Charlton Bernarr (Bernie) Porter* was a Victoria native, born on Caledonia Avenue and the first son of Robert John and Sarah Ethel Porter. His interest in music started with the violin at age 10 and then changed to piano and trumpet. As a youth he worked at Kent's music store on Fort Street in the radio and record section. Soon he started a small group of musicians in the early 30's which later grew to a 17 piece band which included his brother, Vernon on string bass. As the orchestra leader, he played trumpet and his band opened for such names as Harry James, Duke Ellington and Tex Beneke, when they came to the Memorial Arena. He played for dances at the YMCA and The Club Sirocco, where he opened a music and dance studio and was soon teaching his future wife, Lorna. His orchestra would often do charity events such as the "Red Cross Pint Parade" in 1951 at the Odeon Theatre where the only admission fee was to pledge one pint of blood to see a stage show. As the business grew to include the sale of musical instruments, he needed more space and moved to several locations over the years, eventually buying his own building on Caledonia Avenue in 1972. He employed many teachers and sales staff to handle the pupils and instrument sales including organist, Reginald Stone, with whom he performed on piano at different events. He was the first agent for Titano Accordions in Victoria and later became the agent for Baldwin Pianos and Thomas and Kimball Organs. He started many aspiring students on a musical career and enjoyed spreading his love of music onto others. He retired in 1988 and began to play out at seniors retirement homes with his good friend, Reg Stone. He was a kind, generous and gentle man who was very modest about his accomplishments. * Times Colonist May 23, 2003
THANK YOU FOR YOUR DONATIONS
We greatly appreciate those who have submitted contributions. If you are a regular visitor, we encourage you to please consider making a donation via the secure “Donate” button on the right side of the page to help cover the costs of running this archive. Any amount is helpful and all donations are confidential.
Yes we're on FB posting a lot of gigs and videos of Victoria artists in a variety of musical genre's and situations. Drop by for a visit and click on the "LIKE" button. Click here !
VICTORIA BLUES SOCIETY
Find out more about them and their upcoming shows and events including Jack DeKeyzer May 6th at the Tallyho Pub Click Here
VICTORIA JAZZ SOCIETY
Find out more about them and the upcoming TD Victoria International Jazzfest 2016. Click Here
HALLMARK HERITAGE SOCIETY
Victoria's heritage advocacy society preserving and protecting the city's significant historical past.