6 June 2012
POMUS Andrew Lile on parade during the Samoan 50th Anniversary of Independence Celebrations in Apia.
Royal New Zealand Navy Petty Officer Andrew Lile has just returned from Samoa, where the Navy Band performed to support the 50th Anniversary of Independence celebrations on 1 June 2012.
Andrew plays the trombone, which he learned at Avondale College, and has been a member of the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) Band for seven years. Prior to that, he spent five years in the British Army and was a member of the Coldstream Guards Band.
Twenty one members of the RNZN Band were in Samoa for the independence celebrations. They marched in the parade during the early morning, and then performed for the thousands of people in the crowd during the afternoon. They also took part in a float parade through the streets of Apia the following day.
Andrew has previously played in Korea, Abu Dhabi, Tonga, Gallipoli and London, but says that Samoa has been a highlight for him.
"I had a really great time, being a part of the 50th Independence Celebrations. The passion and pride the Samoans feel for their country is amazing, and they really appreciated us being there on their special day. Marching and playing in the heat was particularly challenging, but it was worth it to see the smiles in the crowd."