After a good night sleep and breakfast the band set off for Ballarat. On route a brief stop was made at Mt Gambiers’ ‘Blue Lake’, a significant dormant volcano now full of water. We learnt that the water is blue in colour due to the areas mineral make up, during winter the water can appear chocolate brown and that this is the main water supply for the area.
The coach journey for many was somewhat sleepy passing through much farm land into the state of Victoria. There were two further stops on the journey; one in Hamilton where the band descended on a quiet village café for coffee and secondly for lunch at Halls Gap in the picturesque Grampian Mountain range. It was here in Halls Gap where many of the band at last sighted some Kangaroos in the distance. A small group went off on expedition to get a closer look but were only successful in seeing an Emu.
On arrival in Ballarat we set up for the evening festival at Wendouree Centre for Performing Arts, a super facility which is used by the whole community. Tea at Ballarat corps was a highlight where we were once again fed very well.
At the commencement of the festival there was much excitement in anticipation of what was to come and people had again traveled large distances to share with us. Soloists on the programme were; Carl Nielson (Cornet), Stephen Williams (Bass Trombone), Jonathan Evans (Euphonium), Andrew Mercer (Trombone) and Richard Woodrow (Flugal). Special recognition was given to Brian Hogg, who was in attendance, for his contribution to Salvation Army Music ministry. The ISB played his piece ‘Gigue, Alleluia, Amen’. The male vocal item was well received again and The Kingdom Triumphant proved a favourite for many who came to listen.
After the festival the band were invited to Ballarat corps for a light supper before returning to the hotel for a well-earned rest.
Written by Staff Bandsman Rob Hayward