The Bermuda’s Regiment’s newest recruits will be front and centre today [Feb 8] at the convening of the new Parliament.
Soldiers from 7 Platoon – who came top of the two platoons in Recruit Camp – will form the Guard of Honour, watched by Governor George Fergusson, Premier Craig Cannonier and other dignitaries.
But the soldiers said they weren’t scared at the prospect of being on parade – despite having just completed their two weeks’ basic training.
Volunteer soldier Pte Leilani Ible, 20, from Pembroke, said: “I’m really looking forward to taking part in the parade – but I’m not looking forward to getting up really early, but that’s life.
“I think we’ll manage fine – we’ll handle it. I’m good with pressure. There’s a lot of pride – I’m proud of myself. We came a long way in two weeks.”
Conscript Pte Ryan Amaral, a 19-year-old zookeeper at the Bermuda Aquarium & Zoo, from Pembroke, added: “There’s nothing scary about it – especially when you work in a job where you deal with the public. You have to have confidence in yourself.
“I’m confident in my skill sets and we did extremely well in just two weeks. We’ve got the training to do it.” He added: “I don’t have a problem being a conscript – I was planning on volunteering at some stage anyway.
“I’m proud – once you put on the uniform, you’re a soldier and you have to maintain that mindset. You have to wear it with pride.”
Leshane Smith, 23, of Southampton, a chef at the Fairmont resort in the parish, said a practice run on Front Street during Recruit Camp helped them get to grips with their ceremonial role.
He added: “It’s certainly worth it – especially for all the people who know someone in the Regiment. I have slightly mixed feelings – but I’m not going to be the guy who drops his rifle.”
Pte Graham Burnett-Herkes, 21, from Sandys, who works in building maintenance in civilian life, said: “The hard thing will be standing up for that long and not moving.
“But I’m doing it with so many people, there’s safety in numbers and we will work as a team. I’m looking forward to it.” He added: “Having the military presence at the opening of Parliament makes a huge difference and it certainly adds to the sense of occasion.”
The Guard of Honour and the Regiment Band and Corps of Drums, commanded by Director of Music Maj. Dwight Robinson, as well as a Regiment Colour Party will all play major parts in the start of the new Parliamentary session.
Governor George Fergusson will receive the Royal Salute and inspect the Guard of Honour before reading the Throne Speech – the new Government’s legislative programme for the year – at 11.00am.
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- Today’s Speech To Lay Out Legislative Agenda | Bernews.com | February 8, 2013