This morning [Nov 13] Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Gloucester,the Colonel-in-Chief of the Bermuda Regiment, presented the Bermuda Regiment with new Colours during a special ceremony at the National Sports Center in Devonshire. The warm reception that the crowd gave them simply got warmer as the parade went on. There were several rounds of applause as well as rhythmic clapping to some of the march tunes.
The practice of using Colours dates back to the time of Charles II in the 17th Century when the Colours of a Regiment (the brightly-coloured flags of a battalion) were used as position markers or as rallying points in battle.
It become customary to carry these Colours down the ranks at the end of the day to ensure that troops were familiar with their Colour and could readily recognize his own, also known as the Troop. This was also done in the morning before the soldiers went off to battle. On both occasions, the flags would be paraded in a solemn and reverent manner.
The Regimental Colours are regarded with great reverence. They are among the most significant items within the Regiment and are highly venerated.
The Guards formed at Police Field and marched onto line at the National Sports Center. The Regimental Sergeant Major [RSM] handed the parade over to the Adjutant. During the parade the RSM drew his sword, the only time an RSM will do so in peace time. His doing so is a symbolic gesture of his protecting the Colours.
The Premier’s arrival was greeted with loud applause. The Duchess of Gloucester’s arrival was heralded by a booming 21 gun salute that had the crown covering their ears and that caused a reverberation that could be felt each time one of the 25 pounder guns was fired.
The Bishop of Bermuda Rev. Dr. Patrick White, attended on by Imam Basim Muwwakkil of Masjid Muhammad and the Bishop of Hamilton Rev. Dr. Robert Kurtz, took position in front of the Colours and offered a blessing on their service.
The moments of the actual Presentation of the New Colours had a special meaning. The Colours were actually passed over by HRH the Duchess of Gloucester. the Bermuda Regiment’s new Colonel-in-Chief. However, the officer assisting was the Regiment’s Honorary Colonel, Colonel Eugene Raynor OBE, ED. Colonel Raynor was also present, but then as a young Lieutenant, at the Bermuda Regiment’s first presentation of Colours on 24th November 1965. This link between past and present was emphasized by this simple action and participation and was also highlighted in the short speech given by the new Colonel-in-Chief.
The Premier said, “The presentation this morning was both moving and poignant, especially as we listened and heard the words and the important significance of the colours and all that they represent in terms of the duty, honour and country. It was even more moving personally given recent events. The people of Bermuda loved their Regiment and appreciated the elegant perfection of their various drills and parades, as well as the always melodic precision of the Regiment Band. That was wonderful to witness. I was both awed and proud.”
Photos by Only the Best, click to enlarge:
Update: You can view videos of the parade here.
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Articles that link to this one:
- Videos: Bermuda Regiment Trooping of Colours | Bernews.com | November 14, 2010