Honour for the Royal Bermuda Regiment on Armed Forces Day
The Royal Bermuda Regiment was honoured during a ceremony reaffirming its right to the freedom of the City of Hamilton on Saturday morning.
The Regiment band led a parade of troops through the streets of the capital before arriving at City Hall, where they were met by Hamilton mayor Charles Gosling.
Before the proclamation was delivered, Mr Gosling praised the force for the selfless manner in which it served.
He said: “Today is Armed Forces Day, which honours and respects current and past members of the British armed forces. This day is also recognised in Bermuda.
“We are fortunate being an island 600 miles from the nearest shore to have nature be our true barricade. But this does not mean that we do not have to protect our shores. Nor does it mean that we can be blissful in our isolation.
“Bermuda has answered the call many times and we commemorate those we have lost in wars and other actions on Remembrance Day.
“The Royal Bermuda Regiment is also called to provide other services. The assistance you provide during hurricanes is described as a ”clean-up”. Those two words do not in any way show the true work that you do helping Bermuda get back on its feet, and it is much appreciated.
“You were called to assist Bermuda in the most recent pandemic and you would not think operating a traffic control stop would be life-threatening and yet, for one member of the Regiment, it was.
“Did it deter the Regiment from doing its duty? No, it did not.
“We fellow Bermudians have great pride in how you represent the island and the selfless manner in which you protect us.
“It is with this in mind that, as mayor of the city it gives me great pleasure to reaffirm upon the Bermuda Regiment the freedom of the city with all its rights and privileges.
“Respect is earned, and you gentlemen and ladies have earned it. Thank you again. Welcome to City Hall, welcome to Hamilton. Thank you.”
To see a photo gallery of the event, click here.
Rena Lalgie, the Governor, accepted the honour as the head of the Regiment.
Dressed in battle fatigues, Ms Lalgie outlined the essential work carried out by the Regiment.
She said: “We are here this morning on Armed Forces Day to show our support for the men and women of the Royal Bermuda Regiment.
“Over the last 15 months the Regiment has played a vital role in supporting this island in its recovery from the Covid-19 global pandemic.
“In just over two months, Bermuda will enter the most demanding period of what is projected to be an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season.
“As ever, the soldiers of the Regiment, in the spirit of selfless commitment, stand ready to leave their loved-ones and their homes to serve the people of Bermuda by carrying out their duties both at land at sea.
“Mayor Gosling, on behalf of all ranks of the Regiment, I thank you for the enduring support that you and your councillors have given this unit and its forebears, and for today’s reaffirmation of the freedom of the City of Hamilton, first granted to the Regiment during its 50th anniversary celebrations in 2015.”
The Regiment’s commanding officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Ben Beasley, thanked Mr Gosling, saying that it was “an honour and a privilege” to lead an organisation that “contributes so much to the defence and security of Bermuda and its people.”
The official proclamation was then delivered by Hamilton town crier Ed Christopher on behalf of the mayor.
It read: “The city is proud to support all the men and women of Bermuda who are currently serving, veterans, or junior leaders of the Royal Bermuda Regiment – individuals who are drawn from every corner and every profession of our island, and who take a month out of every year to serve their country, continuing an unbroken 400-year tradition of service in Bermuda.
“On Armed Forces Day we honour and offer our profound appreciation and gratitude to the Royal Bermuda Regiment who, since 1965 have stood ready to protect the people, property, livelihoods and interests of Bermuda.
“Whereas we recognise the monumental role the Bermuda regiment has played this past year in the fight against Covid-19, putting down their arms to assist the community during this crisis.
“Therefore, in recognition of Armed Forces Day 2021, we, the mayor and councillors of the City of Hamilton, thereby reaffirm upon the Royal Bermuda Regiment the freedom of entry to the City of Hamilton with the associated rights and privilege to march through the city, colours flying and band playing.”