The Plainsmen Take Part in Citizens' ANZAC Service

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Once again The Plainsmen were privileged to take part on the Citizens' ANZAC Service held in the Transitional Cathedral on Monday 25th April, 2016.It is always a privilege to take part in these memorial services. Few families of my generation were untouched by the two Great Wars of last century and it is always good to remember what happened and why, and from that to learn some lessons for the future. It always interests me how the emphasis has changed. In my youth war was still being glorified - it was the manly thing to unquestioningly “do and die” for King and country. Nowadays there’s a lot more thinking and questioning being done. War is seen for the tragedy that it is and we are encouraged to act on well-founded moral principles rather than jingoistic, mindless “patriotism”.

And so it was at this year’s Citizens' Anzac Service. Civil organisations such as the Boys Brigade, St John and the Fire Service paraded with flags alongside representatives of the Armed Services and RSA from both sides of the Tasman. Local bodies and Government were represented. People of all ages and cultures took part in the service, leading the readings and prayers.The Mayor spoke briefly and the main address, focused on modern peacekeeping and humanitarian aid rather than armed conflict - a role that seems to fit comfortably with the nation’s mood.

The Plainsmen contributed in the lead-up to and following the service, interspersing our songs with items by the Canterbury Brass, who also provided the accompaniment for the hymn singing. What an inspirational outfit they are! Their delivery is just sublime. Such energy, passion and sensitivity to the music. I have never heard Last Post played so well, with such clarity in the notes - spine-tingling stuff.  

The Plainsmen performed well. Chance Encounter, a new quartet, sang for the first time at a “serious” event.  Roger Southcott, once again, excelled himself - his rendition of “Bring him Home” just continues to improve with each performance.

The Plainsmen have a long history of involvement with the Anglican Cathedral and we look forward to continuing that relationship in the future.