John Cornhill honoured for 65 years with district band

Honoured: John Cornhill shows off his Jubilee award. Picture: Chris Lane
Honoured: John Cornhill shows off his Jubilee award. Picture: Chris Lane

John Cornhill has spent more than 60 years contributing to the soundtrack of Campbelltown.

The Leumeah resident was one of 14 residents and organisations honoured with a Jubilee Award this week for outstanding long service to the Campbelltown community.

Mr Cornhill has notched up 65 years with the Campbelltown Camden District Band, frequently contributing to regional events like Anzac Day and Australia Day ceremonies and the Fisher's Ghost parade.

The 76-year-old said he was humbled to receive the award, which would take pride of place in his home.

"It was quite an honour," he said.

"I'm very proud to have been nominated and awarded."

Mr Cornhill said he first joined the band as a 12-year-old in Camden, back when it was just a brass band.

He has loved watching the group grow and being personally involved in major Macarthur events.

"I remember the first Fisher's Ghost festival, when it wasn't even called that," Mr Cornhill said.

"The festival was raising money for a new ambulance station, which was a success in the end."

Mr Cornhill said he had always enjoyed helping out the community wherever he could.

"I've also tried to help people out away from the band," he said.

"Whenever someone needs a hand I'm happy to offer one if I can."

Mr Cornhill has not only provided music for generations of Campbelltonians, he also taught school students to play music for many years.

He worked in schools across Camden, Campbelltown and Ingleburn, teaching a variety of instruments to scores of kids.

He said a few students went on to join the band, something which brought him great pride.

Mr Cornhill recalled receiving his first musical instrument from his parents in his teens.

"There was nowhere in Campbelltown you could get an instrument at that time, so we had to head into Gowings in Sydney," he said.

"I didn't appreciate what it meant at the time, but my parents bought me a trumpet that cost about two weeks of my dad's wages."

The Jubilee Awards recognise individuals and groups in Campbelltown who have contributed to the community for 50 years or more and the Campbelltown's Indigenous community who have devoted 30 years or more.

Mayor George Brticevic with Jubilee Award winner Coral Barnard yesterday.

Mayor George Brticevic with Jubilee Award winner Coral Barnard yesterday.

Campbelltown mayor George Brticevic thanked all 2019 recipients for their hard work and dedication.

"I thank all of the award recipients for the positive contribution you have made and continue to make to Campbelltown and for nurturing a strong sense of community in our city," he said.

"The individuals we acknowledged have gone above and beyond to improve the lives of others in our city and the organisations we recognised also deserve our thanks for their commitment and support which adds so much to our wellbeing."

Full list of winners:

Eric Hughes (posthumous award), Janice Hughes, Graham Thompson, Gwyneth Thompson, John Cornhill, Margaret Speelman, Coral Barnard, Paul Rose, Sharon Smith, Ann Smith, Gloria Hawes, Carmel Dengate, Marsdens Law Group and Ingleburn VIEW Club.