History of Thames Citizens’ Band


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6.a. Mixing it up, Telethons, Bavarian, Top towns & new Rotunda.

TCB has had to adapt and reinvent itself to keep up with the times over its many years – as many years as the town of Thames itself has had to change. One of those big changes was when the first blue TCB uniform was decided on, bought and made in 1980. [86] Another change that took place around this time for the band was when it changed from the traditional military style brass band to a concert band with the inclusion of woodwind and some amplified instruments in 1981, under the conductor, Len Edmunds, who was a saxophone player himself. [87] [Pic 18]

PIC 18 – TCB march on Pollen Street, in new Blue Uniforms, ANZAC Day 1983

This opened up other avenues for performing for the band for a number of years. The band began working with othThis opened up other avenues for performing for the band for a number of years. The band began working with other concert bands from Auckland and other districts. TCB performed for various Telethons like the one in 1983 and also as a Bavarian band ensemble at various events. [134, 135] In 1985 further co-operation blossomed with mass bands forming often, for example when TCB combined with Kerepehi Brass Band (formed in 1946 on the Hauraki Plains) and the Thames Marching Girls at Telethons and Santa Parades. [136, 137] [Pic 19] Don Holden (TCB) was on the first Executive Committee of the NZ Concert Band Association in 1987, helping to encourage and direct the formation of many concert bands around N.Z. [2011 Don Holden] The Top Town competitions in 1988 and local Fun Runs brought more co-operation between the bands of the wider districts. The Victoria Park Band Rotunda was repaired after old age had got the better of it and the band began performing on it again that year. [138] [Pic 20]

PIC 19 – TCB combined with Kerepehi Brass, ANZAC Day 1985
PIC 20 – TCB opening of current TCDC offices 1990

The current TCB uniform was decided on, bought and made in 1997, with its striking royal blue, black and white colours, which as previously mentioned are similar to the 1930s 6th Hauraki Regiment colours. The cap and hat badge remained the same as the earlier 1950s committee had decided. This represents something of a reconnection with our rich and colourful past as a band. [139] [PIC 21]

PIC 21 – TCB Photo (New Uniforms) 1997


6.b. Band history & New Kopu Bridge.

In 2011, TCB reinstated their logo for use in promotional material and as a letterhead – so our hat badge logo of 1950 has a new lease on life. Our Band Co-ordinator (2011) began researching and compiling our history as a band for this publication. Although the original “Hauraki Bridge” (Kopu Bridge) was not given the appropriate civic ceremony at its opening back in 1928, in December this year the official opening of the new Kopu Bridge saw TCB providing musical entertainment at one end of the bridge. The Band also organized a massed Thames and Hauraki District band along with old time friends the Kerepehi Brass Band to march over the bridge performing the Disney tune “It’s A Small World After All.” [Pic 22] Perhaps not surprisingly there was no mention of the bands’ efforts in any of the five special editions in the local newspapers devoted to the new bridge opening nor in any other media coverage – but the band played on regardless. The band still plays annually for the Thames Christmas Parades and ’Christmas in the Park’ concerts, Thames Heritage Week performances, and the Thames Anzac Day ceremonies; goes Christmas caroling on Thames streets, performs in St George’s Church concerts; and plays in the Victoria Park Band Rotunda for various community functions. [Pic 23]

PIC 22 – TCB combined with Kerepehi Brass, Kopu Bridge Opening 2011
PIC 23 – TCB at St Georges Church Concert 2011

We are the Thames Citizens’ Band – Thames’ Oldest Living Music Organisation. We have both backed and led Thames and the Coromandel from the very beginning and will continue to do so because that’s what we do. A land in the hand of a band from Thames for over a hundred years! We would love you to be a part of it – See the middle pages for more information. Fill out and send to us the ’Insert page’ for information on Membership.


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