Young bugle player conquers nerves

By Andrew Bonallack editor@age.co.nz -
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Proud father Rhys Morgan congratulates his daughter, bugler Linda Morgan, 12, of the Masterton District Brass Band. PHOTO/ANDREW BONALLACK
Proud father Rhys Morgan congratulates his daughter, bugler Linda Morgan, 12, of the Masterton District Brass Band. PHOTO/ANDREW BONALLACK

Bugler Linda Morgan's knees might have been shaking, but her rendition of The Last Post and Reveille at Tinui's Anzac Day service rang out clear and true.

The 12-year-old cornet player from the Masterton District Brass Band stood tall on top of a light armoured vehicle with a 128-year-old bugle, in front of a crowd of around 700 outside the Tinui War Memorial Hall yesterday morning.

Tinui lays claim to being the first place in the world to have held an Anzac Day service, 100 years ago, which included the placing of a Memorial Cross on Tinui Taipo, or Mt Maunsell.

Linda confessed to some serious nerves before her performance, which followed the Lord's Prayer.

"Everyone said 'amen', and I had to force myself to do it," she said.

A look of support and a nod from her tutor, Don Banham, made her feel better as she stood on top of the LAV.

"Then I started playing, and it was fine -- but my left knee was shaking."

She said she had been practising with the bugle since October, and had been playing the cornet for four years.

Mr Banham, who had a 10-year career in the British Army, said he would have struggled to hear a bugler in the British Army do better.

Yesterday's service began with a march headed by the Manawatu Scottish Pipe Band, leading soldiers, veterans, Scouts, Guides and members of the public from the Tinui Cafe to the hall.

Officiating the service were Dick Treadwell, secretary of the Tinui Parsh Anzac Trust, and Reverend Steve Thomson.

Guest speaker Lieutenant-Colonel Aaron Mikkelsen told the audience he was the great-grandson of the Reverend Basil Ashcroft, who placed the cross in 1916.

"One hundred years ago, this community took a small step.

"Approximately 40 people erected a cross on the site.

"Little did they know, this humble act of remembrance would leave such a legacy."

He raised the issue of the flag referendum, a "robust" debate but one where people could vote, in a free society, without repercussions.

The service's conclusion timed perfectly with a flypast of three vintage biplanes, in Royal Flying Corps livery.

Wairarapa MP Alastair Scott and Masterton mayor Lyn Patterson attended the Tinui service, Masterton's dawn service, and Kaiparoro's service.

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