Murray Hovey has become a fixture at Anzac and Remembrance day services over the last three decades.
But the local RSL is now looking for a new bugler with Murray and his wife Debbie moving to Queensland next month to be closer to their son and daughter and other family members.
Murray told the Tenterfield Star that the border closures during the pandemic over the last two years had helped them make the decision to move on after 30 years in Tenterfield.
"Our son's living in Queensland and our daughter's now moved up there as well, Deb's mum is there and is now in her 80s."
Toowoomba is likely to be their next home, Murray said, so that city might just find it has a new bugler for military services.
Murray first learnt to play the trumpet when he was child and as a teenager he first played The Last Post and Reveille for RSL clubs in Brisbane.
Fast forward to the 1990s, and Murray had not played for many years at the time he and Debbie moved to Tenterfield from their home in Brisbane, but that was about to change after they attended their first Tenterfield dawn service.
"It was about minus five, and they had an old tape recorder, and the batteries struggled in the cold weather," Murray said.
With the bugle's tempo sounding slower than it should, Debbie suggested to Murray he should start playing again. Then she gave him a bigger nudge.
"Next birthday she bought me a trumpet and said 'learn how to play this'," he said.
Murray soon offered his services to the Tenterfield RSL Sub Branch and has been playing on Anzac Day and Remembrance Day ever since.
Some years it has seen him play up to four times at different services on Anzac Day, while it has also brought other invitations to play locally.
"One of the hospitals saw me and said 'why don't you come up and entertain the patients?'
"I said 'but the only two songs I know are The Last Post and Reveille, I don't think that's quite appropriate for a hospital'.
"But I did go up many years later after I got a few more songs under my belt."
On Saturday, February 12, the RSL Sub Branch held its annual dinner at the Tenterfield Golf Club, where they took the opportunity to say farewell.
Sub Branch President Dave Stewart presented Murray with a framed collage of photos of him playing the bugle over the years, and Murray picked up the bugle to play one last time locally.
Mr Stewart said the sub branch was very sincere in its appreciation of the 30 years' dedicated service Murray had given to the veterans and their families of the Tenterfield RSL Sub Branch, as well as the wider community.
While he will be missed, looking back on his years in Tenterfield, Murray said there is a lot he will miss about the town.
"I know so many people here now, and in a bigger centre you tend to miss all that," he said.
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