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A MUSICAL VOYAGE - Royal Australian Navy

A MUSICAL VOYAGE - Royal Australian Navy

- 158 – Three other

- 158 – Three other commissioning and decommissioning ceremonies followed in the next few months and each of those continued to demonstrate a high level of cooperation and achievement between the various detachments. Of course, there were the usual Navy Week tasks in other locations and each detachment has a very busy schedule to contend with locally. This has been the busiest period in recent memory and the results and effort by all of our people has been truly remarkable. That level of achievement combined with a high profile and strong contribution to Navy over the last four years, has been acknowledged with good funding support and a number of Flag Officer Commendations. There are many amongst our team worthy of commendation and I was particularly pleased to see a number of commendations recently awarded to our musicians by the Australian Navy Systems Commander. Commodore Peter Jones presented five commendations to members of the Sydney detachment (at HMAS Creswell) and at the same time, I presented another commendation on his behalf to a member in the Melbourne detachment. These commendations acknowledge a lot of hard work; but in particular, a strong and sustained contribution by the recipients across a number of areas of performance. In recent years, each of these members has served at sea and on operations, and each has contributed beyond their primary role: this adds significant value, capability and flexibility to the band. I join the Systems Commander in saluting Chief Petty Officer Andrew Stapleton, Petty Officer Camille Smith, Leading Seaman Jason Beach, Able Seaman Tracy Burke, Able Seaman Andrew Hansch, and Able Seaman Kirstin Paynter on their achievements. They have brought much credit to themselves and Navy. Merry Christmas, travel safe, recharge the batteries and thank you for your contribution to the Navy Band, ‘one of Australia’s premiere military ensembles’. ALL HANDS ON DECK Article by Lieutenant Andrew Stokes, RAN The Royal Australian Navy Band, in company with some of the best bands from around the world, participated in the Brunei International Tattoo 2006 (BIT 2006) in July and August this year. This special event marked the 60 th birthday celebrations for His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam. Other countries involved in the tattoo were Brunei, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, United Kingdom, Jordan and Vietnam. Prior to the tattoo performances the participants split up and headed out into the regional areas of Brunei for the BIT 2006 ‘Road Show’. One group went to Tutong and another to the Belait district. The Australian contingent, along with the participants from Thailand, Vietnam and Oman, boarded a ferry for a two-hour trip through dense tropical rainforest along the Temburong River to Temburong. The people of Temburong were delighted by the arrival of the BIT 2006 Road Show. They lined the waterfront and cheered as the ferry pulled up in the midst of their Water Carnival. After some light refreshments, the Road Show participants commenced a street march from the District Office to Bangar Town’s Commercial Area where they performed a selection of music drawn from the tattoo as separate contingents and as a massed band. Following the performance, all contingents were treated to lunch and a cultural show at Sultan Hasan Primary School before returning to the capital, Bandar Seri Begawan. After the highly successful Road Show performances, all contingents congregated for a ‘Grand Parade’ through the streets of the capital. There was an air of excitement as thousands of people were treated with a sneak preview of the upcoming tattoo. The Grand Parade ended in spectacular fashion as all bands joined to perform four songs from the tattoo’s finale. With the Road Show and Grand Parade completed, there was anticipation among the public that a great show to be held at Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium was on the way – and it did not disappoint. Royal Australian Navy Band: A Musical Voyage

- 159 – The BIT 2006 debut show, attended by His Majesty and other members of the Royal Family, was a spectacular and colourful event in every aspect. The 30,000 strong audience, who were clad in their traditional dress of Brunei, provided an impressive multicoloured backdrop for the much-anticipated occasion. The tattoo proved to be a brilliant display of military pageantry accompanied by a dazzling exhibition of lighting and fireworks. The Navy Band’s performance featured the Ceremonial Silver Drums, which were presented to the Royal Australian Navy by the Commonwealth and States of Australia to mark the 50 th Anniversary of the proclamation of the title ‘Royal Australian Navy’. The set consists of eight side drums, two tenor drums and one bass drum all made from solid sterling silver and emblazoned with the royal cipher, the Commonwealth Coat of Arms and the Royal Australian Navy Badge. The eight-minute display proved to be very popular as the audience applauded and cheered as the display moved through its many intricate movements, the last of which had the band form a diamond shape (as it was His Majesty’s Diamond Birthday) and the drum corps detached in an ‘arrow-head’ formation. From this position, the band performed a traditional ‘Cheer Ship’ as a salute the His Majesty the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam. As the Director sounded the call, “Hip, hip, hip!” the whole audience joined him with the reply “Hooray!”. Following the third cheer the band continued with a performance of ‘I Am Australian’ sung by Able Seaman Tracy Burke and Able Seaman Damien Dowd. Finally, the band marched off to a rousing applause playing Waltzing Matilda. After 17 days in Brunei, it was time to board the RAAF C130 at Brunei Airport. Seeing us off were our hosts from the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, a small team of wonderful people to whom we had become very attached. As we said our farewells, the excitement of going home was mixed with tears as we reflected on our journey together. HMAS MANOORA DEPLOYMENT Article by Petty Officer Daniel Hobson Aloha! After a delayed start and a mixed lead up period due to HMAS Manoora’s operational requirements to the north of Australia and a major reduction in personnel because of the International Tattoo in Brunei, eleven members of the Royal Australian Navy Band eventually left Sydney Harbour on the 17 June 2006. Our first commitment, procedure Alpha for the departure, was cancelled due to a mechanical fault that delayed our departure one more time until after dark. During the long transit to Pearl Harbor we began preparations for the most important engagement of the deployment, the Maritime Commanders cocktail party to take place on the night of arrival in Pearl Harbor. As the detachment settled into its routine of rehearsals, café party and watch on deck we crossed the equator for the first time. Due to our haste though, we set an appointment with King Neptune for our return. Also during the long passage, much work was being done to ensure that we could make the most of our Hawaiian visit. Due to the hard work from the ship, the staff at the Director of Music-Navy’s office and especially Chief Petty Officer Patrick Detroit from the Pacific Fleet Band, it was arranged that we would stay ashore during the Exercise part of RIMPAC. On arrival in Hawaii preparations were made for the cocktail party, the stewards set up the hanger, the cooks prepared the food and the Guard and Band rehearsed the Ceremonial Sunset for what we thought was going to be about 200 people. However as the time came it became a large crowd of around 500. The cooks and the stewards worked at full speed and the Guard and Band put on a good Ceremonial Sunset to finish. All that attended said it was a fine evening. The next day our musicians began work with the United States Navy Pacific Fleet Band (PACFLEET). First up were a few Wind Ensemble (Concert Band) performances in Waikiki and Honolulu. After this, half the PACFLEET Band went on leave, this is how they manage to cover their many commitments through the leave period. This provided us with the opportunity to integrate into the PACFLEET Band. Royal Australian Navy Band: A Musical Voyage

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