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‘Walk a few inches taller’, Prince tells Gold Award winners

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The Earl of Wessex began his whirl-wind tour of the Island yesterday by meeting with ten Duke of Edinburgh Gold award recipients.

Prince Edward, a trustee of the D of E Award Foundation, was accompanied by his wife the Countess of Wessex at the first stop of the day, an awards ceremony at The Centre on Angle Street in Hamilton.

He praised recipients including Rachael Antonition, Arthur Begeman, Nicole Botelho, Tyaneil Darrell, Aysha DeSilva, Kristen Greene, Chimoa Nwasike, Che-Quan Richardson, Trae Trott and Jahkhari Woods.

They all recently completed their D of E Gold expeditions.

“When you walk out of this room, walk a few inches taller. You all know a lot of your friends who maybe started with their bronze and maybe got through their silver, but they didn't get all the way.

“There may be others who say ‘oh I can do that' but the difference is you know you can. Well done.”

The Earl and Countess of Wessex spent nearly half an hour speaking with participants and posing for pictures.

Jahkhari Woods, 17, of the Berkeley Institute said meeting the Royal couple “felt great”.

“It's the second royal person I have met. I met the Duchess of Gloucester when she came in October,” he said.

Mr Woods plans to travel to Germany soon, where he will train as a D of E award leader. He hopes to “give back so that others get a chance to enjoy what I have enjoyed”.

Kenneth Bartram, the Chair of the D of E Award in Bermuda, said he was proud of the young people for getting through the character building and self-development programme.

He said it was “very special” for the organisation to have support from the Royal Family and said he hoped they would take part in the award on a regular basis. In addition to meeting the Gold award recipients Prince Edward met with a handful of young people embarking on their Bronze expedition.

Sixteen Somersfield Academy students finished thier award expedition on Ports Island earlier this month and are in the process of completing the volunteering criteria.

This included 15-year-olds Leah Amaral and Savannah Stubbs who sang and played piano respectively in honour of the royal visit.

Fourteen-year-old Catherine Daniels said she hadn't met any celebrities yet and was excited for the experience.

“I think he is pretty nice that is what I expect for someone of his stature,” she said moments before seeing Prince Edward.

Somersfield Academy is the newest school to adopt the D of E programme, according to school head Jim Christopher.

He said his students had taken part in the valuable self-development programme for the past two years, compared to other schools with a well established history with the scheme.

Prince Edward met with 460 students from three-years-old to 16 from the Devonshire school yesterday afternoon.

Primary one student Nicholas Kempe, 6, said it was “cool” a member of the Royal Family had come to his school and said he most liked his “golden” suit.

After visits to the community centre and school, the Earl of Wessex spent time with members of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club and paid a visit to Camden House and the Berkeley Institute. The Royal couple leave the Island today.

The Countess of Wessex visits students at the Dame Marjorie Bean Hope Academy. (Photo by Tamell Simons)
Northlands students wave at the Royal procession as the arrive at the Berkeley Institute yesterday. (Photo by Mark Tatem)
The Earl of Wessex waves to the public as he arrives at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club yesterday. Photo by Mark Tatem
The Countess of Wessex shovels soil onto an Olivewood tree on the grounds of Government House as the Earl of Wessex looks on. Photo by Mark Tatem

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Published March 18, 2011 at 10:00 am (Updated March 18, 2011 at 10:19 am)

‘Walk a few inches taller’, Prince tells Gold Award winners

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