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A MUSICAL VOYAGE - Royal Australian Navy

A MUSICAL VOYAGE - Royal Australian Navy

- 176 – Day Two of our

- 176 – Day Two of our four day stint found us fed, watered and hopefully rested after a first night’s sleep on mozzie-net-cocooned stretchers in tents at Guadalcanal Beach Resort. We had hit the ground running; Jazz Group off to play at a Pink Ribbon Fundraising Dinner upon arrival, and the rest of us straight to a barbeque reception to meet and greet troops and fellow performing artists (civilians) of the Tour de Force ’07 contingent. We came to a clearing, climbed out of the trooper carriers and spent some time at the riffle range where the civvies enjoyed firsthand experience firing live ammunition down the range and out to the ocean. As well as this we all witnessed a spectacular demonstration of a section attack which included smoke grenades and flares. In the afternoon the troops drove us up to a village, a real highlight of the trip. It involved meeting warm, loving yet shy Solomon Islanders, as well as some not so shy ones along the way! With grins and waves, smiles and squeals of excitement, they provided as much entertainment for us as I’m sure we did for them! Our tour guide, Captain Daniel, told us the relationship of this village to the Australian Army was remarkable due to their men helping locate and rescue the missing body of Australian Soldier Jamie Clark who had died on the steep slopes near the village. Well, after a big day out already, we headed back to camp via the US Memorial site and began set up for our first concert. The bar area was packed with AFP and Army Troops as well as some New Zealanders. The Darryl Cotton and Nash Band (but without the Nash – Able Seaman Mildren “filled in”) began the show…. Then…Comedy, Magic, Brazilian Dancers, Didgeridoo music and more, we finally got up to play our Rock Group set and the toe tappers started to boogie. A good night was had by all and the stretchers felt wonderful tonight! Day Three began at 8am with a drive to the Forward Operating Base Maritime (FOB) and at Lieutenant Colonel Ferndale’s request (or crack of the whip?) we set up and repeated the previous night’s concert – the whole kit and caboodle – well shortened from three hours to two. The troops appreciated it and fed us again with a delicious barbeque. Splitting into two groups from there some of us drove to the Solomon Island’s Prison to perform an informal concert with the Solomon Island Police Band. Our audience grew from eight to ten, to forty… to fifty curious little bodies all huddled up close together enjoying the show, in particular Adrian Ross’s didgeridoo stories. We returned fairly exhausted to Guadalcanal Beach Resort to find the others slaving away in the heat setting up for the final concert. This time outdoors in the tropical setting, up on the side of a semi-trailer truck as our stage. We all pitched in had yes another barbeque – very nice, and kicked off the show. It was a wonderful night celebrating for many police, the end of their deployment, and for those who were staying on, a chance to let their hair down. At unsustainable tempo, this four day whirlwind was close to finishing. We gladly fell asleep before our final task of cleaning all our gear at 7am. Every lead wiped down and all road cases vacuumed. This event somehow was a joyful team bonding experience. Everything was weighed and at last I could pop my toes in the pool, before saying goodbyes. All in all a wonderful first time Tour de Force experience. JINGILI MAN’S SOLOMON’S TOUR Article from Navy Website Jingili’s Andrew Stokes is just back from the Solomon Islands, where he has been entertaining Australian troops and police in the Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands — RAMSI for short. It was Andrew’s job to bring them a touch of home if only for a day or two. “It was a great opportunity to do our bit to help boost morale,” said Andrew. “I always look forward to the challenge of putting on a great show in difficult conditions!” Andrew attended Jingili Primary School, Nightcliff High School and Casuarina Secondary College, and joined the Navy in 1990. Then came more training at the Defence Force School of Music. Andrew is now a Lieutenant, and he is the Music Director of the Sydney detachment of the Royal Australian Navy Band. Royal Australian Navy Band: A Musical Voyage

- 177 – “My job has also taken me to Gallipoli, the Brunei International Tattoo for the Sultan’s 60th birthday, and to the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Greece and Crete. I was a working musician and a keen sailor so I thought I’d join the Navy band. I’ve always had a passion for music and can’t imagine doing anything else.” Now that Andrew has returned from the Solomon Islands, he is looking forward to spending quality time with his wife and their 19-month-old daughter. Also performing with the Navy Band were successful solo artists Russell Morris and Darryl Cotton – also known for performing with Somebody’s Image and Zoot respectively; comedian Chris Radburn; magician Adam Dean; didgeridoo artist Adrian Ross; MCs rock guru Glenn A Baker and model Anneliisa Tonisson. Some 140 ADF personnel are now working alongside military personnel from New Zealand, Tonga, Fiji and Papua New Guinea in support of the Royal Solomon Islands Police, along with other participating Police Forces from Pacific nations. The Forces Entertainment team regularly takes entertainers to overseas theatres of operations, bringing a little bit of home to the men and women of the Australian Defence Force who are away from loved ones for months at a time. Royal Australian Navy Band: A Musical Voyage

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