Tenterfield’s sole bugler Murray Hovey played the haunting Last Post and Reveille on four occasions on Anzac Day: Tenterfield’s dawn service, cemetery service and the commemoration service back at Memorial Hall, and at Mingoola in the afternoon.
He also plays on Remembrance Days, RSL funerals at the family’s request, and on other special occasions like the recent F-111 crash anniversary service.
Mr Hovey has assumed bugling duties since he and wife Debbie attended a dawn service in the early 1990s in -0.4 degrees temperature where an old tape recorder had been enlisted to play the important pieces.
The recorder’s batteries struggled in the cold temperatures and the outcome was less than satisfactory.
“Debbie bought me a trumpet for my next birthday, with Anzac Day in mind,” Mr Hovey said.
This wasn’t his first time entrusted with the task, however.
“I played trumpet as a kid, and did Last Post and Reveille from when I was around 13 years old.
I played trumpet as a kid, and did Last Post and Reveille from when I was around 13 years old.Murray Hovey
“Then work, motorbikes, girls and life in general got in the way, and I sold the trumpet.”
While he normally uses the new trumpet these days, on special occasions he enlists the historic bugle belonging to the Kneipp family, used by Terry’s uncle Norm on the battlefields of Palestine in WWI.
When Norm was killed in action, Lieutenant Colonel MF Bruxner returned the bugle to the family where it has been passed down as a treasured memento.
He said he was somewhat concerned when initially presented with the Kneipp bugle, suggesting that he try it out at home first, given its condition.
“I found it produces the most amazing sound,” he said, “so much better than any trumpet or other bugle.”
The Hoveys are a trumpeting family, with son Nicholas helping with bugling duties when he’s in town.
Hovey Snr was also hoping to recruit daughter Melissa, but a new baby has put those plans on hold.
Mr Hovey said he no longer gets nervous when it’s his time to perform.
“I can tell if I’ve played well because the hairs stand up on the back of my neck,” he said.
Despite the unkind conditions and the challenge of coaxing notes out of a freezing instrument, Mr Hovey is more than happy to perform his duties.
“It’s just a bit of respect for people who served, as my father as some of my brothers did,” he said.
Watch Murray Hovey playing the Last Post on the celebrated bugle.
Which is generally followed by Reveille (or The Rouse, as it is officially known.)