Newcastle musician Grego Pillay releases Anzac Day song, We Will Remember Them

RESPECT: Newcastle musician and minister Grego Pillay has written a new song about the Anzacs. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts
RESPECT: Newcastle musician and minister Grego Pillay has written a new song about the Anzacs. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

Music has long played a leading role in Grego Pillay's life so it was only natural when wanting to find a way to "give back" to the country he feels has blessed him and his family so much that he would turn to song to do so.

The Newcastle father, musician and minister of the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Toronto and Boolaroo has released a new song titled We Will Remember Them in time for Anzac Day.

"I wrote the song in memory and tribute to the great Anzacs who fought for freedom," Pillay said.

"The legacy of their hard work and sacrifice lives on to this day. I wanted to honour that."

Pillay moved from South Africa to Australia with his wife, Dr Jessica Maistry, and their two children in 2007.

The longer he lived in Australia the more, Pillay said, he came to understand about the culture and qualities the nation and its residents pride themselves on - endurance, courage, ingenuity, good humour and mateship, qualities that are intrinsically linked to the Anzacs.

These qualities are often defined as the Anzac spirit.

"There is great celebration for and emphasis on the Anzacs in this country," Pillay said.

"The Anzac legend is something very unique to Australian culture, something that's vastly different to other cultures in the world. The Anzacs had these qualities that modern Australians see in themselves.

"There's a profound culture of mateship in this country, we champion the underdog and see people for who they are. From my perspective, Australian culture is about equality; we're equal regardless of education status, background or wealth."

We Will Remember Them

In 2014 Pillay and his family became "fully fledged Aussies".

As an Australian citizen, Pillay said he wanted to contribute to his country, which is where the idea for the song was born.

"Music is a significant part of what I do in everything. I deal with everything through a musical lens. I listen to music before making decisions, it's part of my ministry," he said.

"Australia is a nation that has embraced me and my family. It's significant that I can contribute to my country through music, to sing this song as a tribute to the Anzacs."

Pillay released his first musical recording, an 11-track album titled Never Let Go, in 2017. The album covers gospel, blues, country, classical, swing and light rock.

While his favourite instrument is the voice - "it's the instrument I can take everywhere with me" - Pillay has taught himself to play the guitar, piano, harmonica, saxophone and cello.

The independently released We Will Remember Them is Pillay's next public offering, which he hopes will be the first in a new series inspired by the Australian landscape, people and culture.

Grego Pillay has released a new song about the Anzacs titled We Will Remember Them. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

Grego Pillay has released a new song about the Anzacs titled We Will Remember Them. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

We Will Remember Them lyrics

They were fighting for our freedom

In a land far away

Leaving behind family

And now they go to battle

Not sure to return

Giving their lives as a sacrifice

Giving their lives for a future that's bright

They were mighty men of valour

Worriers for truth

Soldiers in the battle

We will salute

At the going down of the sun

And in the morning

We will remember

We will remember them

And now we celebrating

The victory today

Remembering our heroes

On this special day

Men who were courageous

Solid in the faith

Determined to go all the way

Unafraid unashamed

Determined to go all the way

Unafraid unashamed

They were mighty men of valour

Worriers for truth

Soldiers in the battle

We will salute

At the going down of the sun

And in the morning

We will remember

We will remember them

We will remember

We will remember them

We will remember

We will remember them