REUNITED: Band back together after overcoming tragedy
THE past year has been the toughest yet for much-loved act, the String Family Band.
Having performed regularly in the region in recent year's the quartet of Sarah and Joel Moir, along with kids Heath and Ashleigh, have basically been adopted in by the Stanthorpe community.
That quartet nearly became a trio 12 months ago when Joel endured a near-death experience.
A family outing at Josephine Falls, near Cairns, ended in tragedy when Joel slipped on some rocks and suffered a head injury.
"We were just walking along the rocks and Joel had new shoes on and his feet slipped out from underneath him and he landed on his head," Mrs Moir said.
"When he slipped I grabbed him under his arm to prevent him from falling down the waterfall - if he had, he would've drowned."
In a remote area and with no phone service, Mrs Moir and friends had to rush Joel to Innisfail Hospital themselves.
"He hasn't made a full recovery yet but he's getting there," Mrs Moir said.
"He hadn't played a performance with the group until this year.
"So he spent nearly a whole year not performing with us.
"This weekend will be one of his first performances back."
Mrs Moir said he's finding his feet again and shaking off the rustiness.
"Even when he can't talk properly and his brain slows right down he's finding he can still play the music quite well."
Just before the injury, the family landed a daily gig at Paronella Park near Cairns.
Sarah, along with Heath and Ashleigh, have had to adhere to that contract by performing as a trio.
"We've performed 520 shows in six months," she said.
"Joel was hoping to be able to join us for some of the season but he didn't make it."
The band will hit the stage in Stanthorpe on Saturday at the National Busking Championship final.
They'll then pop up around different venues throughout Apple and Grape Festival week.
"We'll be everywhere, all the time," Mrs Moir said.
"Stanthorpe was our first gig on the road so it's a really, really special place to us and we just love the community and we're so excited to be coming back."