It All Started on Valentine’s Day – BRHS’ Very Own Music Man Reflects on Years of Volunteer Service

Bruce Connan plays for residents at Maddocks Gardens. Photo by Jake Lynch/BRHS


Not only does he have an ear for music, Bruce Connan also had a head for dates.

“February 14, 1997” he says firmly, remembering the first time he ever volunteered his musical talents to play keyboard for residents of a local nursing home here in Bairnsdale.

“It was Valentine’s Day,” he remembers, “at what used to be the nursing home on Harnham Drive.”

It would be the first of many hundreds of volunteer gigs Bruce would play on and off over the next 22 years.

“I just love to play music,” he says. “And I love to watch people’s reactions when they hear me play.”

These days Bruce volunteers his time and talents a couple of days a week to play for residents at BRHS’ Aged Care Facility, Maddocks Gardens, and at the Ross Street Campus for the local Planned Activity Group.

He likes to stick to the classics – showtunes from well-know musical productions and films like Sound of Music and Show Boat. He even does a pretty excellent version of the Chariots of Fire theme song, for special occasions.

“I don’t do it like Vangelis though.”

Although no one else in his family played an instrument, Bruce’s passion for music started early – he began learning piano in his early teens, before switching to keyboard a few years later.

It is a hobby that has sustained him throughout the years.

“I don’t have my parents anymore, but I have my music,” he says.

BRHS is enormously grateful for the many volunteers, like Bruce, that give so much of their time and energy to the health service.

Thank you, Bruce. Here’s to many more musical years.