Respected member of the brass band community, Keith Ford, received a well-deserved award on Australia Day 2016. The Huffers and Puffers founder was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM). Read the article from the Whittlesea Leader (26 Janurary 2016) below:
THE founder of Huffers and Puffers, a band for retired musicians, has received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) today.
Keith Ford, 86, was recognised for his life long dedication to community bands.
The Mill Park resident first picked up an instrument at the age of eight when he played the tenor horn in the West Coburg State School band.
Mr Ford has been part of a number of bands over the years including the Moreland City Brass Band, formerly Brunswick City Municipal Band, Coburg City Band, Greater Bendigo Concert Brass Band, Heidelberg Brass Band and the Victorian Bands League.
“Plenty of things stand out. Winning our first B Grade championship at the Australian National Championships with the Brunswick Brass Band,” he said.
Another highlight for Mr Ford was his involvement with the youth training band program at Brunswick in 1967, which he ran through to the 1990s.
During this time he also helped set up the Victorian State Youth Brass Band.
“A motion was put up at the Victorian Bands League to start a Victorian State Youth Brass Band and I had something to do with that motion, I think I seconded the motion,” he said.
In 1993 Mr Ford founded the Huffers and Puffers Band, for retirees.
“There were six of us who started from the Brunswick City Municipal Band,” Mr Ford said. “We’re all retirees and we play at nursing homes and retirement villages.”
In 2002, Mr Ford gave up playing instruments and took up conducting.
“I’m not sure who nominated me, but I thank my supporters,” he said.