Presented at the Annual General Meeting of the Brisbane Ukulele Musicians Society Inc on 30 October 2019 at the Coorparoo Bowls Club

2018-2019 has been an exciting year for the Brisbane Ukulele Musicians Society Inc (BUMS). It has been my privilege this year to lead an enthusiastic committee comprising the following members:

  • President:                                        Max Borchardt
  • Vice President:                                Amanda Allwood
  • Treasurer:                                        Colin Grant
  • Assistant Treasurer:                      Keryn Henderson
  • Secretary:                                        Judy Matthews
  • Media Manager:                             Joann Kunde
  • IT Officer:                                        Rob Carlyle
  • Properties Manager:                     Blair Marks
  • Assistant Properties Manager:   Andrew Hunt
  • Gigmeister:                                     John Henderson
  • Events Manager:                           Geoff Dancer
  • Festival Director:                          Dave Charles

It has been another busy year for the BUMS management, with a large number of activities, and a growing membership (from 275 to almost 300). The club could not function without its volunteers, and the BUMS Management Committee are a dedicated group of contributors who have made this past year the success it is. A special thanks must go to all members of the committee, with a special mention of Secretary, Judy Matthews, Media Manager, Jo Kunde, and Properties Manager, Blair Marks, who have been stalwart contributors, keeping the club rolling along.


With Jo Kunde as Media Manager, and Geoff Dancer in the position of Events Manager, BUMS offered a very full year of activities. One of the highlights of the year 2018 was the BUMS Cabaret which featured popular performers Ukulele Russ (Russel Copeland); Manitoba Hal (Hal Brolund); and Tyrone and Lesley (David Megarrity and Samuel Vincent); cameo performances from Totally Insane (Donna and Derek Farrell); Elvis (Mick Angeles) and Girt by C (Peter Ransom) made for an exciting evening that enjoyed much acclaim. The cabaret model set the scene for the SPRUKE opening night and is proving very popular.

The other event of significance was a troupe of BUMS band players, the BUMS Festival Group (BFG), who under the aegis of Peter Grace and John Henderson, travelled to Newcastle to perform at Newkulele. Peter Grace had prepared a narrative to link popular cover songs, which was presented as a ‘ukulele opera’. It was very well received.

2019 was the year of the fourth SPRUKE. The lead up to SPRUKE from January 2019 onwards was very busy with preparation and planning. Under the directorship of Dave Charles, and the support leadership of Jo Kunde, SPRUKE came together. This year SPRUKE was held at a different venue. The last few years of SPRUKE, the festival had been held at the Southbank Institute of TAFE. This has been a great learning experience, but the event needed a more professional environment with a greater range of facilities, better parking and more accessible catering facilities. It was decided we should try the Sunnybank Performing Arts Centre (SunPAC). The venue was most popular with sponsors, and the adjacent club facility provided adult catering. That said, for the first time SPRUKE had schools’ involvement, for which we must acknowledge Megan Thomson’s tireless efforts in bringing a number of schools to the event. SPRUKE offered an exciting program with international, national and local talent. Cynthia Lin, The Loveys, Ukulele Death Squad, Mama Juju & the Jam Tarts, the Thin White Ukes, Vic Kena, and Gypsy Rumble as headline performers made for a most enjoyable festival. Although with the new venue there was much teething involved, SPRUKE 2019 like its predecessors was a most successful event.

Many of the year’s other activities are detailed in the Media Manager’s report.


BUMS jams have continued throughout the year:

The Big BUMS Jam — 1st Wednesday of the month — held at the Coorparoo Bowls Club was coordinated during the year by the President. An exciting array of presenters prepared and hosted fun evenings with a wide selection of songs, providing entertainment and enjoyment for all who attended. Attendance numbers ranged between 80 and 220.

WE BUMS Jam — 2nd Friday of the month — held at the Hope Street Café, Boundary Road, West End, had been led by a number of different jam leaders. By June, Cath McCourt had stepped up to run the “second Friday of each month” event on a regular basis. The evening always proves popular.

BUMS Daytime Jam — 2nd Wednesday of the month — at the Toowong Bowls Club was run by Sue and Peter Sercombe with a regular attendance of between 30 and 40 each month.

The Scratch Jam — 3rd Sunday of the month — was run by Blair Marks at The Scratch Bar, 8/1 Park Road, Milton is regularly supported by 15 – 20 strummers.

Tutus — 3rd Tuesday of the month — West Toowong Bowls Club, Bywong Street, Toowong, was run by Max Borchardt is attended by around ten members each month.

Ferny Grove Beginners Jam —3rd Wednesday of the month — Ferny Grove Bowls Club, run by Linda Gough and Paul Morris is regularly attended by 50 or more strummers.

Northside Jam — 4th Tuesday of the month — held at the Northern Suburbs Bowls Club at Wavell Heights. We said goodbye to Tony Richardson who had run this event since its inception. From January, Peter Grace and Andrew Hunt volunteered to organise the jam. Attendance has varied, but generally strong, with numbers exceeding 30 on most occasions.

The Samual Grays Jam — 1st Sunday of the month — at 735 Albany Creek Road, Albany Creek, and led by Andrew Hunt and Blair Marks. It is currently undergoing a name change but the times and location will remain the same. Attendance numbers were over 40 for each of the last three events.


In addition, there have been several community bands open to BUMS members, that operate under aegis of BUMS. These are:

  • The CAGE                    Led by Ian Phillips & Becky Lochel
  • Free Range chUKES  Led by Megan Thomson
  • Flukey                          Led by Charmaine Matthews
  • NUMB BUMS            Led by Zoe Watson & John Low

A special thanks to all these jam set leaders and band coordinators.


The financial management of the Brisbane Ukulele Musicians Society Inc has been under the control of Treasurer, Mr Colin Grant, and Assistant Treasurer, Keryn Henderson. Full details of the financial status will be found in the Treasurer’s report.

Membership continues to grow, ensuring a reasonable cash flow. At the end of 2018–2019 BUMS had over 300 financial members.

The finances of the club remain strong. With our commitment to maintaining a not-for-profit (NFP) status, we have endeavored to keep costs of activities and events to a minimum, using club funds to subsidise member participation.


The IT portfolio has been administered by Rob Carlyle who has overseen some maintenance issues, ensured the equipment has been operational, and has recommended, replaced and purchased some new equipment as needed.


Blair Marks has continued to serve as Properties Manager, ably assisted by Andrew Hunt, ensuring the equipment is used properly, maintained appropriately, and guaranteeing the sound equipment for performances functions at its optimum. The Coorparoo Bowls Club has agreed that BUMS can install alternative storage in the upstairs storage room, to bring more order to the storage we already have. BUMS is indebted to Blair and the team of supporters who ensure that jams are well sounded.


John Henderson continued in his role as Gigmeister this year past, making sure that requests for  BUMS Bands were satisfied.


Finally a special thanks to Amanda Allwood, the Club Vice President, who has been stalwart in her support of the President, giving guidance and advice, stepping up to handle special projects, providing backing when needed, as well as a much appreciated friendship.


Brisbane Ukulele Musicians Society Inc is in good financial shape as the Treasurer’s books will attest. The Management Committee will hand over a strong club to the incoming committee. The year has been an exciting one, thanks to many of our volunteers, and their families. A special thanks to my family who put up with at least one BUMS activity a week for the last two years.  Next year looks to be another exciting twelve months.

I hereby present the annual report for the year 2018–2019 of the Brisbane Ukulele Musicians Society Inc.

Max Borchardt
President BUMS 2018-2019
30 October 2019

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