LOCAL BRASS BANDS CONTINUING LOCAL HISTORY
The Barrier Industrial Unions Band has a continuous history reaching back to Bermingham’s Band, and the Broken Hill City Band, with bandsmen remaining even though the band's name changed.
Bermingham's Band was a family band formed prior to 1900. An early photograph shows the nine boys Walter, William, George, Arthur, Harry, Alf, Frank, Jack, Pearce with John Joseph their father the bandmaster. More than 60 medals were won in competitions which give some indication of their musical skills.
The Broken Hill City Band was formed in 1900 with J. J. Bermingham as conductor. The band was assured of success for the bandmaster was a man who “devoted times, pain, and any amount of hard work to bring the band to its present (1908) stage of popularity.”
The objects of the band were:
? To raise the standard of music in Broken Hill and
? To provide recreation for young men and lads who wasted their time in walking the streets and having no aim in life.
In its first eight years the band attended six contests, gaining three firsts, one third and twice unplaced. It also held the "Southcombe Challenge Cup" for winning four competitions in Broken Hill. From the band's inception there were only three conductors:
J. J. Bermingham 1900-1912;
L. S. Trenaman 1912-1921;
The Barrier Industrial Unions Band was formed in 1935, the name change occurred in 1936 from Broken Hill City Band. Several names were suggested - Broken Hill Workers Band, Barrier Industrial Silver Band, with Barrier Industrial Union Band being the name finally chosen. The name change arose due to the financial support of the local unions and the efforts of union officials Messrs Fritsch and Wilcox. A busy period commenced with regular Friday night stands in Argent Street providing music for late night shoppers.
Changes have occurred over the years, the greatest being that from an all male group. Today more than 50% of the players are female. Uniforms too have become informal with a modern style replacing the military style. The band is now a community band with funding from City Council and musical engagements replacing union financial support.
|Broken Hill Barber Band 1900's|
|Broken Hill City Band 1901|