Mu­sic - the pass­port to the world

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS - RICHARD MAYS

Any eu­pho­ria sur­round­ing the 90th birth­day cel­e­bra­tions of Queen El­iz­a­beth has been well and truly smoked by the Brexit furore.

Thanks to mu­sic, two city real es­tate per­son­al­i­ties with Queen’s Birth­day con­nec­tions can of­fer unique per­spec­tives on those hal­cyon days of early June.

Murray Mans­field and Tim Cook work for Har­courts, but mu­sic has pro­vided a right royal pass­port to a world of travel, ex­pe­ri­ence and in­sight.

While Murray was hon­oured with a QSM for his ser­vices to pipe bands, Tim got to play for the Queen as a mem­ber of the New Zealand Army Band, pre­viewed by The Tri­bune back in April.

Murray is still com­ing to terms with his QSM.

‘‘It’s hard to ex­plain. It’s a huge hon­our and ex­tremely hum­bling that some­one put all that time and ef­fort into the nom­i­na­tion.’’

Being a piper was an ac­ci­dent of birth.

‘‘Both my parents played. I had no choice,’’ he laughs, ‘‘like my daugh­ter Me­gan.’’

The piper and tu­tor is a mul­ti­win­ner of New Zealand’s premier solo pip­ing com­pe­ti­tions, played at Chunuk Bair for 2015’s An­zac Day cen­te­nary com­mem­o­ra­tions, has been to nine world pip­ing cham­pi­onships in Scotland, and was Queens piper for the 2003 Royal Visit to New Zealand.

‘‘I have a pic­ture of the Queen tak­ing pho­to­graphs of me, with her own cam­era.’’

Tim is an old air­force buddy, and played in Eng­land as a mem­ber of the renowned New Zealand Army Band for the of­fi­cial 90th fes­tiv­i­ties.

‘‘It was big­ger than Ben Hur – 1500 par­tic­i­pants, 900 horses – the quin­tes­sen­tial Bri­tish oc­ca­sion,’’ Tim says. ‘‘It was like a Com­mon­wealth Games. There was a huge spe­cially cre­ated sta­dium in the Queen’s pri­vate gar­dens which are only open to the pub­lic five times a year.’’

The band played four con­secu- tive evening per­for­mances, with Her Majesty in at­ten­dance on the fi­nal night, and for the Royal Wind­sor Horse Show at the same venue dur­ing the day. The band also put on a pri­vate ‘‘com­mand per­for­mance’’ in the gar­dens for an au­di­ence of five – the Queen, Prince Phillip, the pageant di­rec­tor and two as­sis­tants.

Af­ter that came the un­ex­pected. The 90-year-old monarch got in be­hind the wheel of her old Jag Es­tate and drove off, with Prince Phillip driv­ing away in an older model Range Rover.

‘‘In their own patch, they are real people,’’ Tim says. ‘‘I don’t know if ei­ther of them has a li­cence.’’

Tim Cook in his NZ Army Band uni­form and piper Murray Mans­field QSM re­flect on where their part-time mu­si­cal ca­reers have taken them.

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