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A MUSICAL VOYAGE - Royal Australian Navy

A MUSICAL VOYAGE - Royal Australian Navy

- 126 – The results

- 126 – The results from this Sea Deployment initiative have been significant and integral to the band’s image within the wider naval community; they have also brought much overseas travel opportunity for our musicians. We will continue to manage this initiative on our terms by choosing the right deployments and where possible, only sending people who seek this opportunity. The deployment of an element of the band to the Middle East as part of the Tour de Force Middle East Area of Operations during Christmas 2003 and the New Year demonstrated to our deployed forces the calibre of Navy’s musicians along with the band's impressive musical capability. More recently, the band’s detachments extended Navy's reach in the week prior to Anzac Day with performances in Kalgoorlie and Alice Springs, and on Anzac Day detachments of the band performed in most major capital cities across the nation achieving wide media coverage. The reserve component of the band plays an important role in extending the band’s reach. These small ensembles of part-time musicians continue to find improvement in the quality of their output and remain a very effective contributor to the band’s national image and its outcomes. The performances to record crowds at the Dawn Services in Melbourne and Sydney were noteworthy; as was the contribution by one of our buglers at the Anzac Day Dawn Service in Tennant Creek. Furthermore, the performances at Anzac Day services in Hobart by former members of the band help to keep Navy's image alive in the wider community. This unofficial 8th detachment (past members of the RAN Band) has an important role in supporting the current generation of musicians and represents the significant contribution members of the band have given their nation over many years. I was pleased to recently be invited to become one of the Patron’s of the RAN Band Association. I have accepted that invitation and hope that my involvement with the association with help to re-establish our ties with our past members. However, most notable and reflecting the significant role that the band has in promoting Navy's image across the nation and on the international stage were: • radio interviews from Gallipoli with some of our musicians; • performances by our musicians at the Dawn Service at Anzac Cove and at the memorial service at Lone Pine; and • the contribution by one of our buglers at the Dawn Service in Baghdad in the presence of the Prime Minister, Senior Representatives from our Coalition Partners and members of our deployed forces. The RAN Band plays an invaluable role in keeping Navy in the public consciousness. It maintains one of Navy's most consistent and significant public engagement profiles, and continues to support Fleet activities through ship borne deployments of small elements of musicians. This edition of RAN Band News contains many personal accounts from members and their experiences on Anzac Day as well as articles which so how busy we have been and all the fantastic places that we have taken Navy’s image. Well done on your achievements. Before I sign off I would like to acknowledge the very strong contribution given the RAN Band by Lieutenant Steven Cottier who departs the Royal Australian Navy in the coming months to commence a new path in his career. Steven has been a loyal and hard-working member of the RAN Band since he enlisted on 17 September 1978. He is currently the Senior Instructor at the Defence Force School of Music and has enjoyed postings as a musician in all of our permanent detachments as well as leadership experience as the Bandmaster of the South Australian detachment and Music Director of the Melbourne detachment. A more dedicated member of our team would be hard to find. On behalf of the RAN Band I wish him, Karen and family every success on their next journey together and thank them for the friendship that they have shared with us. Royal Australian Navy Band: A Musical Voyage

- 127 – ANZAC DAY 2004 IN BAGHDAD Article by Chief Petty Officer Andrew Stapleton As the dim light of dawn filtered through the crisp, clear night my attention was drawn to the sound of sporadic gunfire off in the distance, to my estimation somewhere just north of Camp Victory. As always, when outdoors, my weapon was slung over my left shoulder and hung comfortably down the middle of my back. I checked my left pocket for the live magazine that was always strategically placed there for easy access. My heart lifted a little more as the crack of small arms fire continued and the anticipation of the service to come drew near. The ANZAC Day Dawn Service in Baghdad was about to begin. The eerie tranquillity was disturbed as the Catafalque Guard slow marched into position, their boots lightly scraping the ground. I couldn’t help but wonder how I got here, to this place, this moment. My mind drifted back to the 10 year old boy in the Parkes Town Band uniform nervously awaiting the cue to commence his first rendition of the Last Post on ANZAC Day all those years ago. Had all the bugle calls and all the services and ceremonies been leading to this point in time and if so, how would I perform. The Prime Minister and Senior Representatives of the Coalition took their places among the Australian personnel who had gathered. The service commenced with the singing of ‘Abide with Me’ and continued with a reading from Commodore Darby and an address from General Cosgrove. As the Prime Minister moved forward for his address, the extra security around the perimeter was now visible in the pervading morning light. Special Forces Troopers had their attention firmly focused outside the Air Traffic Control compound as the fire-fight off to the north intensified. With the laying of wreaths came my cue to move into position for the ‘Act of Remembrance.’ As one wreath after another was brought forward I noticed my nervousness and anxiety ebbed away and was replaced by a sense of calm and confidence. I raised my bugle in preparation for the General Salute from the Catafalque Guard, my hand did not tremble, my mind was focused, and I was determined to play well. On completion of the service, as personnel jockeyed for a photo opportunity with the Prime Minister, I noticed General Cosgrove walking my way. My attempt to stay modestly in the background had failed. The General shook my hand and said “I can’t believe I had to travel half way around the world, to Baghdad for ANZAC Day to hear one of the best bugle calls I’ve ever heard.” He then presented me with a signed copy of Ataturk’s famous poem. I was humbled by his comments and gratified by the gesture. In my own being I knew I’d performed well. I had to, for every experience, every nerve-racking performance and everything I’ve ever done in the past had prepared me for this great honour and what an awesome time it was. ANZAC DAY AT GALLIPOLI Article by Lieutenant Steve Cottier, RAN As I am sure most of you are aware, the RAN Band provided 15 musicians as part of a 30 person ADF Contingent to support the commemoration of the 89th Anniversary of the ANZAC landing. The band consisted of 10 members from the Sydney detachment, four members from the Melbourne detachment and was directed by myself who was also given the auspicious task of administration officer for the overall deployment! The remainder of the contingent included a senior ADF representative party, a RAAF Chaplain, a detachment from Australia’s Federation Guard and a Public Affairs and Corporate Communications element. I don’t intend to go into great detail about the deployment as I have asked Petty Officer Kara Williams and Able Seaman Beth Winterhalter to pen their thoughts and reflections of the sortie. I would like to say however, that Gallipoli 2004 was a resounding success and this can be attributed in no small way to the professionalism and attitude displayed by the musicians who represented our branch, the RAN, ADF and ultimately the Australian community. Royal Australian Navy Band: A Musical Voyage

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