Lifetime contributors

Tristan WheelerManjimup-Bridgetown Times
Peg Campbell has provided music for events in Manjimup and Bridgetown for over 50 years.
Camera IconPeg Campbell has provided music for events in Manjimup and Bridgetown for over 50 years. Credit: Manjimup-Bridgetown Times

Since moving to Yornup in 1959, Peg Campbell and her late husband Ross have been stalwarts of the Yornup and Bridgetown communities.

Before moving to Yornup, Peg worked as a model in Perth and ran a modelling school.

Both Peg and Ross quickly became involved in the community as members of the Parents and Citizens for the now-defunct Yornup School.

They provided the music for the Yornup Hall dances for more than 30 years as part of Campbell & Co, with Peg playing keyboards and piano and Ross turning his hand to the clarinet, saxophone and bagpipes.

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She and Ross were the consistent members of the group — which saw musicians come and go — over the years they played at the hall.

“We’ve had that many people over the years and I was teaching music at the time, so I tried to get a lot of my students that were capable, they could come and get experience by playing at the dances,” she said.

Peg still sits on the door for the Yornup dances.

Her Protestant faith is a strong part of her life and she played the organ for more than 30 years at St Paul’s in Bridgetown.

“We played there last year, we had retired but they call on us when they have to scrape the bottom of the barrel,” she joked.

“One hundred per cent of my life is my faith, I try to live it every day.”

Peg’s prolific musical career was not limited to playing at Yornup Hall and in church and she was a regular performer at the Bridgetown Hospital Auxiliaries’ Christmas Concerts, as well as at functions in both Manjimup and Bridgetown.

Ross provided music for Bridgetown’s Anzac Day commemorations for years, marching at the head of the parade with his bagpipes, sometimes accompanied by his grandchildren, Jack, Liam and Angus.

Peg and Ross’s contribution to Anzac Day saw them recognised on Australia Day in 2013.

Despite Ross serving as president in a number of sporting organisations — including the basketball club and tennis club — in the early days Peg and Ross did not always have the time to socialise because of the commitments of running a dairy farm, which earned Ross the nickname the ghost golfer.

“They used to call him the ghost golfer, because he used to go home straight away,” she said.

Peg is a member of the Bridgetown Country Women’s Association, having served as president and having been part of a campaign to educate people on the pressures faced by farmers, which saw her deliver a speech at Bridgetown’s 2012 Australia Day ceremony.

Peg said most of her volunteering had occurred when no one else was prepared to help.

“You fill in where you are wanted and that’s what you had to do,” she said.

“If there was nobody else and it looked like it was going to close up, you had to do it.

“That was Ross’s philosophy and he passed that onto me.”

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