.

Our long time friend, member, supporter, collaborator and promoter David ‘Bucky’ Buckmaster died on the 10th June after a long fight with cancer.  We all miss him and his unique personality. There will be a Birthday Bash in his honour on the 9th January at The Austrian Club.

June also saw the resignation (due to increased COVID related work pressure) of Dave McRae as our esteemed president and the appointment by the committee of myself as your acting President. Dave was a great president and we hope he can resume some role with the CBS in the future once the rush dies down.

I presided over the hole in regular large scale CBS activities caused by the COVID restrictions.

The Committee continued to function and during this period our treasurer Adam Briscoe organised a new contactless payment system for us which is now up and running. Thanks Adam.

We also completed a stocktake of all CDs and gear belonging to the Society.

Kerry Sattler organised 10 Keller Sessions in July/August/September in the Keller with small acts (Moondog, Shane Pacey, Jeff & Deej, Guitar Case Troubadors, Frank Sultana, Leo & Ang, The Barren Spinsters, Jack Biilmann, Electric Tommy Johnson and The Bluetone Duo). They  were limited to 28 persons and all sold out.  Much thanks to K2 and K1 for all the tireless work they put in to organise, promote and run these events. 

September saw the return of the (ticketed and restricted to 80 persons ) blues jam in the HGC auditorium and then the expansion of numbers (to 150) for that event in October. Both events sold out and were much appreciated by our loyal members and supporters.

Likewise, the Blues Jam Workshop is back and still going from strength to strength having moved upstairs to the main auditorium.  Thanks to Rick Bamford, Dean Edgecombe, Gavin Kelly, John Van Buuren and all the other contributors to this excellent and much appreciated program.

Entry prices for both jams have gone up throughout the year and seem to have been accepted well. It is clear they are excellent value for money.

Oktoberfest in its regular form was cancelled for 2020 and we weren’t required to provide volunteers this year.  Likewise the 2020 Cooma Busking Festival was cancelled. * (NOTE: Online event now scheduled)

CBS provided a letter of support for the HGC’s application for a grant to improve the Keller sound and lighting which, if it happens, will benefit our events there in the future

Another letter of support was provided by CBS to a member with a disability seeking assistance to attend our events.

The membership initially declined through the COVID 19 period due to the reduced activity of the society. It dropped down as low as about 70.  That has now rebounded to 180 and is still climbing due to both the return to the Jams and the capacity for us to do contactless payments.

We are saddened to hear of the recent passing of Danny Mack. We have many good memories of Danny at our Blues Jams in earlier days. Our sincere condolences to Bonnie, family & friends. RIP

I would like to thank this year’s committee Mark Farrell, Dean Edgecombe, Doug Park, Adam Briscoe, Gavin Kelly and Dave McRae for their work and wish those leaving the committee all the best for the future.

Thanks to all those who help out at events setting up, moving gear and packing away. This is a huge contribution to the success of the CBS. We can’t do it without you.

Finally a very great thank you to Kerry Sattler and Kerry Scarlett for their immense efforts and loyal support, not just this year but for many years. We certainly couldn’t do it without you.

Until next month

Steve Hartnett – President

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