Cyril Payne, a distinguished pensioner celebrated for his contributions to various brass bands in the Farnham, Haslemere and Alton regions before relocating to Australia, was presented with the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) by the State Governor of Victoria, Margaret Elaine Gardner, last week.

Dr Payne, 87, an alumni of Farnham Grammar School and the former conductor of Haslemere Town Band from 1969 to 1972, received the honour in recognition of his exceptional community service in Leongatha, 135 kilometres south-east of Melbourne, Australia.

Dr Payne is well-known in the UK for his pivotal role in several renowned brass bands, including the illustrious Creswell Colliery Band and Crookhall Colliery Band, where he served as their musical director.

He also actively participated in various local operatic societies and took on the role of conductor for the Haslemere Players during their production of Oklahoma.

In 1980, Dr Payne and his wife Rosemary embarked on a new chapter in their lives by relocating to Australia, prompted by Dr Payne’s acceptance of a teaching position at Mentone Boys’ Grammar School, located near Melbourne.

Remarkably, even at the age of 88, Dr Payne only retired from playing music last Christmas.

His investiture took place at Government House in Melbourne on September 25.