Music runs in the family for our resident muso, Paul Sealey. His Father was a singer who drove a tourist bus through the Blue Mountains, singing to all the passengers and his Mother was an accomplished pianist. At 5 years of age Paul had started with the harmonica and his love for music grew from there.
Paul was about 13 years old when he featured on the front page of Sydney Morning Herald at St Andrews Cathedral, as part of the Boys Brigade band representing the Church of England home for boys. Paul played the side drum and was the head chorister.
Paul reflects positively on his time at the boys home – “We all had jobs to do and I helped out in the kitchen. The fellow who ran the home was a Sargent Major from the Queens Guard – he was tough but if you were a good kid it was fine. There were 8 boys in a dorm with 4 dorms in a cottage, 5 cottages in total. We had our own dairy and milked the cows. Each morning we woke up to a bugle and the bugle would call us for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Funnily enough I cried when I went into the boys home and I cried when I left”.
Paul got a job when he was about 15 and went to live with his Aunt – his passion for music did not wane. At 18 he was lead singer of the band “The Rendells”. When the bass player left he asked if Paul wanted to take it up, an opportunity he jumped at even though he was only self-taught.
A saw maker by trade during the day, Paul turned musician at night when he often worked 4 nights a week playing in clubs and hotels. “I was earning money and doing something that I loved. I played the bass guitar in many bands.”
“One of the highlights of my musical background was when I cut a record with a friend of mine doing backing vocals. The drummer wrote the songs and we recorded two of them at Kanangra, Parramatta. It didn’t eventuate to anything but it was an experience I will never forget. I’ve still got the record!”
During his time Paul has performed with Johnny Devlin of Bandstand fame, JJ Justin, Laurie Allen (Peter Allen’s brother) to name a few. “I was on New Faces when it was a big television show in the 1960’s and Terry Dear was hosting. Bernard King was a judge and he was really tough! But we didn’t get the gong and went on to win 3rd place. It was lots of fun.”
Before moving into the village, Paul hadn’t played publicly for 20 years as life had become busy with work, family and other interests. Having shared his musical background with some residents, they asked if he might be interested to perform at the village’s first Christmas Party at The Lodge in 2015 and he thought “I’ll give it a go”. The residents loved the entertainment and subsequently Paul has become a regular performer at a number of Sales and resident functions alike. “I wish there more people in the Village who could play instruments so we could form a band.” That hasn’t stopped the steady flow of residents keen to get up and belt out a tune or two and enjoy a spin on the dance floor. “It’s really lovely to see our residents engaged and having a great time – Paul brings a lot of joy and good times to the Lodge and our residents with his familiar tunes”
Interestingly, Paul had reservations about relocating to the Village and it was his wife Ursula who was the strongest advocate for the move. They looked at many different villages and decided on Wivenhoe Village primarily due to its location and style of the Freisia home which they selected. “The homes are not joined to each other and there is a real sense of openness and space within the village where you aren’t looking directly into another home. It’s not congested or hilly. We liked the idea that our neighbours would likely be in similar position to us – retired and ready to enjoy it.”
Paul and Ursula moved from a large property where it would take 2 days to mow and now enjoy letting the lovely maintenance team take care of that for them. It frees up time to focus on Paul’s other interests. “I’m part of the Ulysses Club – I’ve had one of my motorbikes with the side car for 38 years”. Paul’s other passion is his model railway train – one of the prerequisites of moving to Wivenhoe was that the house had to have a double garage large enough to accommodate a car and his 13 x 7 foot model railway. “My Grandfather introduced me to model trains when I was just a boy of about 7. I’ve been building it for 14 years – it now has about 13 very detailed German engines. My 10 year old Grandson is now taking interest and loves to operate it, so it’s nice to share it with him.”
Paul and Ursula are thoroughly enjoying social aspect of the village. “I would advise people that Village life is fantastic, you’ll love it here”. If you would like to see Paul play, register your interest for our next social function by calling 1300 660 107.