After half a century of not playing, a Pirie man has been re-discovering his love of making music through the ukulele.
When Russell Freak was in primary school back in the 1940s, he started a life-long love of music by joining his school's drum and fife band.
As he grew, so too did his musical talents, and he branched out into other instruments including the chromatic harmonica.
Mr Freak said he always found time to play, even when doing an apprenticeship with Telecom (now Telstra) as a young man.
"When I finished my Telecom apprenticeship, I went to serve three years in Darwin," he said.
"In Darwin, just getting to meet people, we found someone else that liked playing the piano, there was another chap in the post office who was rather good on the snare drum.
"We finished up with five of us and we formed a bit of a band and we even played at a couple of dances and got paid for them."
It did not last, though, and Mr Freak soon found himself moving around regional South Australia with his wife throughout his 20s.
He said he spent four years in both Peterborough and Port Augusta, before finally settling in Pirie.
It was not until recently, well after he retired in the late 1980s, that Mr Freak started playing music regularly again.
He said he stumbled across a notice from one of Pirie's former GPs, Owen Lewis, looking for people to join a folk club.
"[Owen Lewis] advertised, it might have been a notice on a board somewhere, inviting people who could play a musical instrument to get together," Mr Freak said.
"I notified him that I could play the ukulele and the chromatic harmonica.
"We started to meet as a folk club down in the Anglican church hall and we just had fun together with that and it developed from there."
He said the ukulele "revived itself" in his life and he soon found himself joining a ukulele group run by Ken Fischer.
"It was great to start playing again because I'd always loved music," Mr Freak said.
"We're all lovers of the ukulele because it's quite a simple instrument to play and get good sound out of.
"It wasn't hard for people to get to know this had happened and they could join too."
Mr Freak said he enjoys being part of local musical groups because it is a great way to get out of the house and meet people with shared interests.
"We get a group of instruments playing together and hopefully coordinated," he said.
"That, as I understand, gives people a chance in their normal life to get together and play music instead of sitting at home and entertaining themselves."
Mr Freak plans to continue playing music with local groups, along with working on some community music projects with other group members.
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