If music is the ‘universal language of mankind’ then the Royal Australian Navy Band kept their communicating all weekend, with three community concerts over the three day period at the Albany Convoy Commemorative Event.
Uniformed musicians mustered at the Albany Entertainment Centre and struck up a tune to honour the 100th anniversary of the First World War departure from Albany.
Australia and New Zealand continue to support each other, whether on the battlefield or onstage. The Royal Australian Navy Band and the New Zealand Defence Force Band performed music known to the Australians of 1914 and played a contemporary selection of music popular to all ages in the audience.
Seaman Musician Ben Smith, a bugler in the Navy band, reflected on his role and his personal experiences over the weekend.
“It’s been an amazing experience, participating in this event has been an honour and privilege.
“It’s been very emotional. The Troop March with the old diggers brought tears to everyone’s eyes. To be leading the parade in the band has been truly amazing and it was good to be part of the spectacular Ceremonial Sunset. We have done many of these ceremonies before but certainly not on a world stage with a live broadcast which makes this even more special,” Seaman Smith said.
Able Seaman Musician Nadene Starkie, a vocalist in the Royal Australian Navy Band, grew up in Albany, paid tribute to the host city.
“The experience was fantastic and Albany has done a great job in renewing history,” Able Seaman Starkie said.
The New Zealand Defence Force Maori Cultural Group (Te Roopu Kapahaka o te Ope Katua o Aotearoa) also presented a classic programme of songs and dances which made them a hit during recent overseas performances.