Familiar Faces is a chance for us to get to know members while we wait for jams to resume. BUMS Inc members are invited to submit their brief bios for this section of the newsletter.


Hi – My name’s Max, and I’m usually one of the familiar faces around Ferny Grove and Coorparoo jams, and now in BUMS Online. Coming up later I have a few words about who I am, what I like, and why I joined BUMS. But first up, a few words for the beginners.

For beginners

I started playing the uke because a very good friend of mine who had been very ill, suggested I might join him at a uke gathering in Byron Bay. Sadly he has let the uke slip, but I still play on. We all have different reasons, for playing. But if you’re reading this, well done, you have made the first step. Learning chords is the greatest challenge at the outset, but soon they become second nature… and then you begin to play! For several years now I have been running a small jam on Tuesday nights, called TUTUs (The Third Tuesday Ukulele Strummers) at West Toowong Bowls club in Bywong Street, Toowong. Boy am I looking forward to getting back to that!

Beginning BUMS

When I joined BUMS I knew everything there was to know about the ukulele. I’d been playing for several years, and I thought I was fairly proficient.  Now I realise that none of this was true. I was hoping for a group of like-minded spirits with whom I could jam. Indeed, my first taste of BUMS was via SPRUKE in 2013. I met a few people, including John Henderson (President at the time), and he was encouraging. I also purchased my first “expensive” uke from the Morris Brothers stand. Mahalo ukes are great for kids, but I needed a slightly more versatile instrument. Now I have 8 ukes, one for every day of the Beatles week.

I love BUMS, and I enjoyed being a committee member, Festival Director, and President. Perhaps because I love the higher public profile. But now with grand kids, I have taken a step back.

I have a dream that one day my entire family will join with me in a Uke concert. But, while my son and daughter-in-law are proficient musicians, they shun the uke. My daughter and son-in-law are capable musicians too, but think the uke is an old persons instrument. The grandchildren Hugo, Georgie and Indigo are way too busy, all of them being under 3. And my wife, Karen, whom many of you will have met, enjoys my playing but is very occupied being Gran. So me and my dogs Billie, and Hunni, practise singing in the bush when we walk, and they think I have the best voice ever … better even than Bark, and Oftenbark.

Just another hobby

Aside from uke

When I’m not being PomPom (my granddaddy name), I struggle with a pottery wheel, and I sculpt. I also wrestle with vegetable eating insects, fruit flies and other garden pests, and I keep honey bees. This “Life in the time of COVID 19″ is a busy time, as I am locked away finishing off all my projects. My family won’t let me out as they think I am vulnerable. But I reckon I’m a tough old boot. I love to chat to visitors, and hope to see you round the jams. Karen and I “do the desk at Ferny Grove”, and I regularly MC at Coorparoo. I’m looking forward to seeing all your familiar faces again soon. So if you have a chance, say hi …. perhaps on the 22nd of July!

Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to reading about more of our BUMS familiar faces in next month’s newsletter.