Historical information

Born in Hammersmith, London, England in 1903, Ernie May migrated to Australia at the age of 19 years old. A printer by trade, Ernie worked on the land at Woodburn, near Wonthaggi, then near Smithton, Tasmania. He then returned to his trade at the Launceston Daily Telegraph and then with the Rainbow Argus in the Victorian Mallee.

Arriving in Wodonga in 1927, Ernie was employed by Mr Charles Ryan who at the time owned the "Wodonga Sentinel" newspaper. He quickly became involved in community activities. Ernie was President of the Border and Northeast Band Association, Secretary of Wodonga Rifle Club for 20 years and Secretary of the Public Library for 15 years.
When Ernie May was Wodonga Bandmaster, the Wodonga Band played at Saturday afternoon football matches as well as other public appearances. At that time the Wodonga Band had 30 members. Ernie also conducted his own dance band.

In 1952, Mr May and his wife moved to Sale, gaining employment firstly with the Enterprise Press, then the Gippsland Times. In 1957 he started up a monthly paper at Phillip Island. Not content with so many years as Bandmaster at Wodonga, Ernie May became Bandmaster for Phillip Island's brass band.
After 50 years in the printing business Ernie and his wife Cicely retired in Cowes, Phillip Island where he passed away on 29th December 1977.


These images are significant because they depict a former member of the community who made an important contribution to Wodonga over a period of 25 years.

Physical description

A collection of black and white images of Ernie May, Wodonga Bandmaster