HECTOR LUPP — A Son of Bathurst

The Australian Fossil & Mineral Museum, Bathurst, NSW, Australia
Curated by Graham Lupp, 2008-09

The exhibition, Hector Lupp – A Son of Bathurst, and companion catalogue celebrate the 100th anniversary of my father, Hector Lupp (1908-89), a well known musician and sportsman who lived and worked in Bathurst all his life. Through his passion for music he contributed much to the city; teaching piano for years during the Depression and being active for sixty-nine years in amateur theatrical productions.

Hector was a trained piano tuner and repairman. For many years he serviced the pianos for the Bathurst Eisteddfod, the City Hall and most of the local educational institutions. In the 1930s Hector played for the Children’s Session on local Radio 2BS and after the war had a regular musical show, The Diggers’ Hour, broadcast from the local RSL Club. On 6 Oct. 1937 he became Bathurst’s first official Carillonist. By the time he retired from the position in 1945 he had given over 500 recitals.

Music was always central to the Lupp family. Hector’s Cantonese grandfather, John Lupp (born 1844), was a Salvation Army bandmaster in Bathurst in the 1890s and Hector’s father, Louis Lupp (1877-1940), a fine clarinettist, had been a drum major as early as 1905. A photograph from 1924 shows Louis as bandmaster of his City Model Band. In the back row is Hector aged fifteen; he played euphonium and side drum. During World War II Hector played in both the band and orchestra of the Royal Australian Air Force.

On 23 May 1936 Hector married Marie Grace Davis (1915-72). A common interest in music had brought them together. In local theatrical productions Marie sang in the chorus and Hector played in the orchestra. They had three children; Marie Yvonne (1940–96), Beverley Joan (b.1942) and Graham Edwin (b.1946).

Hector’s daughter, Beverley, a professional singer, recalls the musical passion shared with her father “I was particularly blessed to have a dad who was so encouraging with my singing. He taught me the importance of lyrics, diction and interpretation. Sometimes we would go over a piece so many times I would want to scream. But this was Dad and I had to get it right. I was very glad later in my career. I’ve silently thanked him many times and now tell my musical daughter the same things.

As I’ve grown older I realise how much I loved him and just what he gave so freely to us all. I think the most important thing I knew about my Dad was that he would always love me no matter what I did. He was an honourable and loving man and I am proud to be his daughter”.

Graham Lupp is proud to have curated this memorial exhibition. “During the many months it took to complete this exhibition — sifting through the family history, then scanning, printing and framing old photographs and finally, the emotive but fulfilling writing of my part of the catalogue — I came to know my father a second time. More than once it struck me that there was much about my father’s passion and spontaneity that resonates in all of us. Making the best of life’s vagaries, he was usually more ‘up’ than ‘down’. This shows in the photographs, where he readily plays to the camera and which, it seems, was fond of him.”