Band saves the day

This article has photo gallery Published on LSIS Jayson Tufrey (author), Unknown (photographer)

Location(s): Hobart, Tasmania

ABSUMN's Stephanie McCorkelle with her Grandmother Moreen Thomson (photo: Unknown)
ABSUMN's Stephanie McCorkelle with her Grandmother Moreen Thomson

When Hobart Legacy planned its nonagenarian high tea, held in July at Drysdale House in Hobart, it seems whoever was responsible for booking the entertainment dropped the ball.
A horde of legacy widows, ravenous for Iced VoVos, cups of tea and rock and roll, were about to be disappointed as the entertainment had not been booked.
Legatee volunteer and reservist Chief Petty Officer Marine Technician Leigh Ottway quickly came to the rescue, however, and contacted the Navy Band.
“I worked with Able Seaman Musician Stephanie McCorkelle before in HMAS Kanimbla during RIMPAC 2010,” he said.
“She returned my call within a couple of hours to confirm that she, along with Able Seaman Musician Nick Ashwood, had been approved to attend.”
Able Seaman McCorkelle said an added bonus for her on arrival at Legacy House was seeing her grandmother, Moreen ‘Tobbie’ Thomson, in the audience.
“I had a feeling she might have been there as Hobart is pretty small, and there aren’t too many women in their 90s involved in Legacy – I think she got the shock of her life to see me arrive,” she said.
“This is exactly the kind of thing I love to do with my job. I absolutely love performing for people who are involved in organisations like Legacy or the RSL."
“It’s important to support things like this as these people have been through so much and they deserve as much support as we can give them.”
Able Seaman McCorkelle said the highlight of the day was when the audience joined in and sang along to the songs they knew.
“Tobbie is not backward in coming forward so she insisted we play a few songs that they would know – I already thought we were doing this, so we adjusted our program slightly,” she said.
“We were warmly received when we played Cheek to cheek, Oh you beautiful doll and Can’t help loving that man of mine – you have to have those kinds of songs in your repertoire, just in case."
“Tobbie also politely informed us we were a little too loud for her liking, so we made a prompt adjustment there, too.”
Legacy volunteer Renee Patterson said it was only the second year they had run the high tea.
“We feel fortunate the Navy band members were able to support us,” she said.
“It meant the world to the ladies and legatees who were wowed by the performance of the fantastic duo."
“We are looking forward to the band returning to play at our annual Christmas party."
“We very much appreciate all the support we get from members of the Defence Force. We couldn’t do the work we do without it.”