Timeline

Reverend Reynard had been, before he left Yorkshire, Choirmaster of Yorkshire Cathedral and Conductor of the Guards Band. With these qualifications he was chosen to be the Bandmaster and Music teacher.

The instruments arrived in late 1872, and the Reverend taught the instruments to the persons who were to play them. He and his students practiced many hours during the evenings on the rectory grounds or inside when the weather was too wet.

May 24th 1873, the Queen’s Birthday, Nanaimo Brass Band gave its first Public performance, which was held on the Rectory grounds.
There was a standing ovation for the Band and the Reverend had the members stand up and take a bow. The members themselves lead the applause for the Bandmaster, Teacher and friend.

1883 James Cowie was secretary and John Mahrer treasurer. The Band had been kept busy playing engagements and running excursions to New Westminster, Comox and otherplaces.

1894 John D. Halverson was appointed leader.

1893 The band needed some new instruments. A committee was chosen to raise the money. Nine hundred and thirty-two dollars was the amount required. After canvassing thee coal company and citizens, they were still $250 short and Wm. M. Dangton, a well known citizen, very generous gave a cheque for that amount. The Band was thus enabled to purchase a set of silver-plated instruments from J.W. Pepper, U.S.A. E.C. Gibson, who assisted the band as a boy, was made a member. The band was often called upon to supply music for charitable purposes. They readily responded.

August 1896 Ralph Smith (late MP) engaged the band, on behalf of the miners, to accompany them on an excursion to Vancouver

1897 The band chartered a boat and ran an excursion to Seattle for the 4th of July celebration. The band had an engagement to play at a concert. Everyone has an enjoyable time. On the 13th of July E.C. Gibson was appointed secretary. The Klondyke rush took place about this time. Several Nanaimo men who decided to try their luck in the Yukon were given a hearty send-off by the band and citizens.

1898 This was another busy year for the band, running moonlight excursions. They also visited Seattle and Vancouver, besides playing quite a number of engagements.

1911 About this time Mr. W.J. Smith was appointed leader. The band was kept fairly busy playing outdoor concerts on the waterfront. Mr. Smith left to take up a position in Victoria in 1912. The band carried on very successfully until 1916 when they were disorganized owing to the leader, Mr. H. Allen and the majority of the bands men going overseas with the 143rd battalion to serve in the Great War. It is pleasing to relate that those who were left behind worked continuously and unselfishly for the various patriotic and Red Cross funds promoted during the war.
From 1905 – 1910 the band was successively directed by Messrs. J. Lowden, H. Nicholson and John Green

1911 About this time Mr. W.J. Smith was appointed leader. The band was kept fairly busy playing outdoor concerts on the waterfront. Mr. Smith left to take up a position in Victoria in 1912. The band carried on very successfully until 1916 when they were disorganized owing to the leader, Mr. H. Allen and the majority of the bands men going overseas with the 143rd battalion to serve in the Great War. It is pleasing to relate that those who were left behind worked continuously and unselfishly for the various patriotic and Red Cross funds proded to leadership and carried on until 1919 when Mr. W. J. Smith returned from Victoria and resumed charge. It was decided at this time to raise money to buy new instruments. Several concerts were staged and a nice sum raised, which was generously duplicated by the Western Fuel Company, enabling the band to purchase a number of Besson & Co. first-class silver plated instruments.

1921 A band contest at Ladysmith. Open to all amateur bands in the Province, was won by the Nanaimo band under the leadership of Mr. John Lewis. Shortly after this Mr. Lewis left Nanaimo for the U.S. and Mr. Allen was appointed leader pro tem.

1922 The band again won the Provincial championship at Ladysmith. They made history this year by winning the contest at New Westminster Exhibition and making a clean sweep in all events, gaining 207 points; their nearest rival gaining 158 points.