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Regiment pitches in for fort cleanup

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From left: Sergeant Major Jason Harrell, Colour Sergeant Shaun Silliams and Sergeant Major Peter Ramm taking part in the clearing of overgrown fortifications on Paget Island (Photograph supplied)

Full-time staff from the Royal Bermuda Regiment went back to their roots with a chainsaw clear-up of trees overgrowing a historic fort.

A group from the RBR signed up as part of the drive to restore Fort Cunningham on Paget Island off St George’s.

Chainsaw training is part of the Regiment’s disaster relief role, training officer Major Ben Beasley said.

“We’re also approaching hurricane season, so it’s good practise for our role in assisting the Bermuda community in times of natural disasters,” Maj Beasley added.

The restoration is being led by the Mirrors Programme, set up ten years ago to provide young people with opportunities to transform their lives.

Maj Beasley and a team of soldiers used chainsaws to cut down trees growing in and around the dilapidated fort to make the area accessible to Mirrors volunteers and their equipment.

He said: “Mirrors and the RBR share the same ethos of providing fun, exciting training and encouraging a sense of responsibility among our young people so we were happy to lend our expertise to help them gain access to the fort.”

Maj Beasley added: “Fort Cunningham would also have been manned by soldiers from one of our predecessor regiments, the Bermuda Militia Artillery, so we’re also pleased that part of our history will become more accessible to members of the public.”

RBR soldiers spent a day earlier this month cutting back thick vegetation to clear a path large enough for a wood chipper, which reduces branches to fragments, to get across the island and up to the fort.

Another team cleared a path into the fort and through to the gate.

Maj Beasley said: “This is just another way we can assist the community we serve outside our more usual roles of hurricane relief and back-up to the police in times of national emergency.

“It’s also a privilege to help in the preservation of both the history of Bermuda and the history of our own Regiment.”

A Regiment career offers recruits opportunities to travel, acquire skills useful in civilian life, test themselves to their limits and competitive rates of pay, as well as a $500 bounty for new volunteers. For more information, call 238-1045 or visit www.bermudaregiment.bm.

Colour Sergeant Harry Hunt takes down a tree at Fort Cunningham as part of a Royal Bermuda Regiment cleanup operation (Photograph supplied)