SATURDAY was a big day of celebration for Maffra Municipal Band, and not just because it was officially the band's 70th birthday.
Five life memberships were awarded to 20-plus year members John Crockford, Irene Crockford, Mike Coen, Eddy Schoo and Robyn McDonald, who have all been significant contributors to the band's success and longevity.
Of course, the band used the opportunity to give back to the community, and provided a one-hour concert in the town rotunda before heading off to a birthday luncheon and awards ceremony at Duart Homestead.
In recognition of the occasion's importance and the community's appreciation and love for the service the band provides, Wellington Shire mayor Garry Stephens made a speech and was there to personally congratulate awardees.
Cutting the cake were John Crockford and Alan Vance, who was a band member in 1951 when the band became incorporated, and is a life member himself.
Band president Cindy Chrisp said records showed the band had existed for many years before incorporation, with some photos existing from the 1800s.
The band is a much-loved community asset, and currently consists of brass, woodwind and percussion players of all levels.
"We have different sections of the band for different levels, so basically there is room for players of all levels," Ms Chrisp said.
The band meets weekly for practice and plays events every few weeks It receives no council funding and does all its own fundraising with support from the local community and local Rotary and Lions clubs.
More photos in Friday's Gippsland Times.