Barry back in Redcliffe. © Chris Higgins
It's the town that holds Barry Gibb's heart north of Brisbane, and September 11th. it was Bee Gees fever in Redcliffe as thousands of people flocked to see their star.
The small city of Redcliffe, 30 minutes north of Brisbane, is where it all began for the Bee Gees, as it was there in the seaside suburb of Scarborough that the three brothers, Barry,
Maurice and Robin Gibb, signed their very first music contract.
Over the next five decades they became one of the world's greatest performance artists and songwriters.
On February 2013, Barry Gibb and Moreton Bay Regional Council unveiled a new statue and walkway called Bee Gees Way to honour the band and the most famous Redcliffe residents.
But this year, Bee Gees Way underwent stage two of its development, and Barry Gibb was there to talk about his early years and meet and greet the tens of thousands of fans that gathered along Redcliffe's beachfront.
Click to enlarge
left: a replica of the original contract that the Gibb brothers signed in Oxley Avenue in Redcliffe.
right: Announcement of one of their appearances in Redcliffe
By the end of August Barry left for Australia for several weeks to spend some private time to meet other relatives and friends again and pay some private visits to places like:
the house in Scarborough one of the homes of the Gibb family in Australia during Barry's childhood and he went to CWA Hall, Breakfast Club Redcliffe,
of course to the Redcliffe Speedway and Redliffe Jetty and after the opening of stage 2 he also visited Bee Gees Way at Night which is also very special.
A neighbour who lives across the old Gibb house in Scarborough took these pix of Barry and Linda's visit to the house in Scarborough. © Xavier Lafeta
Barry came to Redcliffe, September 11th. 2015 for the opening of stage 2 of Bee Gees Way.
This special day Barry with family and friends re-opened Bee Gees Way in Redcliffe a tribute to their group and their music.
It became a very special and emotional day and Barry enjoyed being around all his fans.
He really, really took his time to have a chat with many, signing lots and lots of autogrpahs and everyone got a chance to take photos too.
Thousand of enthusiastic people along the road and some of his family and close friends around him for this special re-opening.
Amongst the chairs for the invited guests there was one special but unfortunately empty seat.
Henk Goosens, BG fan and GSI representative had plans to visit again Redcliffe to be there during Barry's re-opening but sadly he died several weeks ago. Sad to see his empty chair.
Steph Hagger of BG Fanclub Australia:
After talking to Barry I'm so pleased I got Dick Ashby's attention on Friday.
Hard as it is with a sea of faces he saw me and after a chat he brought Linda over to talk about our late friend Henk Goosens and the rainbow that appeared when Henk's flight to
Europe was due to fly over me on the Redcliffe Peninsula back in February 2013. Linda revealed Barry had written a new song titled "the rainbow".
I held the seat for Henk Goosens and thank you fans you did part as requested. Barry
stopped and saw the chair (thank goodness) and then said "dear Henk, yes of course. God Bless you Henk". Dick Ashby came over and we had a quick chat. Dick then called Linda over to talk.
It was also lovely to talk to Lesley again along with some of her family.
left: Reserved seat for Henk (RIP) © Steph Hagger.
right: Linda Gibb and Dick Ashby. copyright BGFA (Bee Gees Fanclub Australia)
Linda, Barry and Dick Ashby came to take a look at this empty chair as they missed Henk during this event.
Linda: Missed him today, but was there in spirit..xx
Barry: oh God Bless you dear Henk
Lesley, Barry's sister was present as well with some of her family. Unfortunately she was sitting in a wheel chair as she had fallen recently and hurt her spine.
She looked very well and happy but emotional too at some moments of course, like mother Barbara who was present at the ceremony as well. That was really amazing!!
Amongst the friends there were of course Barry and Linda's best friends from America: Kelly Lang and husband TG Sheppard.
Kelly: Wow wow wow! What an amazing day here in Australia! A beautiful tribute was revealed to honor the Bee Gees here in their home town of RedCliffe with bronze statues and thousands of fans.
What an honor to have been included along with Barry Gibb's sweet family.
Barry in Redcliffe talking to his good friends Kelly and TG Sheppard.
Lesley Gibb and her mother Barbara waiting for Barry to open Stage Two. © Jalyn Photographics AU.
The official opening started around 2 pm. by Richard Wilkins followed by some speeches of officials including of course
Moreton Bay Regional Council mayor Allan Sutherland.
Then Barry was asked on the stage and he talked for quite some time with the audience and even performed acappella the Gibb hitsong: Words.
After the welcome speeches etc. Barry started to walk over to the Bee Gees Way where his family and friends had gathered for the official opening of stage 2.
However this walk lasted for about an hour as Barry took all the time in the world the spend with the thousands of fans along the road.
Noone could hurry him up as the fans here were the most important to him. Such a gentleman.
Finally while arrived at the Bee Gees Way there was the official opening while Barry was surrounded by his beloved family members , amongst others his mother Barbara and sister Lesley and a number of good friends.
Stage two was opened by removing a big black curtain and unveiling a special plaque and then Barry started walking through the renewed Bee Gees Way which amongst others featured
- a glass structure holding a replica of the original contract that the Gibb brothers signed in Oxley Avenue in Redcliffe.
- a sculpture of the grown up The Bee Gees
- a video showing the Bee Gees and their lives with family in Australia
- memories of his three brothers who have died: Andy, Maurice and Robin
After Barry and his family and friends had entered this new Walk Way, other invited guests had a chance to visit as well and the press was busy interviewing BG Barry.
Watch the whole event here
More items to visit:
- The sculptures were made by Mr. Phillip Piperides www.phillippiperides.com.au
and...... the special weather report live from Bee gees way.
Night time view of Bee Gees Way.
More photos on GSI facebook.
Marion / GSI