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Corner Brook teen is local Legion’s official bugler


Published on August 10, 2017

Katie Thistle is the official bugler for Branch 13 of the Royal Canadian Legion in Corner Brook. She’s seen here while playing “The Last Post” at the National Peacekeepers’ Day ceremony in Corner Brook on Wednesday.

©Diane Crocker/The Western Star

Katie Thistle has spent a few years of her young life watching others play “The Last Post” at Remembrance Day and other events hosted by Branch 13 of the Royal Canadian Legion in Corner Brook.

Peacekeeper George Cake lowers the United Nations peacekeeping flag during the National Peacekeepers’ Day ceremony at the Bay of Islands War Memorial in Corner Brook on Wednesday. A monument to peacekeepers is located at the site.
Diane Crocker/The Western Star

And many times the 17-year-old has thought, “I could probably do that someday.”
Well that someday has come for the member of the 2590 Gallipoli Royal Canadian Army Cadets.
Thistle has been playing trumpet for about five years and after playing at the Memorial Day ceremony at the Bay of Islands War Memorial on July 1 was asked by the Legion to become its official bugler.
It’s a role that Branch 13 president Denis Parizeau said hasn’t existed in his time with the Legion.
Usually the Legion will get a member of one of the local cadet groups or someone from the Salvation Army to fill the role. When they can’t find someone to play live they resort to using a recorded version.
While thankful for having the help from others, Parizeau said the Legion wanted to have someone they could count on more regularly.
“She is going to do it now and that’s fantastic,” said Parizeau.
Thistle’s first official event took place Wednesday when she played “The Last Post” and “Rouse” during the Western Newfoundland Chapter of the Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping’s annual National Peacekeepers’ Day event at the Bay of Islands War Memorial.
“I was kind of nervous because I always get really nervous when I play,” said Thistle after her performance. “It was also super exciting because it’s always a really important event.”
About to enter Level 3 at Corner Brook Regional High, Thistle said she’s always enjoyed playing “The Last Post.”
“Once you start and you see people around you, you know that they are just appreciative that you are there. And so you feel really good that you’re helping out the community, and the veterans and the Legion.”
Thistle said she was happy to become the Legion’s official bugler.
“I’ve always been here, I’ve always been really active with cadets and coming to these ceremonies and I’ve always thought they needed someone.”
Thistle has been at events where a keyboard was used. “And it does not sound the same,” she said.
The trumpet, she said, gives it a better representation. “And overall respect.”
She said being there with the veterans can be emotional.
“It’s kind of hard sometimes because you know they’ve gone through a lot and you don’t know how to empathize so you do the best you can to support and show your respect.”

dcrocker@thewesternstar.com
Twitter: WS_DianeCrocker
 

Peacekeepers Albert O’Connell, left, and Eugene Bellows placed a wreath at the peacekeepers monument on behalf of the Western Newfoundland Chapter of the Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping during Wednesday’s ceremony to mark National Peacekeepers’ Day at the Bay of Islands War Memorial in Corner Brook. This year’s ceremony also marked the 61st anniversary of the first United Nations Peacekeeping Operation, the Suez Crisis of 1956. Bellows served during that operation.

©Diane Crocker/The Western Star

Mike Martin of the Western Newfoundland Chapter of the Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping lead the ceremony commemorating National Peacekeepers’ Day at the Bay of Islands War Memorial in Corner Brook on Wednesday. Several wreaths were placed at the peacekeepers monument at the site during the event.

©Diane Crocker/The Western Star