While our band colleagues may no longer be with us they are often in our thoughts.
Geoff started his band career with the Christchurch Municipal Band under the leadership of Mr Ralph Simpson, he moved to Timaru for a short period then Waimate in 1959 to take over the Waimate band and with work at Dashes’ garage.
1962 he made the move back to Chch and took over the reigns of New Brighton Silver band which he held for 38.5 years, finally handing over conducting role in year 2000, but continued playing Eb Tuba until his death 2014.
Geoff had a Dream period when taking over NBSB, where he wanted the band to get new uniforms, a new hall, an overseas trip and more contesting, Geoff was not a person to sit still,1979 he took the band to the Chatham Islands for 5 days, the first time a band has been there, then again in 1997. In between those trips he took the band to Geelong, Australia, for two weeks.
As well as all this he was instigator of taking the band to national and provincial contests, winning and losing by close margins, in one case 1 point, also at provincial level winning 4 consecutive championships in as many years.
In 1975 he was again an instigator of building the bands new hall in Rawhiti Domain, this hall is now used by other bands as it has good acoustics especially for brass bands.
Was President of canterbury Brass Band Association for 4 years also helped to run 14 band training camps.
Other fundraising playouts he organised was entertaining at cruise ships coming and going at Lyttleton. With a learners group underway, which was going for 30 years, Geoff was never home, at least everyone knew where he was. Spare time was, if any time allowed he was caravaning and playing bowls.
One function he didn’t know of was his 75th banding year as a “This is your Life” celebration where they named the New Brighton Band room after him, now called the Geoff Butler Hall.
With a total of 227 years of banding in the Butler family it must be record hard to beat. He passed away 2014 just after his 76 years came up.
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