Laurie Buckby is 93 years of age, but you wouldn’t know it listening to him sing.
Performing at That’s Classic as part of CHArts Festival last month, Laurie took to the stage with daughters Jenny Poke and Sue Buckby as well as granddaughter Elyse Poke.
“It was hard work,” laughed Laurie.
“I had to keep up with these fellas!”
A prominent singer in Smithton since the ’40s, Laurie used to perform at the old town hall in Nelson Street.
“We would sing in there all the time, like when the troops came home,” he recalled.
“The kids used to sit and listen to us.”
Among those kids was music aficionado and first cousin Jan Krom, who hasn’t forgotten his talent and tune in 50 years.
“Jan asked me one day, ‘What are the chances that we could get your dad to sing?’” said Jenny.
“I told her there was no chance!”
But when Sue and Jenny offered to join, Laurie decided he’d come out of retirement to belt out one last classic. Jan even managed to con Elyse into it at the final practice before showtime.
The family performed the hymn ‘How Great Thou Art’ and, even at 93, Laurie’s voice was booming and glorious. He hit the low tones perfectly with an unmatched inflection in his voice.
The performance was moving for many in the audience.
In his day, Laurie performed at weddings and would sing at church most Sundays. A rush of pleasant memories flooded back to residents of Emmerton Park and the rest of the audience at That’s Classic, all overcome by a sense of nostalgia.
“I think a lot of them were inspired but what he was doing,” said Sue.
“Some people think that when you get to that age it’s over.
“Dad is 93. He’s still independent, and can take care of himself.
“It goes to show that you’re never too old.”
Laurie Buckby was joined by granddaughter Elyse Poke and daughters Jenny Poke and Sue Bucky (front) to perform one last tune at That’s Classic on September 22 as part of CHArts Festival.