Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS -

SYD­NEY is more than a city of beau­ti­ful places. It is also home to some won­der­ful char­ac­ters and lar­rikins.

With our cam­paign in full swing The Stan­dard vis­ited Barry Gray, of the Syd­ney School of Pip­ing and Drum­ming, as he taught his stu­dents the an­cient art of the bag­pipe.

Every night Mr Gray’s St Clair home turns into a mu­sic room where he teaches young kids to master the Scots’ favourite wind in­stru­ment.

While begin­ners are taught on prac­tice chanters first, more ad­vanced stu­dents earn the right to play their own bag­pipe.

When he’s not teach­ing, Mr Gray is a full­time per­former who does fu­ner­als and wed­dings and has shared stages around the world with the likes of Paul McCart­ney, John Farn­ham and Bryan Adams.

An­other fa­mil­iar face in the com­mu­nity is Wes Marne, fondly known as Un­cle Wes.

The 94-year-old from Black­ett is an Abo­rig­i­nal elder, a Bigam­bul man, who has spent decades shar­ing his cul­ture with preschool­ers through to the re­gion’s elderly.

“My fa­ther was a sto­ry­teller be­cause his fa­ther was a sto­ry­teller, and his fa­ther and his fa­ther,” Mr Marne said.

Un­cle Wes, who makes reg­u­lar school ap­pear­ances, is so well-known by young­sters in the area they call out his name and wave when he walks by.

Un­cle Wes also works with the West­ern Syd­ney Univer­sity and so­cial ser­vices in the area.

Lead­ing up to Novem­ber 16 we’ve asked read­ers to start prac­tis­ing their skills be­hind the cam­era’s lens. Fol­low­ing on from char­ac­ters and lar­rikins, now it is time to show us your pas­sions and what you re­ally love. It could be food or cook­ing, the great out­doors, your pets or your sport­ing team. Get snap­ping and go on­line to see gal­leries of the best #SnapSyd­ney pic­tures.

Pic­tures: Justin San­son

Piper Barry Gray with his stu­dents, drum­mer Jax­son Gray, 9, Kyle Mor­ri­son, 13, and Lach­lan Wig­gins, 16. In­set: Abo­rig­i­nal­nal elder Wes Marne,Marne bet­ter kn­known as Un­cle Wes. s.

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