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Clip description

At choir practice in the Mayfair Hotel, publican Mick Cassidy (John Meillon) introduces Stanley Evans (Harry Secombe) to local farmer Shirley Marshall (Maggie Fitzgibbon). Her brother, Pete (Peter Whittle), is not impressed.

Curator’s notes

The pub run by Mick and Sal Cassidy is the focal point of life in Kookaburra Springs. While the law states that children are not permitted onto licensed premises unless in a designated area in the company of a parent or responsible adult, the Kookaburra Springs school choir is able to rehearse in the pub. There would be an outcry if such an event took place at a big city pub, but in isolated, tight–knit communities such as this it does not raise any concern.

Stanley’s first meeting with Shirley is tentative. He is shy, but Shirley’s warm nature and shared interest in music helps break the ice. The antipathy of many Australians toward the British when Sunstruck was made is shown in the reaction of Shirley’s brother, Pete. His response to the obvious attraction of his sister to Stanley is instinctual; he is reluctant to accept ‘the Welsh pom’ on principle.

The clip introduces the positive potential of music to bring opposites together, although the results are initially mixed. While the choir practice in the pub helps establish Stanley in his new community and allows him to meet Shirley, Pete’s hostility shows there’s still a way to go before he’s considered one of the locals.