Music - the passport to the world
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.