We call all of our customers “Southcare Stars” and for Jack, who is almost 84, well he takes it one step further!

Performing and singing in a 10-piece band, rubbing occasional shoulders with WA Premier Mark McGowan, and even serenading the editor of this newsletter when she visited to take this photo.

“If you know the song “Duelling Banjo’s”, you will know what we were thinking when we posed for this photo,” Jack says.

“My instrument is my banjo and for Southcare’s gardener Sam, he has many tools of the trade but we thought this one was best, and we had a good laugh taking this,” he says.

Jack plays banjo in the Herald Skifflers, a bluegrass, folk and country western group where the average age is 80.8 years and the eldest member is 94 years old!

Self-taught on the banjo, he fondly remembers family music nights sat around the piano growing up and performing for the first time in Sunday School in his hometown of Bradford in the UK.

“Skiffle music holds a special place in my heart as it is reminiscent of WWII times and was an escape for many during some dark times,” he says.
Other members in the band play a tea chest bass, a washboard made from corrugated steel, two guitars, a ukulele, a squeeze box accordion and there are two vocalists.

“Some of us try to sing,” Jack laughs, “but in reality, we are all singers.  When you are in a group you get your vocal chords going and other people encourage you to give it a go,” he says.

The Herald Skifflers play every Wednesday for practice and social connection and perform regularly for elderly residents in residential care.

“We play all over Perth and when we do, we see the people come alive.  Music triggers something in you that is so positive and we know we are doing a good thing when we see the reaction in others when we play,” he says.

Sam visits Jack and his wife Jean every month for gardening services in line with their approved care needs.

“We have a big front and back garden and to have extra help to keep it looking neat is great for us,” Jack says.

Next time, it might be Sam who is the lucky one to be serenaded!

If you’d like to book the Herald Skifflers for a performance, reach out to Jack on jackjean@hotmail.com.

Want to know more about our Southcare Stars?  Read about them here.