Remembering fallen pipers

Piper Mervyn Speedie.

MERVYN SPEEDIE will be commemorating the ANZAC’s this year by standing at the end of his Atwell driveway and playing The Last Post on his bagpipes. 

“Everyone will be playing the bugle,” he said. “Why not play the bagpipes?” 

Mr Speedie has been playing the bagpipes since he was a boy and served in the Army Reserves music band for 35 years.

For 12 years, he travelled to Newman to play the bagpipes at the Anzac service there. 

“At the ceremonies in Newman, the pipes were always playing when the wreaths were laid,” he said. 

Mr Speedie is also the only WA pipes player to have had the opportunity in 1990 to play in front of the Royal family for the Beating Retreat Ceremony in London. 

Now 79 years old, Mr Speedie wants to commemorate the fallen bagpipe musicians who served in the Army. 

“A lot of pipes were killed,” he said. 

Mr Speedie was due to play at Rottnest Island’s Anzac ceremony this year but social distancing restrictions prevented the event. 

Listen out for Mr Speedie on Sedge Link in Atwell. 

Service, sacrifice

ANZAC DAY might look a little different this year with people restricted to their driveways 

and online services, but it presents Australians with a special opportunity to reflect on community service and sacrifice, says federal Labor MP Josh Wilson.

“It provides an opportunity to consider that in times of crisis we can choose to live up to the best 

in our national character – to be compassionate, to show courage, to respect sacrifice, Mr Wilson said.

“As well as remembering Australians who have served and and suffered in all conflicts and operations, this year we should recognise those personnel who are supporting the Covid-19 pandemic response and bushfire recovery efforts.

“This Anzac Day we should consider our own local history of brave and selfless service in not dissimilar circumstances more than a hundred years ago.

“In 1918, despite the grave danger involved every single army nurse aboard the troop ship Wyreema volunteered to provide care to the hundreds of troops and crew from the Spanish flu-stricken troopship Boonah who were landed at Woodman Point Quarantine Station.”

Mr Wilson said apart from tuning into to televised dawn services and holding dawn services on their driveway, people should pick up the phone and contact veterans who might be self-isolating at home to see how they’re going.

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