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A MUSICAL VOYAGE - Royal Australian Navy

A MUSICAL VOYAGE - Royal Australian Navy

- 98 – Today we

- 98 – Today we remember that each of the fallen had a family and friends whose lives were enriched by their love and diminished by their loss. Each added to the life of a city suburb or country town. Each worked before enlistment in one of countless occupations, which added to the prosperity and the richness of our nation. These strangers from another time have given us a legacy from the past on which to build the future. A spirit born on the cliffs of Gallipoli, then matured in the mud of the Western Front, in jungles and in deserts, and in desperate struggles on the seas and in the sky. A spirit which draws Australians together in time of need. A spirit which may seem to slumber; but arises to draw new breath when needed. Their story, the legacy of all Australians who have died or suffered in war and armed conflict, has been passed to each one of us. By today's act of remembrance, we cherish and nurture this possession, their gift. We prove an understanding both of its value and its cost. One of the most enduring symbols of Remembrance Day is the Red Poppy, which was among the first plants that sprouted from the devastation of the battlefields of northern France and Belgium. This same poppy also flowers in Turkey in early spring—as it did in April 1915 when the ANZACs landed at Gallipoli. Folklore tells us that the poppies were vivid red from having been nurtured in ground drenched with the blood of soldiers. The Red Poppy was first described as a flower of remembrance by Colonel John McCrae who served in France in World War One as a medical Officer with the first Canadian Contingent. After watching the death of a close friend he wrote in pencil on a page torn from his despatch book the following poem which has become synonymous with Remembrance Day: In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields. We should all be familiar with that poem, but you may not know that it inspired many replies from across the world including the following poem from an American, Miss Moira Michael, entitled We Shall Keep the Faith: Oh! You who sleep in Flanders’ fields, Sleep sweet - to rise anew, We caught the torch you threw, And holding high we kept The faith with those who died. We cherish too, the poppy red That grows on fields where valour led. It seems to signal to the skies That blood of heroes never dies, But lends a lustre to the red Of the flower that blooms above the dead In Flanders’ fields. Royal Australian Navy Band: A Musical Voyage

- 99 – And now the torch and poppy red Wear in honour of our dead. Fear not that ye have died for naught We’ve learned the lesson that ye taught In Flanders’ fields. It is right that we remember those who fell, that we remember the lessons they have passed to us, and that we honour the contribution they have made to our nation. We honour the contribution they have made to the world. And we commit ourselves afresh to the worthy cause of peace. Lest We Forget SPEECH BY THE DIRECTOR OF MUSIC TO THE AUSTRALIAN MUSIC EXAMINATION MUSIC BOARD ANNUAL PRESENTATION CEREMONY AT SIR JOHN CLANCY AUDITORIUM ON SUNDAY 8 MARCH 2009 Introductory Remarks Chairperson of the NSW State Committee Australian Music Examination Board and Dean of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Professor Kim Walker, Distinguished Guests, Music Examiners, Educators and Administrators, Graduates, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am very pleased to have this opportunity to address you today. Professor Walker, thank you for your kind introduction. I would also like to acknowledge the Australian Music Examination Board (AMEB), and in particular, the NSW State Committee for its effort to foster and encourage music across a wide range of disciplines. The AMEB does this by maintaining an examination and qualification system that is widely recognised and respected at home and internationally. And the quality of that system was clearly demonstrated by Amy Corkery—I add my personal salutation to the thunderous applause that Amy received. To each of the today’s prize winners and diploma recipients I offer my hearty congratulations. Your success today demonstrates a level of determination and perseverance that is uncommon in today’s environment where instant result are expected; often with little effort. Because you have worked hard to attain your achievements, you will have more chance of sustaining the journey far beyond your current level of experience. ‘Music is the universal language of mankind’. I suspect that we could all agree with those words penned by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow who was one of America’s my popular 19th Century poets. And I agree: music is the universal language of mankind; but music is much more than just a language. Chinese philosopher, Confucius, tells us that ‘Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without’. Think about it; where would we be without music or our vinyl recordings or in the case of the graduates here today, their iPods. Music is a kind of pleasure which we cannot do without! According to the German novelist, Berthold Auerbach, ‘Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life’. What a wonderful, sustaining truism that is! And what a rewarding ability it is to be engaged in an art that enables you to communicate beyond linguistic borders, and to wash away the dust of everyday life. So it follows that according to Longfellow, Confucius and Auerbach, music gives you the gift to speak a universal language and also to bring pleasure and insight into the soul of those nearest you and of those you reach out to. I would argue that music is even more than that and that the ‘art of music’ is synonymous with and inextricably twinned to the ‘art of communication’. Royal Australian Navy Band: A Musical Voyage

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