Lance Corporal Mark McKenzie, who is off to Gallipoli this month as part of the New Zealand Defence Force contingent.
New Zealand Army Bandsman Lance Corporal (LCPL) Mark McKenzie will have one of his bucket list wishes granted later this month when he sings the New Zealand National Anthem at the Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli in Turkey.
LCPL McKenzie, who grew up in Hornby in Christchurch and attended Riccarton High School, joined the Army in 1991 as a supplier for Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps. He later joined the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment as a guitarist/singer/ percussionist in the NZ Army Band (NZAB) which is based at Burnham Military Camp.
He said, "I’m so honoured to be able to sing at Gallipoli, it’s been on my bucket list since 1991."
LCPL McKenzie’s career highlights include trips overseas with the NZ Army Band to places including Australia, Hawaii, the United States, Dubai and Scotland.
"Every overseas trip has been a highlight. Washington DC in 1996 was amazing and playing during the Rugby World Cup last year was huge.
"I began singing when I was first in the NZAB in 1992. That developed more when I became a civilian musician in the bars and clubs around Christchurch. I had formal vocal tuition for a few years around 2000. My vocal tutor was so excited to hear I’d be singing the national anthem at such an incredible occasion."
The official New Zealand contingent travelling to Gallipoli includes the Vice Chief of Defence Force, Rear Admiral Jack Steer, and a small group of New Zealand Defence Force personnel including an Army chaplain, catafalque guard, and members of the NZ Army Band.
The Anzac Day ceremonies in Gallipoli begin on Saturday 24 April with the Turkish International Service and conclude with the New Zealand Service at Chunuk Bair on 25 April. The services will be attended by dignitaries from New Zealand, Australia and Turkey.
For further information please contact Ally Clelland, Defence Communications Group 021 569 130