1. Home

40 years of Breakfast with the Band on Autumn Festival day

This Saturday’s Autumn Festival marks the fortieth year of the Armidale City Band’s popular ‘Breakfast with the Band’ major fundraising event.

Affectionately known by the band as the ‘Pancake Breakfast’, it has grown from humble beginnings in 1982 to an Armidale Autumn Festival institution. 

Armidale Regional Council Mayor, Sam Coupland said the band’s 40 years of successfully running the ‘Breakfast with the Band’ was an outstanding achievement.

“The longevity of any community group is significant, however to have a musical group which is instrumental to the city’s profile like the Armidale City Band and run an event like this for 40 years – that should be celebrated, “ said Mayor Coupland.

“At all major events you can be sure to hear the Armidale City Band, including Australia Day and Carols in the Park at Christmas.

“We thank them for their long service to the community and wish them a wonderful celebration this Autumn Festival Day.”

Vice President of the Armidale City Band, Mr Ken Peter started with the band 60 years ago playing the cornet and then the tenor horn. He explains that when the band started the breakfast it was mainly serving family and friends seated in Civic Park.

“We had twelve tables and a couple of barbeques cooking, hand sifted self-raising flour mixed with melted butter, egg, milk and a pinch of salt which was hand mixed in the kitchen by four ladies,” said Mr Peters

“The mixture was run across from the band room in an ice-cream container to our cooks to serve.”

Mr Peter said the reason for starting the breakfast in 1982 was that Armidale City Band needed to generate extra funds as they had a full senior band and enough junior members to form their own band. The idea came from a mother of one of the junior band members. 

“The junior mother was Yvonne Walker, and she explained that where she came from in America, it was a tradition to have a cooked breakfast of a large pancake topped with ham and egg covered in maple syrup or blueberry sauce followed up with a pot of tea or percolated coffee and orange juice,” said Ken

“The following year they decided to add the band performing as well and invited the general public from 7am to 10am. That led to the need to ask community clubs to help make the breakfast to allow the band to play, we invited the local service clubs to cook the breakfast and serve tea and coffee to the general public and they are still supporting the breakfast to this day. 

 “Of course Covid stopped us achieving our 40th year in succession, but it is worth the wait to achieve it this year with the Autumn Festival and our loyal supporters.” 

This has not been their only major fundraiser over the years as the band held fetes in the Mall until 1975. Following that time, Mr Peters said they had a musical director come to town and decided to find an old car and raffle it for two shillings a ticket with the funds raised lasting a year. 

The Armidale City Band started in 1878 as a little band in the building known as the M.U.I.O.O.F which is now the St Kilda bottle shop. In 1908 they won the National Band Championships and in those days you rode a horse from Hillgrove to Armidale to join the band and went on the train and camped in showgrounds. 

They played through both world wars. In the First World War members played with the 33rd battalion band which came out of northern NSW.

The band would like to sincerely thank the Service Clubs including Armidale Lions Club, Dumaresq Lions Club, Armidale Quota Club and CWA Armidale and people from Armidale and District, and the Armidale City Band members themselves who helped to make the ‘Breakfast With The Band’ what it is today.


Latest stories


New England Volunteer Awards 2023
The New England Volunteer Awards for 2023 were presented on Thursday 18 May in the Armidale Council Chambers with a record 29 nominations received.
City’s highest honour awarded to Tony Deakin
Mr Antony ‘Tony’ Deakin OAM, former mayor and architect, has been granted the City’s highest honour of the Keys to the City by Armidale Regional Council, at a special ceremony held in the Armidale Mall on Wednesday 17 May 2023.
New permanent off-leash dog park for Guyra
Armidale Regional Council (ARC) is now in the early design stages of a leash-free dog area in South Guyra Park, approved by Council at the May meeting, with some works scheduled to commence before the end of June.
Twenty tonnes of recycling sold from Armidale's top crate system
Armidale’s world-class crate recycling system continues to lead the way to secure markets for our plastics, with approximately twenty (20) tonnes of mixed plastics being loaded on to trucks and exported from Council’s waste facilities on Friday 12 May.
Council is a proud champion of Privacy Awareness Week 2023
Privacy Awareness Week NSW takes place from 1 – 7 May 2023 and this year’s theme is Back to Basics: Privacy foundations in NSW. Armidale Regional Council is a proud Champion of Privacy Awareness Week NSW 2023 and is committed to protecting the privacy of NSW citizens.
Mayor congratulates Rotary on longest continuous second hand book sale in New England
Mayor of Armidale Regional Council, Sam Coupland congratulates Armidale Central Rotary on 25 years of the sale and giving generously of their time to the community.
Youth Week is a chance to ‘Connect, Participate and Celebrate’
Armidale Regional Council is hosting free activities in Armidale and Guyra for this year’s Youth Week from 20 to 29 April and welcome all young people in the community to be part of the celebrations.
ARC delivers single largest road project undertaken by a NSW Council
It is an unprecedented time to be part of Armidale Regional Council (ARC) as it delivers the single largest road project ever undertaken by a NSW council.
March Meeting Wrap-Up
If you missed the latest Council meeting, we have given you a wrap-up of the main points discussed.
Keys to the City awarded to former mayor and architect Tony Deakin
Mr Antony ‘Tony’ Deakin OAM, former mayor and architect, has been granted the Keys to the City by Armidale Regional Council, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the community.