Queen’s Birthday marked by parade
Royal Bermuda Regiment soldiers were front and centre on Saturday as Bermuda celebrated the Queen’s Birthday with a parade in Hamilton.
Troops fired the traditional feu de joie — a rippling rifle salute — and a 21-gun salute with the RBR’s ceremonial 25-pounder guns, while the RBR Band and Corps of Drums performed a selection of military music and the national anthem.
Bill and Laurie Koehn, visiting the island from Philadelphia for the first time, were surprised by the pomp and pageantry of the occasion.
“It was great, impressive,” Mr Koehn said. “We just got off the ferry from Dockyard. We heard the guns and walked over to see what was happening.
“You’ve got a strong heritage and culture here and you should be proud of it.”
Ms Koehn added: “I can’t believe how impressive it was, the dress and the marching. I don’t think we see that too often at home. It was fun to see it.”
Cyril Rance, 82, of Pembroke and a former soldier in the Bermuda Rifles, one of the two predecessor regiments of the RBR with the Bermuda Militia Artillery, brought his two young granddaughters to watch the parade.
Mr Rance said: “I haven’t seen the parade for a few years, so I brought my granddaughters down to see how it’s done.”
Granddaughter Anabelle Morgan, 10, enjoyed the spectacle.
“I liked it,” she added. “It’s for the Queen’s Birthday.”
Terence and Elizabeth Horn, visiting family in Bermuda from the Cotswolds area in England, watched the parade from Front Street.
“It was absolutely splendid,” Ms Horn said. “We were watching the one in London on the BBC this morning and the Trooping of the Colour, but the Bermuda parade was very impressive.”
Jovette Trott, from Pembroke, saw her son Jokiya Trott, a member of the Regiment Police, take part in the parade, which also included detachments from the Junior Leaders, the Bermuda Police Service and the Sea Cadets.
“It was nice,” she said. “It’s my first time being able to see the parade. I enjoyed it. I liked it all. It was really exciting. I liked the cannons most.”
Governor George Fergusson took the Royal Salute and Michael Dunkley, the Premier, and the heads of the other services, as well as Charles Gosling, the Mayor of Hamilton, watched from the stand at the Flagpole on Front Street.
RBR commanding officer Lieutenant-Colonel David Curley said: “It went very well. It was a great day and the weather provided good conditions for it.
“Everyone on parade looked good. Our soldiers were the recruits who just completed recruit camp in January, so I’m particularly proud of them.
“It’s a very important tradition and the soldiers are very proud to get dressed up in their ceremonial uniforms and perform.
“It’s one of the roles the regiment has, but behind the scenes we’ve also been preparing ourselves for hurricane relief if the worst happens this year. We are versatile and ready for a variety of tasks.”
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