Able Musician Jessica Hix was the drummer for the catafalque guard at this year's 99th Anzac Commemorative services in Gallipoli.
26 April 2014
Rangiora's Able Musician (AMUS) Jessica Hix (24) is still coming to terms with the fact she was the drummer for the catafalque guard at this year's 99th Anzac Commemorative services in Gallipoli.
AMUS Hix joined the Royal New Zealand Navy band (RNZN) just before she completed her Bachelor of Music at the University of Canterbury two years ago.
"I was lucky to get the job with the band just before I graduated and I absolutely love what I do."
When she found out she was going to Gallipoli AMUS Hix couldn't believe her luck.
"To play at Gallipoli is one ceremony all of us in the band really want to do," she said.
Like many New Zealanders AMUS Hix had studied Gallipoli at school but really didn't have an appreciation of what had happened there.
"Our contingent spent a day visiting the cemeteries and sites of the Anzacs and it was a really emotional experience to get some insight into what the soldiers went through," she said.
"For me, seeing how young the men were who died at Gallipoli was really sad and emotional. Many of those who died were younger then me, they were just teenagers,” she said.
"It's hard to get your head around the fact they fought and died half a world away for us here in New Zealand."
AMUS Hix was also impressed at how gracious the Turkish people are.
"Given what has happened they are warm and welcoming to us. It has been an honour to be amongst them and learn a little about their culture while we have been here for the commemorations."
AMUS Hix had two roles at the two Gallipoli Anzac Commemorative Services.
The first was as the drummer for the guard where her job was to 'drum them on and off' and make sure they stayed in time.
The second was as the percussionist for the combined New Zealand Defence Force Band that played several times during at the evening during the Reflective Programme on the night of 24 April.
" It has been an incredibly humbling experience and I know I will not forget those who died for us at Gallipoli."