Friday, 22 March 2013

Who was the fourth bandsman?

On Sunday 28th of April 2013, there will be concert in the Brisbane Botanic Gardens that will seek to recreate the first public performance of the Brisbane Band in September 1857.

The Brisbane Band (reputed to be the first professional ensemble in what was to become Queensland) has been of interest to me because of the presence among their number of one G Cramer.

Three members of the Band can be identified with some degree of certainty and their personal and professional lives tracked both before and after the historic concert. The fourth (G Cramer) remains an enigma. By all accounts, he simply appears in, and then disappears from, the record.

Our 3xgreat grandfather Heinrich (Henry) CRAMER had a brother George who died in Toowoomba in 1866 under tragic circumstances. In 1859, George had advertised in the Toowoomba press that he “attends parties with the trombone”. Might Uncle George be this enigma who contributed to the foundations of the cultural life of our state?

I have explored the life of George half-heartedly in the past, but the date of the re-creation concert gives me a target for a more focused study. Was George Cramer one of the boys in the band?

Footnote: Attentive readers should note that there were literals (typographical errors) even in the Moreton Bay Courier. The musical instrument identified in the advertisement as a sextuba (sic) should be a saxtuba.


  1. Is it plausible that Messers F and G Cramer were not related?

    If you have been able to identify and track F Cramer is there any link to Heinrich (and therefore G) Cramer?

    1. With three exceptions, all the Cramers born in Queensland before 1915 descend from Heinrich (Henry) or Ferdinand (Fred). I have no evidence that those two men (who were approximately the same age, arrived in Australia at almost the same time, and died within twelve months) are related.

    2. Is there any historical record of their ever having been seen in the same room at the same time?


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