Busker takes aim at cancer in new battle for instrument of war

FORMER Warrnambool City Council chief executive Lindsay Merritt is playing a different tune for a good cause.

Most days in the lead-up to Christmas, shoppers will find Mr Merritt working his magic on a 108-year-old euphonium   on the footpath at the Target Centre in Koroit Street.

The Woodford resident will busk with the vintage instrument, which resembles a tuba but is smaller, and all the money he raises will go to Peter’s Project.

Mr Merritt began learning the euphonium in high school but acquired the prized possession in the late 1970s.

He was helping an eldery World War I veteran shift house when he came across the instrument in the garage and bought it from the veteran, who had played the euphonium in the battalion band during active service in the war on the Western Front. 

A self-confessed “mature” man, Mr Merritt said it was his first time busking and admitted to some minor nerves.

“When you do busk for the first time it’s a bit hard to know what to expect,” Mr Merritt said.

“I’m not an old hand at this by any means.”

Mr Merritt will play traditional Christmas carols and said he was more than happy to do his bit for Peter’s Project. 

“It’s a marvellous project which will benefit the health needs of those in the region, even into South Australia,” he said. 

“I’m happy to do this little bit. It provides some Christmas spirit in the lead-up. It’s always nice having music in the street.

“It’s marvellous to see the generosity of people, even if it’s only a few coins. It helps people participate in supporting Peter’s Project.”

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