Prince Edward visits CedarBridge, MSA
The Earl of Wessex brought a light-hearted spirit to a formal visit this morning as the guest of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Bermuda.
The award is celebrating 50 years of service in Bermuda and Prince Edward paid a visit to CedarBridge Academy and Mount Saint Agnes where participants and representatives of the award from both schools, as well as from Berkeley Institute, were there to greet him.
The Earl, the youngest of the Queen and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh’s four children, was jovial in his manner, laughing with students but taking a keen interest in their achievements and involvement in the Duke of Edinburgh programme.
Unveiling plaques at both schools, he warned the students that unveilings were “not particularly exciting” and urged them to “pretend this is a very exciting moment ... by making a lot of noise” — a task the students at both schools revelled in.
The musical entertainment at CedarBridge matched the sentiment as the school band performed a rendition of Pharrell Williams’s Happy to welcome the Earl, as well as other dignitaries, including Governor John Rankin, Cole Simons, the new Minister of Education, Leah Scott, his junior minister.
At a presentation in the auditorium, long service awards were given to the school’s deputy principal, Chris Swan, and teacher Melanie Burrows, who have dedicated 20-plus years to the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme.
Head boy Isaiah Todd and head girl Viaire Robinson made speeches about the value the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in Bermuda and revealed that the island had one of the highest per capita rates of participation in the world.
Berkeley Institute alone has some 60 young people taking part, making up 10 per cent of the island’s participants. It also produced high numbers of participants who go on to achieve gold awards.
Taking to the podium, Prince Edward thanked Bermuda for inviting him to come and visit and said of the anniversary: “It is quite a milestone — one that is certainly worth celebrating”.
He thanked the “volunteers who make it all happen and you”, pointing to the participants. “I hope you are all enjoying the experience”.
After photographs, Prince Edward and his small entourage made the short journey to Mount Saint Agnes, which is celebrating its 127th birthday, to make a second presentation there.
Principal Sue Moench welcomed the royal visitor on stage in the auditorium as students waved their Bermuda flags above their heads.
Award leader and Duke of Edinburgh national assessor Charlene White was given a ten-year long service award for her “countless hours” of volunteering for the young participants.
Prince Edward was invited to sign a picture that will be mounted in the school to remind the students of the visit before lining up for formal photographs.
He is scheduled to attend a church service on Sunday morning at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity. Other Duke of Edinburgh-related activities during the Earl’s visit include the presentation of Gold Awards, attending a gala event and a 50th Anniversary Commemorative Church Service.
The Earl will also have an opportunity to see the America’s Cup facilities in Royal Naval Dockyard.
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