Emotional launch for children's picture book on Anzac Day commemoration
Tinui: The Last Post launch video
Michelle O'Connell speech
'The launch of Michelle O’Connell’s new children’s picture book “Tinui: The Last Post” was marked by emotional and thoughtful contributions.
The launch was held at the Masterton District Library on 22 April and opened with a video showing the then 12-year-old bugler Linda Morgan who played The Last Post and Revelle at the Tinui Anzac Day commemorations in 2016, 100 years after they were held.
Tinui is believed to be the first place in the world to have held formal Anzac Day commemorations.
Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson, who launched Tinui: The Last Post, acknowledged the work Michelle did on this book and her previous two books: “Leaving for the Front” and “The Crossing”.
“It is about remembering our history, so that our children remember and the connection to their family members who have gone before them.”
Wairarapa Returned Services Association president Bob Hill recounted how the men from the district went to fight in the war for “king and country” but had paid a terrible price in lives lost and lives shattered.
As much as commemorations were important, it was also about the people, their families and the community of Tinui.
“Michelle, this is a fantastic book and I’m sure it will inspire a lot of young people.”
Rhys Morgan, the father of bugler-player Linda, recounted the family’s connections to Tinui through Flying Officer Bernard Morgan who didn’t come back, being one of the last casualties of the Pacific War in World War Two.
When he was approached to supply a bugle player, Linda was chosen as being the right fit for the instrument. Much practice followed, right up until the time she mounted the LAV on Anzac Day.
“Linda, we are very proud of what you did on that day,” Rhys said.
Michelle, a Masterton-based author and illustrator, spoke about how she had gone with her father to Tinui to view the commemoration with the idea of a book in the back of her mind.
She saw how the students from Tinui and Whareama schools were moved when they read the names of the war dead on the cenotaph.
Linda started to play The Last Post, and Michelle began to think of her own relatives who had fought in World Wars One Two and had survived, unlike so many others.Her father tapped her on the shoulder, making her aware of Linda standing on a Light Armoured Vehicle, playing her bugle “flawlessly”.“I knew then that my book would be her story told through her music – as an indescrible feeling that takes over your life. It took over my life.”
The result was the book, which Michelle says is heartfelt and can only have been inspired by the location and the people.
Follow the link to view the full version of the launch of Tinui: The Last Post
Michelle O’Connell talking about the making of the book Tinui: The Last Post.