Piper makes 20 year milestone

Published on Friday, 20 November 2020 at 11:47:23 AM

As the sun set on the 79th anniversary of the sinking of the HMAS Sydney II, Tom Powell celebrated a 20 year milestone having played the bagpipes at the Commemorative Service since 2001.

Mr Powell’s musical talent has seen him a staple at all HMAS Sydney II Services, travelling from Denmark for the occasion.

In recognition of 20 years’ service, City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn and HMAS Memorial Warden Don Rolston, this week acknowledged Mr Powell for his service.

Mayor Shane Van Styn thanked Mr Powell on behalf of the wider Geraldton community for his dedication and contribution.

“If you’ve ever been to a HMAS Sydney II Commemorative Service you would have heard Tom play, and it is quite a moving experience,” he said.

“Some things change over the years, but Tom’s passion for what he does and his devotion to commemorating the 645 lives lost at sea is unwavering.

“On behalf of the Midwest community, I extend our utmost thanks to Tom for being such a stalwart in our services every year.”

Mr Powell has played the bagpipes for 65 years and says it is something he loves.

At his first Commemorative Service in 2001, Tom and his wife were living in Geraldton. Since then, the couple live down south and make the journey every year.

“I really love it and it’s been an honour for me to remember the fallen,” Mr Powell said.

“It’s my way of saying thanks to the veterans that served and fought for this country to help make Australia what it is today.

“It’s a very moving ceremony each year and I play from the heart.”

Mr Powell played at elements in last night’s Service including the Veterans’ March In and also the wreath laying ceremony.

This years’ commemorations were delivered in a digital format on the City’s social media channels with a pre-recorded service and a live stream of the wreath laying.

The videos combined have had more than 4,000 views.

The videos will remain on the City’s Facebook page and YouTube channel for those who were unable to watch on the night.

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