Updates and News

Vale - Norm Austen

(14 May 2024)

News from Tom Lyons, a former National Serviceman who was attached to 8 RAR Band in Malaysia, of the passing of Norm Austen.

Norm Austen served as a bandsmen with 8RAR Band, Eastern Command Band, 3RAR Band, 1RTB Band and RAAF Band - Richmond. He also saw active service in Borneo with 3RAR. Norm was a staunch member of the AABCA for many years.

Funeral details are not known at this stage.

Vale - Kevin Furness

(11 March 2024)

Sad news that Kevin Furness passed away peacefully on Sunday, 10 March 2024.

Jenny has reached out to Chris Stock with this news and the following words: “Our beautiful friends, Kevin went to be with his Saviour Sunday afternoon at 3 pm. He was at peace and pain free and we had a very special time as he breathed his last. Thank you all for being such faithful loving friends over the years. I'll talk to many of you all eventually. He lived a good life and we can thank God for that so much.

For some years Kevin has been treated for heart complications resulting in major surgery on numerous occasions. He spent quite a bit of time in hospital this year as a result of another attempt to repair his damaged aorta.

Kevin started his career as an Army Apprentice Musician at Balcombe, learning the oboe. He later served in RMC Band, 5 MD Band / AAB–Perth, then was selected for officer training in the United States during the 1980s. Kevin was later the Lieutenant second in command of AAB-Kapooka and Captain second in command of AAB–Melbourne. He retired to Bendigo Victoria and enjoyed part-time wine-making with his successful label 'Buskers winery'. Kevin and Jenny enjoyed travel in their motor home and after selling it he and Jenny continued touring including catching up with friends as far afield as Perth in March last year.  

Our thoughts and condolences are with Jenny at this time as we remember fond memories of Kevin and our time with him in Army bands. RIP Kevin, duty done.

Update: A Thanksgiving Service for the life of Mr. Kevin James Furness will be held at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church, 14 Keck St., Flora Hill, Bendigo on Tuesday 19th March at 11am. A private cremation will follow.

Vale - Tom Davies

(10 March 2024)

News from John Davies, son of Tom Davies, to say Tom had recently passed away.

Tom Davies enlisted on 16 January 1957, and served initially as a tuba player in Southern Command Band. "T.D." (as he became known) was posted to 2RAR in 1960 as a regimental bandsman/stretcher bearer and served with the battalion both in Malaysia and Australia. A posting to 5RAR in 1965 came with appointment as SGT Drum Major. A posting followed to the 3rd Training Battalion in Singleton as SSGT Drum Major of the new area band (affiliated to RAA). In May 1970 TD was posted to Eastern Command Band as the WO2 Drum Major and promoted to WO1 in February 1976 and served as the BSM of 2MD Band until his retirement.

After retirement Tom moved to the Gold Coast where he was actively involved as a very effective advocate for veterans.

AABC Association Award 2023

(18 January 2024)

The AABC Association Award recipient for 2023 is Musician William Barker of AAB-Kapooka.

The citation can be read on the Association Award page.

Vale - Bruce 'Pedro' Jurss

(1 Jan 2024)

Bruce 'Pedro' Jurss passed away peacefully on the 31 December 2023 after a 2 year battle with cancer. Bruce’s children and partner Brenda were by his side with his CD player playing his favourite marches.

Bruce was a larger than life character who began playing with the Halifax-Macknade Band near Ingham, before he commenced his military service. After enlisting in 1965 Bruce attended the Army School of Music following by postings to the Royal Australian Artillery Band (1966-1970, 1972-1973), the North Queensland Army Band (1973-1983), 1RAR Band (1984-1985, 1988-1994), 2MD Band (1986-1987) and 11 Brigade Band (1996 - 2000).

Bruce also played with the Maitland Orchestra, the Murgon Salvation Army and Kingaroy Brass Bands, Thuringowa Brass Band, Herbert River District Band and Townsville Concert Band. He was also involved with many other community music organisations.

Bruce will be remembered for his deep attachment to Halifax, with all references in distance being how many miles it was from there; his near addiction to Facebook - a prolific phone photographer and storyteller, his long email 'waffles' that were sent out to many, a keen fisherman & crabber, a highly regarded and valued member of the AABC, with family meaning the world to him.

RIP “Goona” your duty is done.

Bruce Jurss funeral is to be held in Ingham, then moving onto Halifax.

Friday 12th January 1030am
Ingham Uniting Church
5 Gedge St, Ingham

Halifax Cemetery
9 Rosendal St. Halifax

Halifax Hotel
26 Macrossan St, Halifax

Lachlan Cutler, MD Thuringowa Brass is putting together a group from his band to play a short set before the service in Ingham, and later at the pub. This was at Bruce’s request but will require some assistance from those able to give their time as, understandably, the whole band can’t be in attendance. If you can still play, or even remotely make a noise that could be interpreted as musical, could you please consider offering your time and expertise to make this happen. Lachlan will provide an instrument and I believe Bruce has made provision for refreshments to be provided. Let me know here if you can help, I will pass info to Lachlan.
Nelson Oakley

Vale - John Hughes

(1 Nov 2023)

A former member of the AABC, John Hughes, passed away on Thursday 26 October 2023 aged 85. John had been diagnosed with bowel cancer and only recently he suffered a stroke.

Early in John's military career he was posted as a euphonium player to RMC Band then in the early 1960s was a member of Southern Command/3MD Band. Later John served in a logistics position as the AABC Band Instrument Storeman at 21 Supply Battalion located at Broadmeadows, Victoria. John continued his service when posted to Holsworthy, NSW where he and his family settled. John was a member of the AABC Association, he and his late wife attended several reunions in the early days prior to his ill health.

John was a devout member of the Salvation Army and played regularly and conducted Salvation Army Bands throughout his lifetime. He was also a longstanding member of the International Military Music Society.

The funeral for the late John Hughes will be held on Wednesday 8 November 2023 at 4.30pm at Forrest Lawn Cemetery, Leppington, NSW with a wake being held at the Catholic Club in Campbelltown, NSW. RIP John... Your Duty Done.

Kevin Noon

Vale - Byron Bootes

(1 Nov 2023)

Byron Bootes passed away on 17 April 2023 aged 86.

Byron was a member of the Royal Australian Engineers (RAE) Band in the mid 1950s. Following his recruit training Byron was posted to the RAE Band which at that time was at Casula, NSW as part of the RAE Training Centre. Following the bands relocation to Kapooka most of the band followed and served there until it was eventually renamed 1 RTB Band.

Byron left the band in the 1960s and went to Vietnam serving as the Manager of ASCO, the Canteen Organisation. On his return to Australia he was posted back to Kapooka where eventually he was promoted to WO2 and Manager of the Canteen there.

Kevin Noon

Vale - Joe Costello

(18 Sept 2023)

John Kirk (Joe) Costello lost his battle with deteriorating health on Saturday, 16 September at approximately 9.30am. John will be much remembered for his intense love of and kindness towards animals, his generosity of spirit with people, his extraordinary musicianship and long history with the Australian Army Band and of course his true blue Aussie mateship. John will be missed immensely by his sister Judy, Dawn and of course his wider family. Rest in peace now John. We will miss you so very very much.

Barry McCosker

Noteworthy News Newsletter Archive

(26 Sep 2022)

Financial Association members can now access past editions of Noteworthy News on the Association website.

To gain access contact the Association Web Manager, Stu Colhoun, with your name and email address - Contact Web Manager

Once access is granted you will receive an email with a username, password and a link to the secure page.

Once membership fees are paid by 1 July of each year access will be for 12 months or the balance of the financial year from when the fees are paid.