2007 Obit: Mark Gillett - Kiwi Queenslander folkie
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2007 Obit: Mark Gillett - Kiwi Queenslander folkie

rich-joy 14 Apr 07 - 10:45 PM
rich-joy 23 Apr 07 - 12:10 AM
The Fooles Troupe 23 Apr 07 - 09:33 PM
Shimbo Darktree 25 Apr 07 - 04:52 AM
GUEST,Jin 10 Dec 17 - 07:56 AM
rich-joy 12 Dec 17 - 01:50 AM
rich-joy 12 Dec 17 - 02:05 AM
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Subject: Obit: Mark Gillett - Kiwi Queenslander folkie
From: rich-joy
Date: 14 Apr 07 - 10:45 PM

Much-loved singer-songwriter, Mark Gillett, has succumbed to cancer, passing over on the morning of Friday 13th April, 2007 in Nambour Hospital, on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.

Mark was born in Auckland in 1953 and grew up happily and musically in New Zealand, eventually training as a geologist. It seems his environmental bent did not sit well with commercial geology so he moved to Sydney, Australia, in 1979 with the thought of instead, making music his profession!

In 1984, he and wife Narelle, moved to the Blackall Range area of the Suncoast Hinterland, where their son, Steven, was born.   (this move would now be called a "Tree Change" by Australian city folk, as opposed to a "Sea Change" - for the more coastal dwellers!)

Mark got involved with the Sunshine Coast Environment Council (SCEC) and played many gigs, also forming the Hinterland Band with Noel Gardner, Jim Maloney and Paul Vella.
He mainly played banjo and guitar, but was also a public ukelele player!

His many songs range from humorous to poignant and he often captured moments of local history.    My personal favourites are :

"Watching the Obi Flow" which won the National Folk Festival Songwriting Award for 1987 and the words were prophetic :
"… The city will catch up with you, no matter how far you go …"
as witnessed by the recent destruction of the Obi Creek banks and platypus habitats by retail giant Woolworthless, in nearby Maleny.

His "Rusty Ford Cortina" is a much loved parody of the Redgum hit "Diamantina Drover".

Who could forget his epic saga of "The Dulong Garbage Wars" - in Parts I and II !!!    Or the tale of "The Mapleton Poo Tanker"!!!

Previously known for its sugar cane mill, Nambour and its subculture is now immortalized in his song "Daggin' Round Sugartown".

"Little England" - evidence of the hold that the Mother Country still has over we folk in the Antipodes :
"… And in The Lion and The Unicorn / Cricket oval and the croquet lawn / Carol singers and hunting horn / ~ Little England ~ / And though I know it's just a state of mind / Little England can be so unkind / I'll sail away to see what I can find / Little England …"

"The Mapleton Tram" is one of those cumulative, tongue-twisting songs, which portrays the Shay locomotive and its goods, that used to huff-and-puff its way from Nambour up the steep Range through Mapleton and back, in the earlier part of the 20th century.   Loads of fun!!!

Mark was also a driving force at Mapleton's Red Kettle Folk Club and last month, they held their 10 year Anniversary celebrations, co-inciding with a Fundraiser for Mark's treatment costs. This attracted a huge crowd, from early afternoon to late in the evening and the function raised some $5000 - proof indeed of the love and respect felt for him in SE Queensland!!!

Mark will be sadly missed, but, his fellow performers will ensure that his songs live on.   A musical celebration of Mark's life will be held next Saturday, April 21st, in the hinterland rainforest, where some of Mark's ashes will be scattered.   Some will also be returned to his New Zealand birthplace by his family.

Vale, Mark.
Thanks for your music and your good humour.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mark Gillett - Kiwi Queenslander folkie
From: rich-joy
Date: 23 Apr 07 - 12:10 AM

Mark Gillett
18.07.1953 - 13.04.2007

On Saturday, April 21st, a beautiful Memorial gathering was held for Mark in the bush behind Wappa Dam at Yandina (SE Queensland's Sunshine Coast Hinterland).
Once again, a huge number of friends and family turned out and after sharing food & drink and partaking of the various group music sessions, all came together for a very moving remembrance of Mark - but also with lots of funny stories included! Quite a few family and friends had made the journey from EnZed and so, they filled in some of our gaps from Mark's earlier life, pre-Oz. Lots of photos were on display too (some really cute!!! :~)))

A commonly heard statement has since been : "Gosh, I didn't know that about Mark, did you?!" - It is apparent that he had many facets to his Life and his interests were many and varied!! - but that he was most passionate about Music and Nature and Caring for Others.
It seems Mark had been a member of some of NZ's top rock bands (e.g. Biggles, Berlin) and another of his Queensland bands was "Local Heroes". I also omitted Mandolin and Bass playing from the list on my earlier post!!!   
The commitment was made by all present to not let Mark's wonderful musical compositions fade away and plans are being evolved for a recording - with some originals and some tributes. We'll keep you posted.

Love to Narelle, Stephen, and family.

Vale, Mark.

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Subject: RE: Obit: Mark Gillett - Kiwi Queenslander folkie
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 23 Apr 07 - 09:33 PM

For Technical reasons, been unable to get on here much for a while.

Sorry to hear the sad news.

I certainly am glad that I got to personally ask him for the words for 'Rusty Ford Cortina' - will think of him every time I sing it.

Rusty Ford Cortina

Pity I didn;t know about many of his other funny songs - can we get some more posted please?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mark Gillett - Kiwi Queenslander folkie
From: Shimbo Darktree
Date: 25 Apr 07 - 04:52 AM

Mark (and his songs) will be sadly missed. It is not easy to write a humorous song (parody or not) which will cause listeners to laugh aloud. However, Mark could hit that funny bone every time. I am only sorry I was interstate, and unable to attend the memorial gathering.

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Subject: RE: Obit: Mark Gillett - Kiwi Queenslander folkie
From: GUEST,Jin
Date: 10 Dec 17 - 07:56 AM

If you want to hear some classic Gillett songs, they are archived on Steve Shootingstar's site at - they include the fabulous Murphy song, the Tordoning Song and unforgettable Little England.

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Subject: RE: 2007 Obit: Mark Gillett - Kiwi Queenslander folkie
From: rich-joy
Date: 12 Dec 17 - 01:50 AM

Thanks Jin, lovely to hear him again - hopefully some more recordings of his songs will now surface!


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Subject: RE: 2007 Obit: Mark Gillett - Kiwi Queenslander folkie
From: rich-joy
Date: 12 Dec 17 - 02:05 AM

Sad to realise that my Beloved Paul Lawler left the planet 44 months ago, today, almost 7 years to the day after Mark - and Clarkey (Shimbo Darktree, above) has also been gone around 20 months - all thanks to the dastardly cancer :((
But, I'm sure they are all still Laughing and making Music together, in some other Dimension!!

Further Along, we'll know all about it, Further Along, we'll understand why .....


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