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Our Committee is raising funds to create a lasting legacy telling the story of Lemnos' link to Gallipoli and Australia's Anzac story. Our projects include the Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial in Albert Park, the publication of a major new historical and pictorial publication and more. To make a donation you can also deposit directly by direct debit into the Committee's bank account: Account Name: Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee Inc; Bank: Delphi Bank; Account No: 204299-020 BSB No: 941300; Include your surname in the reference section. For further information on our legacy projects or to make a donation please contact either Lee Tarlamis 0411553009 or Jim Claven 0409402388M

Sunday, 14 February 2016

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Melbourne - February 2016

Photo Christina Despoteris 2016

I was fortunate enough to go to The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Melbourne on Sunday 14 February at Etihad Stadium. It was the fifth performance scheduled with a final sixth on Sunday night. Not bad as they had only scheduled two performances to start with. It was captivating from the start.
I had envisaged the roof open but it was shut, obviously Melbourne weather had something to do with it. The replica of the Edinburgh Castle stood tall as a backdrop for the entire performance. It was so realistic that you felt you were in Scotland.
The afternoon performance was very well attended with near a capacity crowd.The special guest for this performance was the Governor of Victoria, the Hon Linda Dessau AM. The Tattoo commenced with a tribute to the Anzacs. That was followed by the Massed Pipes and Drums from Scotland and Australia. 300 of the world's finest pipers and drummers. 
Then there were performances from the groups from New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Norway to name a few.
All of the groups were absolutely amazing. Their appearance, the uniforms, the choreography and the whole production was presented with absolute precision and accuracy. I was sitting in the third row from the front, centre left and was amazed at the meticulous presentation of each of the items on the program.All of the groups were applauded very loudly and with enthusiasm, but I must admit the loudest and most energetic applause was for the Australian Defence Force Bands and the South Australian Police Band. Call it patriotism or home soil advantage these two groups stole the show.
Anyone who has watched a Tattoo on television will recall the New Zealand Army Band which is internationally recognised as one of the finest military bands in the world. They don't only sound pitch perfect but they perform some very clever theatre which makes the audiences laugh.
The Band and Drill Team of His Majesty The King of Norway's Guard staged a dazzling musical, marching and drill display.
Switzerland's dynamic percussion ensemble from Basel performed a most enjoyable mix of musical and theatrical display. The finale featured the entire 1,200 strong cast with the Guard of Honour formed by Australia's Federation Guard. They performed the National Anthems of the UK and Australia, followed by Isa Lei, Auld Lang Syne, and then a tribute to personnel currently serving overseas and to the Anzacs who served all those years ago - Sunset and Evening Hymn - 'O' Valiant Hearts and The Lone Piper - After the Battle.
The event concluded with an incredible fireworks display. The Melbourne 2016 event is only the fourth time The Royal Edinburgh Tattoo has left Edinburgh. Over 1,200 performers took part in the event with 30 from Sweden, 45 from Tonga, 50 from Fiji, 110 from New Zealand, 130 from Norway, 285 from the UK and 530 from Australia. 
It took 42 Australian carpenters, painters and labourers to build the full size replica of the Castle and then 70 crew four days to install at Etihad. Around 200 crew worked on each performance. These include lighting, sound, pyrotechnics, wardrobe, back of house, stage managers and props handlers.
This has been the biggest live event in Melbourne since the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games.
Australia has been represented at 25 of the 65 Tattoo events in Edinburgh.
Since 1950, the Tattoo has played to more than 13 million audience members in Edinburgh and has been sold out for 17 consecutive years. It is broadcast to 40 countries and watched by around 100 million television viewers.
What does Tattoo mean?
The "Tattoo" takes its name from the cry of inn-keepers in Belgium and the Nederlands over 300 years ago. They ordered "Doe den Tao toe" (turn off the taps) when the pipes and drums of the local regiment marched through the streets signalling the soldiers to return to the barracks.

Extracts from the official program are reproduced below.
Christina Despoteris
Vice President
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee



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