People

How often do we see people, work with them, socialise with them, and find we really don't know them at all?

Now and again we tell the stories of some of our members.

In this edition we pried into Iain MacLean's life and found a lot of surprises. Here is his story in his own words (including some lower case 'i's'):

"It is difficult to blow one's trumpet when you play the violin.

Born in Scotland in 1935 i think my life started after world war two ended when, for most, life got back to normal.

in November 1945 a man paid a visit to our family home, call me "Tiff" were his first words to me. This man left a message that has stayed to this day.

Written in the most beautiful hand was, "Good Better Best, Never let us rest, till our good be better , and our better best".

Tiff had taken part, in fact ,was seated at the table in that famous photograph when Japan signed the documents of Surrender in Singapore in September 1945.

My aunt a professional singer with the ABC and not without international fame got me into the Sydney " Con.", my teacher, Mr, Florent Hoogstoel. His Motto, NO pain No Gain. You did not mess with Mr. Hoogstoel. But, what a teacher. all this at the tender age of 11.

In 1950, aged 15, I left school , which I hated, and got myself a job with International violin maker AE Smith as an apprentice violin maker / repairer. if you wanted to make violins you did so in
your time, not his. You were employed to repair.

Working 5 days from 8.30 am to 5pm and Saturday from 9am to noon , all for two pounds nine shillings and six pence, with an hour each way travel time, there was not much time to "MAKE".

I attended East Sydney Tech three nights a week. I just had time to eat on the run, attend class and then run like mad to play in some theatre orchestra till about 10.30pm. I would then go home and study. My time at Smith's was great. I met most of the players from Australia's orchestras as well as, and yes i have to name drop, Menuhin, Campoli and even went to the movies with Michael Rabin. I won Aust Amateur hour on 2CH and 2UW, as well as played for the ABC. I managed to get my Leaving Certificate, and I also made three violins during this time. My first I still play, and March 2014 it has a 60th birthday.

During my life, "Good Better Best" became my goal in life. It was not all work, I found time for play. Wisdom arrived at age 22 . I left the music world and joined WD&HO Wills. I had the best job in the world. Company car, air travel, best food, best hotels. all I had to do was start Craven A and Benson and Hedges Ski, car races, the golf, and best of all for a young guy, Miss Australia.

After a while, suit-case living lost it's glamour. I joined Bowater Scott (Sorbent) as Industrial Sales Manager for NSW a position I held for 12 years, divorce threw me off balance for a while and I joined GAF as Admin Sales Manager. However, conflict with unions made me leave after 3 1/2 years., I joined Kimberly Clarke as NSW Medical Section Manager, followed by Branch manager Canberra for Westons Biscuits. One day i came home to the love of my life, and said "WE" are buying a caravan and going off around Australia, and took off.

We found our way to Noosa some 20 years ago. Retired, it was not long before i was kicked out of the nest. Go back to work for God sake, so i did real estate for the next 20 years.

I retired at 70 and asked 'what do I do with THE NEXT 20 years ? '.

summer news 8´┐╝´┐╝Iain( r) with members of his orchestra 'Strings 'n Things' (pictured left)

I formed my own orchestra, toured and performed locally Baroque music with 22 other players. I Chair the Rick Farbach jazz award, the Instrument bank, and Vice chair the Anthony Camden fund for Noosa Federation of the Arts.

I was honoured to be awarded several community Qld. Regional Achievers awards and Noosa Council Australia Day award.

Now, at 79, i played The MESSIAH in Brisbane City Hall in November 2013, and that is where i came in, about 1953 at Sydney Town Hall. 

I might look it, but i do not feel old. I still have lots to do, i have just teamed up with an Ex Berlin Phil. Musician. i think there might be room for a year or two yet for a senior player.

i owe so much to my mother and father, Tiff, and my music teacher. Been a long journey , still to get to my "BETTER BEST'.