In 2011, whilst on an overseas trip, Michael Bell our founder, experienced and heard that addictive alluring sound, his first Uke band, from then on he was hooked.
Once he returned home, Michael was overheard playing in his boatshed, by a neighbour Dawn; stating; “I know someone else who plays”. Thus a collaboration between Michael and his joint fellow founding member Sue Telfer began. Soon others joined including Judith Crocker, Mario and Stuart Little. Regular practises were first held in a cartoonist’s studio, then onto a garage work-shop. Slowly the group grew into a band of ten (10) regular members, as others came and went. Eventually, the group settled in at Mordialloc Neighbourhood house, and there were also trial periods at Richfield Retirement Village - set up by Meredith & Don East, but finally the club graduated to St. John’s Ambulance Hall, in Mordialloc (gaining rent-free access 3rd February 2015). (shown in the photo at the top of the page)
Longbeach Short Strings numbers grew to 6o by 2017 and new premises were required. In that same year the name also became Longbeach Ukes Inc. (LUKES) when the organisation became incorporated. The club had just over a year at the Aspendale Senior Citizens Hall and in October 2018 moved in to our current premises at the Carrum Activity Hub, where our present members number 128 plus.
There is always a movement of regulars and casual attendees at the weekly Tuesday meetings which comprise a variety of Theme Nights, In The Round Sing a longs, Hat Band Nights and workshops which keep our members entertained. Beginners classes are also offered on the first two Thursdays of each month.
Such was the need for a performing group to represent LUKES that an additional group LEGS (LUKES Entertainment Group) was formed during 2018. This group has separate rehearsals and perform at various public functions as well as Nursing Homes and Retirement Villages.
Never has the well known adage "From little things, big things grow" been more apt than in the evolution of LUKES.