On his whirlwind tour of the Bundaberg Region to promote the Love Your Sister Campaign, Samuel Johnson still made time to see the sights, including the Bundaberg CBD community piano.
The actor and TV personality wandered down to the piano today where he met Bundaberg local Merv Allan, and asked him to play.
Samuel filmed the heart-warming exchange at the piano as the video live-streamed to his Love Your Sister Facebook page.
“We are in the main street of Bundaberg, we met Merv and I asked him to play some piano and he obliged,” Samuel said to the camera.
Merv told Samuel that he played at the piano often because it helped with his health problems.
“I am bad but I am good at it,” Merv said.
“I come up here nearly every day and annoy the piano.
“I am riddled with arthritis, I can't read music but I play by ear.
“It keeps me from having to worry about dementia.”
Merv had some requests during the video, including “You Are My Sunshine” which he played with gusto to a small, singing audience.
When the song finished, Merv asked “where is this video going?”
Upon hearing that he was live on Facebook to a large audience watching, he laughed before busting into Mary Had A Little Lamb.
Community piano and Merv steal hearts
The Facebook video has received more than 1200 likes and 540 comments from people around Australia on the Love Your Sister page.
“Sitting in bed in Perth with the flu and this just came up. Love it! My grandpop is 97 and would sing You Are My Sunshine to my nana and I still sing it to my girls -14 and 18. Thanks for making my day…” Rita Panebianco posted.
“Thank you Merv from the Gold Coast keep the music and your cheeky smile,” Carolyn Hughes said.
Merv surprised by visit
Merv told Bundaberg Now he was blown away by the exchange.
“I actually thought it was a band of musicians when they first arrived,” he said.
Sam was very easy to speak to, and I have been speaking with “strangers” most of my working life as an appliance technician, going to peoples houses to service their refrigerators, washing machines and electric stoves.
Merv said he did not realise until the end of the “interview” with Sam that it was all going on Facebook live.
“I was nervous enough as it was!” he said.
“I did not know Sam before today, and was not aware of the Love Your Sister page on Facebook.”
Community piano brings people together
As part of the #lovebundy campaign, Bundaberg Regional Galleries placed the piano in the CBD pavilion to promote community engagement and inclusion.
It has since been delighting residents and visitors alike.
Read more about the piano here.