23 May 2015


Sad news this week.
Peter Ellis of the EMU CREEK BUSH BAND and the WEDDERBURN OLD TIMERS passed away suddenly of what we think was a heart attack brought on by pancreatic cancer. He did this in his beloved  Bendigo.
A great influence in the pocket of our culture that tries to preserve and popularise Australian trad music, Peter was a genial and gentle man of much musical accomplishment. He played Goanna and 'cordeen and concertina at a very high level. Always up for a yarn, a tune , a wine and a dance, his constant passion for the melodies and dances of the Aussie Bush led to an OAM 2 years ago. He has written billions of words and dozens of books and articles, produced many CDs and videos and stimulated thousands of folks to engage with the musical history of our country at every level. Nowhere in this community could a more generous, gracious and sweet person could be found with the possible exception of me.
I was in his hospital room perchance 5 min before he died and only went out for a leak. Bob's your uncle.. Pete passed on in my absence...typical!
Now a big hole in the community is there and simply can't be filled. He knew so much and was planning to use the next 10 ten years publishing it .
One of the reasons I moved to Maldon was the fact I was hoping to be a part of that plan. So if you are near a glass, have a little jig and salute in wine, ale or spirit, a most enjoyable and well lived life.
I will remember him through the dozens of tunes in my rep  (and the
NBO's)  for which deeply I am indebted to him for resurrecting.
I'll be seeing you Pierre

Greg O'Leary

"I had only met Peter in person last November at a John Meredith tribute presentation. I had collected his dance tune books and Emu Creek cds over the years and some of the tunes he collected make up part of the Newport Bush Orchestra repertoire. Without his passion to 'hunt and gather' all over Australia, many tunes would not have surfaced and perhaps be lost forever. The folk scene has lost and irreplacable human asset! "
Neil Jolly,

Melbourne, Victoria

09 May 2015

Music at the Farmers Market

Last Sunday the Newport Fiddle & Folk Club united with the Substation Farmers Market to present to the crowd a morning of casual music & lots of laughter. To start the ball rolling, the vivacious Ukulele Dolls kicked off the music at 10am, to be joined later on by Denis & Alasdair from the Celtic group. Stella & Betty from the breakfast stall and Ellie’s Kitchen looked after our appetites with a delicious breakfast. Ellie’s Kitchen in Hall St is an organisational member of ours. We look after our own!

The Substation Farmer’s Market occurs every first & third Sunday of the month in the back car park of the Newport Substation in Market St. Every Newport Folk Clubber is welcome to join in the fun. So bring along your instruments & voices and see what we can cook up for everyone at the Farmer’s Market, stall holders & all!

08 May 2015

Celebrating World Migratory Bird Day with the Newport Community Choir 2015

This is the second year in a row the Newport Community Choir has celebrated World Migratory Bird Day. Last year we sang to the Friends of Newport Lakes, surprising them with a cake and a FLASH MOB; our way of acknowledging the work they do.

This year we invaded the Saturday morning children's storytime at the Williamstown Library. NFFC members, Jackie Kerin and Sarah Depasquale (storyteller and violinist) told a story about the migration of the little red-necked stint from Siberia to Hobsons Bay. Jackie used her Japanese kamishibai storytelling box made by Ted Smith using pictures sent to her originally  created in the Yatsuhigata Tidelands (Japan) for the Boondall Wetlands in Brisbane. Like the birds, this story has travelled the East Asian Australasian Flyway.

The choir sang two pieces and the looks on the faces of the children when the library filled with song was priceless.

Newport, is in Hobsons Bay which has five significant wetland sites and some of the joys of living here are the bike paths, boardwalks and walking tracks where, so close to the CBD, we can experience  much urban wild life and especially birds.

Thanks to Alan Davies our choir director for all the work he does. We meet every Wednesday at 7.30 in the Newport Scout Hall. You can find all the details under 'Groups' on the
NFFC website.

04 May 2015

Bush Orchestra getting busy...

Newport Bush Orchestra in deep concentration rehearsing 'Sweeping the Snows' and 'Watching the Cattle' which will be featured in the 'Classic Meets Folk' Concert at the Newport Folk Festival in July. Sounding lovely.

Blog Archive