Traffic-stopper: Graeme Glass strikes a chord with Arthurs Pointers by playing a lament for Edith Cavell on Edith Cavell Bridge on Anzac Day. PICTURE: 222 PHOTOGRAPHIC STUDIOS


An Anzac Day tradition on Queenstown’s Edith Cavell Bridge, started during lockdown last year, was observed again last Sunday when a local bagpiper honoured the World War I nurse the bridge is named after.

During lockdown, Graeme Glass, 68, played the pipes on his Arthurs Point balcony about every second day at noon.

‘‘A few people started noticing.

‘‘Someone up the hill from us came down and had this idea I play on the Edith Cavell  Bridge at midday on Anzac Day.’’

After a bit of publicity, he guesses half the Arthurs Point community turned up — socially distancing — to watch him play the lament, Nurse Edith Cavell, and a few other tunes.

Due to Alert Level 4 restrictions, there was hardly any traffic on the road last year, so he could take his time.

Edith Cavell was a British nurse executed by German firing squad in World War I for having helped hundreds of Allied soldiers escape German-occupied Belgium.

By chance, Glass used to play the lament on Anzac Day with the Mackenzie Pipe Band  when he used to live in Fairlie.

This year, Arthurs Point-based councillor Craig ‘Ferg’ Ferguson persuaded him to again play the lament, same time, same place, on Anzac Day.

Glass says Ferguson ‘‘and some other guy had stop-go paddles’’.

‘‘I just played for a couple of minutes’’ to a good-sized crowd.

‘‘There was a line-up of cars both sides so I didn’t really want to go upsetting the apple cart too much.’’

Glass adds: ‘‘Ferg’s pretty keen to do it again next year and try and publicise it a bit more.’’