Royal Nanny International Tattoo honours longtime show supporter
By Virginia Beaton,
On Saturday, July 18, the sound of bagpipes welcomed Mrs. Joyce Meikle to the Royal Nanny International Tattoo. Inside the Common Support Training Facility at Stadacona, the Stadacona Band of the Royal Canadian Navy, the 12 Wing Shearwater Pipes and Drums, and the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo Highland Dance Team awaited.
Mrs. Meikle, aka Nanny, is a longtime supporter of the Tattoo. Now aged 88, she has attended the show every year since the Tattoo began in 1979, turning it into a family tradition that now includes her grandchildren. When this year’s Tattoo was cancelled in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mrs. Meikle’s granddaughter Allison contacted Tattoo organizers to see what could be done to arrange a surprise performance for Mrs. Meikle.
The result was a half-hour mini-Tattoo that was broadcast live on the Tattoo’s Facebook page. With the help of the Canadian Armed Forces, the show presented live entertainment to a small, socially distanced number of attendees comprising Mrs. Meikle and members of her family. The We are Young Association, a non-profit group that grants unfulfilled wishes to Nova Scotia seniors, also provided support to the event.
The Stadacona Band played marches including Heart of Oak, and the band’s drum line took a solo turn. The 12 Wing Shearwater Pipes and Drums played several tunes and also accompanied the Highland Dancers. The event concluded with the Tattoo’s annual rendition of Scotland the Brave, followed by Black Bear, which is always played as the performers march off.
Capt(N) David Mazur, CFB Halifax Base Commander, was among those present and in his remarks, he thanked all the performers, noting the lengthy partnership between the Tattoo and the CAF that made possible the annual production of the show. The Royal Nanny International Tattoo “is a step towards normalcy,” he observed.