Bermuda Regiment to mark 50 years

bermuda-regimentPlans to celebrate next year’s 50th anniversary of the Bermuda Regiment have been unveiled. Organisers revealed that — in addition to a military tattoo with an international line-up — the Regiment will also take part in a Trooping of the Colour ceremony, for only the fourth time in its history.

Former Regiment Major Stephen Caton, chairman of the 50th anniversary committee, said a year-long list of events was designed to mark the “historic and significant” role the Regiment has played, not just as a military force, but as a promoter of social cohesion on the Island.

He added that the contribution of the two predecessor units, the Bermuda Rifles and the Bermuda Militia Artillery, which, although segregated, both served in two world wars, would also be celebrated.
“It’s to thank all the past and serving soldiers for the selfless and vital service they provide to our Island home,” Maj Caton said, also appealing for corporate and private sponsors to back the Regiment celebrations with donations.
The event — dubbed BR50 — was launched at Fort Hamilton yesterday in a ceremony that culminated in the firing of the one of the Regiment’s field guns.
Governor George Fergusson, Commander-in-Chief of the Regiment, said last month’s Tropical Storm Fay and Hurricane Gonzalo underlined the value of the Regiment’s continuing “important and valued role” in disaster relief.
“I am grateful to all in the Regiment — many, in fact most, of its current personnel are volunteers,” he said. “Its heritage — and its cap badge — reflect its distinguished forebears.”

He paid tribute to the force as “one of the most important builders of genuine relationships across the racial divide” and added that senior officers from overseas forces had been impressed by the Regiment’s “high standards.” “I have also been struck by its high standing in the community right across Bermuda,” Mr Fergusson said. “I wish them well and thank them in advance for their continuing commitment.”

Senator Jeff Baron, the junior National Security Minister who represented Premier Michael Dunkley at the ceremony, said Government had earmarked $250,000 for next year to back the series of events.
The Bank of Bermuda Foundation is to make a similar six figure donation, while another $350,000 will come from the Bermuda Regiment Charitable Foundation.
Sen Baron added: “The Regiment is a critical part of Bermuda’s security infrastructure.” He said it performed a vital role as it “trains, educates, advances and provides life skills to young Bermudians.
Through overseas training, specialist courses and attachments, the Regiment ensures it remains up to date and efficient.”

Sen Baron also extended an invitation to former armed services personnel from the UK, US and Canada, who once manned a string of bases across the Island and worked closely with the Regiment, to come back to the Island to help celebrate the anniversary.