Royal Australian Navy Band help celebrate Centenary of Anzac

Published on LCDR Mick Gallagher (retd) (author), Felicity Merchant (photographer)

From left, Army veteran Mal McDowell, Brooklyn RSL President Ken Shadie, Petty Officer Musician Esa Thomas, Able Seaman Musician Phil O’Neill, Army veteran Gordon Malcolm, Able Seaman Musician Mark Nivet and Lieutenan Commander Mick Gallagher (retd) after the service. (photo: Felicity Merchant)
From left, Army veteran Mal McDowell, Brooklyn RSL President Ken Shadie, Petty Officer Musician Esa Thomas, Able Seaman Musician Phil O’Neill, Army veteran Gordon Malcolm, Able Seaman Musician Mark Nivet and Lieutenan Commander Mick Gallagher (retd) after the service.

The RAN Band – Sydney Detachment had its Centenary of Anzac event when its woodwind quintet participated in an Anzac service at Brooklyn in Sydney on 12 April. 

Situated on the banks of the Hawkesbury River, Brooklyn was an ideal setting for the event, which was hosted by the Brooklyn RSL Sub Branch.

Led by Petty Officer Musician Esa Thomas, the quintet’s performance included accompanying the service hymns led by Able Seaman Musician Mark Nivet. 

The emotional sounding of the Last Post and Naval Reveille was performed by bugler Able Seaman Musician Phil O’Neill.

“It was a privilege for us to participate in this, the first of many Anzac services in this special year of commemoration,” Petty Officer Thomas said.

Brooklyn RSL Sub Branch Vice President Petty Officer Maritime Logistics - Personnel Brenda Cox, of HMAS Harman, placed a wreath on behalf of the Australian Defence Force Women’s Services.

Brooklyn RSL President Ken Shadie said many former veterans attended the service. 

“I thank the Navy for its presence here today in making this special 100 years of Gallipoli Anzac memorial service such a success,” he said. 

Also at the service was the ‘Nambus’ (Vietnam bus), a mobile museum with its memorabilia of the Vietnam War, including the Navy’s involvement.

The Band’s Sydney Detachment continues to be involved in community Anzac ceremonies, with performances at schools and civic functions, in the lead-up to the Dawn Service and parade in Sydney on Anzac Day.