Brian McMennemin isn't sure why he took an interest in music. But after 70 years of performing, he is a recipient of an Order of Australia Medal for service to music through brass bands.
"I can't explain it. When I got the letter and it said being considered I just thought 'it cant be'," he said. "You feel a bit embarrassed because you think there's hundreds of others I've met through 70 years of performing that I think should have it."
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At age 17, Brian would experience the thrill of performing to thousands of people when he played with the Air Force Band for the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne.
"I joined about five months before the Olympics started and played there almost every day," he said. "I only missed one day. I remember standing outside the MCG waiting to play at the opening ceremony and it was like electricity."
Since moving to Bendigo in the mid 1970s, Brian has conducted, performed or directed the Bendigo Central Band, the Hopetoun Bendigo Band, the Marong Municipal Band, the Eaglehawk Citizens Band and the Marist Brass Band Bendigo. He is also a life member of the Victorian Bands League.
When asked what he enjoyed about playing music, his answer was simple.
"I just love it. You get good friends," he said. "You also have a lot of fun. The better you play the more fun you have."