Queensland Music Festival One Hundred and One Years (1914 to 2015)
Thank you, Mr Chairman, for your kind introduction. I asked the Chairman at the start whether this would be a “tear jerker”. He said “yes”. I can tell you, ladies and gentlemen, that my tissue early on moved from my trouser pocket permanently to my jacket pocket.
The other issue which early on tonight distilled for me was nationalism: in the ‘good’ sense. War is awful, and the best corroboration of that is what the returning service men and women say. But extraordinarily something positive can come of it, as with our positive nationalism, and the security of the freedoms which we so readily take for granted.
And second, as I was thinking tonight, we are individually basically insignificant ciphers, though we can, individually, and amazingly, achieve something worthwhile.
Those things aside, may I say that I am really honoured tonight to welcome our German friends, from the Saxon Wind Philharmonic, and our US musician friends from the USS Blue Ridge, who have joined the Australian Army Band.
And finally, I enthusiastically recognise Queensland Music Festival Artistic Director Mr James Morrison, whose signature is so important to the Festival, truly a Queensland-wide festival, and tonight, freely open to all.