Apr 27, 2020

80-Year-Old Man With Dementia Plays ‘The Last Post’ From His Driveway

Australians and New Zealanders may be rivals in a sporting sense, but there is no denying the mutual respect and admiration shared between the two neighbours from across the ditch.

The bond between the two countries was forged on the battlefields of Gallipoli, and once a year both countries come together to honour all of the brave servicemen who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

Although COVID-19 restrictions ensured that ANZAC Day commemorations across both countries were remarkably different this year, homemade tributes from individuals of both countries still managed to pull at the heartstrings.

Since being diagnosed with dementia 15 years ago, 80-year-old Peter Cullimore’s short-term memory has deteriorated a point where “he forgets things pretty much straight away,” his daughter told the NZ Herald.

In recent years, science has clearly demonstrated the powerful effects that music can have on the memories of people living with dementia.

So it should come as no shock that Mr Cullimore’s cognitive decline was no match for the musical skills that he acquired playing for the Timaru Main School Bugle Band more than 70 years ago.

Early on Saturday morning, 80-year-old Peter stood at the top his driveway and delivered a stirring rendition of The Last Post that brought tears to the eyes and shivers to the spines of all that have heard it.

Footage of Peter’s amazing performance that was posted to his daughter Tracey’s Facebook page has now been seen well over 20,000 times with many commenting that the rendition brought tears to the eyes.

In the caption for the video, Peter’s daughter revealed that she could not be prouder of her father.

“Peter is fighting his own battle with Dementia, but still hasn’t forgotten what he learnt in the Timaru Main School Bugle Band 70 years ago, I am very proud of him, love u always dad, always my hero,” she wrote.

In an article with the NZ Herald, Peters daughter Tracey revealed that her father has been in self-isolation with his wife who also acts as his carer.

While Tracey herself only lives five minutes away from her parents home but she stays in touch via phone for social distancing purposes.

Tracey has been overwhelmed with the attention that her father’s video has received and says it just a shame that he can’t understand just how popular he has actually become.


Photo courtesy of Tracey Cullimore

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