Remembering late Pirie pianist Marie Jackson

KEYBOARD: The late Marie Jackson and her husband Harold performed at dances around the district. Marie also won Matron of the Ball at some events.

KEYBOARD: The late Marie Jackson and her husband Harold performed at dances around the district. Marie also won Matron of the Ball at some events.

Harold and Marie Jackson were larger than life.

STYLISH: Marie Jackson, seen here in her younger years, was impeccably dressed and won Matron of the Ball titles.

STYLISH: Marie Jackson, seen here in her younger years, was impeccably dressed and won Matron of the Ball titles.

As a husband-and-wife musical duo they had a style all their own – Marie on the piano and Harold on the drums and singing.

One Day At A Time was their signature tune … and the days have sadly come to a halt for both of them.

Harold died in 2003 after 55 years of marriage.

Marie, who had been living at Willochra Home in Crystal Brook, died aged 93 on May 25, although her keyboard had fallen silent earlier after she suffered a stroke.

She played the piano for more than 50 years after having been employed in a music store in Alexander Street.

A skilled performer, like her mother, she would seat herself at the piano and play a tune from sheet music that had been chosen by a customer for purchase.

She worked in the store in World War II and beyond, during which time she fell in love with Harold Jackson.

After the war, Harold was a master butcher in a business in Balmoral Road where he and Marie would make the sausages and her famous potted meat.

In the early years of their marriage, they formed a band with Harold on drums and singing, accompanied at times by a saxophone and Ron Nayda on guitar.

The band played at dances and balls around the Mid North.

Harold and Marie were proud to have played the part of a band in the film, The Shiralee, starring Bryan Brown.

Marie, who was a happy, friendly person, was kind to the Catholic nuns and would shop for them when she went to Adelaide.

She took her delicious pink cream cakes to the priests and Bishop De Campo as well as delivered cakes and scones to the elderly and needy.

Marie was generous to her parents, aunts and brothers and had a lolly for the nieces and nephews. She was a “giver”, not a “taker”.

She was known for her pink cream cakes, cockles, trifles, fruit salad, roasts, pasties and curried eggs.

Impeccably dressed, she more than once won the title of Matron of the Ball at dances in the district.

The couple would sit in the same spot in the Memorial Oval grandstand to watch their beloved Port contest their football matches.

They both received the centenary medal from the Queen in the late 1990s.

In their latter years, Harold and Marie travelled to country towns to entertain the elderly in nursing homes. They also visited Day Care, Lealholme and St Joseph’s in Port Pirie.

Marie loved to see people happy and tapping their feet and clapping their hands to her music.