Under the guidance of convenor John Patrick a group of enthusiasts got together in February 1983 and formed a Bush Band which they called Wattle N Gum & their first bush dance was held at the Rasmussen School Fete on 15th May 1983.
The founding members were:
John Patrick; Bill Laing; Sue Laing; Margaret Patrick; Rita Bisley; Jim Darley; Margaret Darley; Karen Darley; Alan Dodd; Joy Williams; Lindsay Williams; Heather Winsor; Leigh Winsor; Lara Winsor; Denise Young; Alex Simon; Maureen Gillard; Ben Gillard; Carolyn Bell; Dawn Rolfe; Peter Patrick; David Patrick; Ray Lefeuvre; Jessica Copeman.
Wattle N Gum claim they are the world’s biggest Bush Band with up to 30 performers on stage and are also the longest-lived Bush Band as the band is still performing to this day. 146 musicians have been through the band playing a total of 25 different musical instrument including (for example) 36 fiddlers. The youngest band member – 7 years (fiddler), and the oldest – 77 years (great grandmother, lagerphonist)
Instruments played by Members:
Fiddle, Guitar, Banjo, Clawhammer Banjo, Mandolin, Cello, Bush Base Piano Accordion, Piano Keyboard, Concertina, Harmonica, Flute, Clarinet, Recorder, Tin Whistle, Kazoo, Didgeridoo, Bodhran, Lagerphone, Tamborine, Clicking Sticks, Egg Spoons, Washboard, and voice.