As the sun went down on Good Friday, the sound of bagpipes rang out across Oamaru.
The North Otago Highland Pipe Band had gathered at Lookout Point to perform Amazing Grace, at the request of a former Oamaru man who now lives in the United States.
Snare drummer Jennifer Gower said she was contacted by the man, who wanted to remain anonymous, asking if three pipers could go up to the lookout and play Amazing Grace at sunset on Good Friday.
He did not give a reason why, but said if it went well, he might endow a fund for the band to make it an annual event.
“It was just a random request and we just emailed each other a number of times,” Mrs Gower said.
“He grew up in the ’50s in Oamaru, and I think he’s feeling a little bit nostalgic.
“He just had a lot of fond memories and he obviously really enjoys pipe bands.”
When Mrs Gower put the man’s request to band members, everyone was keen to be involved.
“They all love putting their kilts on and doing something a little bit out there,” she said.
On Good Friday, members of the band gathered at Cape Wanbrow and played a variety of songs for about half an hour, concluding the programme with Amazing Grace
“When the sky was looking really pretty and the sun was setting, we thought wrap this up and play Amazing Grace‘, so we ended with that,” she said.
The performance attracted more than 100 people to the lookout, and the band had received a lot of positive feedback from the community.
“We’ve had a lot of positive feedback, which is really cool, and [attracted] one new member as well, which is always good,” she said.
Mrs Gower sent a video of the performance to the man behind it, and she expected it would become an annual event, whether he made a donation to the band or not.
“I sent him the video and he was very pleased,” she said.
“Whether he gives us a little donation . . . I don’t think it will matter. I think we’re quite keen to do it anyway.
“It was lovely, it was beautiful.”
The man’s brother and sister-in-law travelled to Oamaru from Christchurch for the performance.