From humble beginnings in 2011

Longbeach Short Strings: From lowly beach-side beginnings.

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 the Carrum Activity Hub, under the auspices of the City of Kingston.

When the Covid pandemic hit we were unable to meet face to face, so over almost a two year period, we met by Zoom, which technology does not allow for singing and playing together.  When we were able to resume face to face sessions in February 2020, we had restrictions on the numbers of people – so we formed two groups – one that meets at Carrum Activity Hub on a Tuesday evening, and one that meets at the Mentone RSL on a Thursday afternoon.  During all of these changes, our numbers have continued to grow and we now have over 120 financial members.”

There is always a movement of regulars and casual attendees at both the weekly meetings which comprise a variety of Theme Nights, In The Round Sing a longs, Hat Band Nights, open mic performances and workshops which keep our members entertained. Beginners classes can be arranged as required.

LUKES Entertainment Group (LEGS) was formed during 2018. This group has separate rehearsals and performs 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.

Carrum Activity Hub

One of our current homes - The Carrum Activity Hub.
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