Friday, March 16, 2018


Today being the day before St. PATRICK'S DAY , SMUG performed a concert for the residents of The MOUNT with a program slightly different from the all Irish program we had done at the Mount the past two years. It was well received by about 30 residents who all sang along and had great applause and wonderful comments when we finished the one hour program.
We were pleased to have Kelly Galloway direct a couple of pieces for us today. Thanks Kelly and I apologize for springing this on you, but wonderful to have you taking a more active roll with the group. More to come, I hope. Today was also our first opportunity to play in the wonderful chapel at The Mount. With a turn out of SMUGGERS of almost 30 it was a much improved facility for our performance.

Saturday, January 6, 2018


It all happened this morning as 33 Smuggers turned out to celebrate 10 years in the ukulele industry. Joan and Judy looked after the cake, and it was agreed by all it was super and tasted like home-made. Joanne looked after her stuff in the kitchen as always and coffee and tea came along with the cake when it happened. Everyone began the morning by sitting in the circle and we sang songs for almost an hour before the cake arrived, then Allison, Maurice, Leah and David did the honours before the cake was finally served. After the break we returned for more rousing selections finishing up with O Canada at 11:30. A great and simple morning but one to be remembered.

One thing I forgot to mention this morning was that Michael Lynch, who started World Ukulele Day each February 2nd passed away on Wednesday. He will be missed by the many who enjoyed his teaching over so many years. Some of you will remember when we cut the World Ukulele Cake on Feb 2,2015 at Razzy's. I sent a video and photos off to him at the time which he published on his web page.

The Cutting Of The Cake( four oldtimers)


Monday, January 1, 2018


Well, that's what many people told us as the Andrews Strummers joined up with the Andrews of Stratford 2018 New Years LeveƩ from 1 to 3 p.m. today. The house and parking lot were completely packed, as people came from all over to offer New Years Best Wishes and enjoy some of the great chowder and hors d' oeuvres of Andrews Culinary expert, Terry Butler and his wonderful staff. The Strummers played several pieces from their repertoire, then a fiddler, Allan MacDonald, played several pieces, then back to the Strummers for the finale. A wonderful day for sure as it has been at Andrews for the past several years. Our thanks to all who participated today, and hope we will all be around for the 2019 gala. Thanks too to Owners Ray and Carolyn Murphy, Andrews staff and Activity Director, Sharon and Chef Terry for making our day so memorable. HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL.

Our friends Clark and Louise Johnston

Thursday, December 28, 2017



As our 10th birthday comes around the first week in January, we are about to celebrate in some small way,  but it may be interesting  for many of you to know the story behind  The Saturday Morning Ukulele Group and how it all began. 

The questions have been asked, “Where did the name come from?”, “How did you get started”? 
It all began in the winter of 2007 when my friend the late Ron Atkinson, who kept me up-to-date on the interesting things on the internet, sent me that well known You Tube video of Jake Shimabukuro playing the Beatles “My Guitar Gently Weeps” on his beautiful Kamaka Tenor Ukulele. I got to thinking it would be nice to have a real good ukulele instead of the $20.00, 30 year- old one hanging on my wall, and maybe I would get around to playing it more often. My interest in Jake soon brought along The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, the Langley Ukulele Ensemble, James Hill and Israel Kamakawiwo’ole with his famous rendition of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”. This was too much enticement and a visit to David MacDonald at Sobers in May 2007 came up with a new Greg Bennett “Samick” concert ukulele which I quickly purchased after looking at a soprano they would have to order for me, and then might not be able to obtain, I was told. However, it did arrive in July and I went to take a look and of course had to purchase it too. Shortly after, I got a call from Sobers asking if I was interested in taking ukulele lessons in September. In talking to Allison Coles and Leah Ziegler about the renewed interest in the ukulele, the “third wave” as they say, they both became interested in the idea of ukulele lessons. Allison, who is a member of the “Just For Fun” guitar group, bought my Greg Bennett concert and Leah acquired a Kay soprano and the class began in September under the direction of Jim Rumson, who Allison and I had known from the Masonic Lodge.( There were initially seven in Jim’s first class until Christmas, but the group got smaller during the next two semesters.) At a Masonic Lodge meeting in October 2007 I mentioned that Jim Rumson, who was not in attendance that night, was teaching some of us to play the ukulele. The remark brought the usual smiles , snickers and snide remarks from the sidelines, but following an invitation for anyone interested to chat with me, brought forth Ron Tallon and Maurice Steeves telling me they both had ukuleles at home. Wow….. something needed to be done about that. 
The Original Group at 2008 Christmas Party
In November some of us were decorating the Shriners' float for the Christmas Parade one Saturday morning, and Allison, Maurice and I took along our ukuleles and had a get together after the decorating party. Several of the other Shriners there became interested and as a result, after Christmas those showing interest, along with Ron Tallon, went to take lessons with Jim in a new class. Unfortunately the class was short lived as there were time interruptions in their group and they couldn’t continue. In January 2008 we started going to the basement at the Lodge Hall on Saturday mornings and together learning to strum a few familiar songs. It got so we were meeting every Saturday morning and became known as the Saturday Morning Ukulele Group, from which the acronym SMUG became apparent. "The Founding Fathers"(pictured below) were,l-r- Maurice Steeves, Ron Tallon, Allison Coles and David Campbell. This soon grew and by Christmas that year we were 12 strong and joined by two ladies, Leah and Darlene, to round out the gang.


Performing at a Saturday Morning Pancake Breakfast 2008
Our numbers grew slowly at first from the initial 7 or 8, and has increased several times since to a point where as of this writing this updated version we are 44  ukulele players, most who look forward to the weekly Saturday morning jams along with coffee and cookies, and have become busy preparing for engagements at some local nursing homes and other community events as well as some churches in and around the Charlottetown area.
Performing for the Potentate 2009 at Rodds Royalty
Since our first performance at the Potentate’s Annual Visitation in Charlottetown in October 2008, we have performed at several pancake breakfasts at the Lodge Hall, many different churchs, and several nursing homes and residences. Smug was honoured to be invited to perform at Fanningbank (Home of the Lieutenant-Governor) for a Royal Commonwealth Society Christmas party in December 2009, when one of our members, Errol Monkley, was president of that organization.
Performing for Lieutenant-Governor Christmas 2009 
World Ukulele Day Cake 2015

Mary and David Cut the Cake 

2011 Christmas Photo by Martin Caird