When we first published this photo we pointed out that at first glance it might appear to be a group of new recruits but there is something unusual about it, and it is certainly not displayed at the Police Training School. We recently came across it for the first time when drafting an article about one of the young police officers in the group, Gilmore Simons, (CLICK HERE for his article in "Then and Now"), but his copy was quite badly deteriorated. Fortunately, we were able to obtain this copy from another member of the group, Glyn Washington who was delighted to assist us in identifying all those in it as listed in the caption below the photo.
So the questions we had included listing everyone in the photo, where and when was it taken, and what brought them all together.
What is somewhat unusual is that although everyone in the photo, with the exception of Sgt Tommy Doyle, were recruits, several had joined the Police Force in early 1960 such as Mel Gibbons and Lawrence "Mincy" Rawlins while most of the others joined the Force in September 1961 shortly before the photo was taken.
For some years all officers recruited from abroad i.e. the U.K., were sent on a 3 month Basic Training Course in England prior to arriving on Island, whereas local recuits had been given a few days training at Hamiltron Police Station with some notes and a copy of the Laws of Bermuda. Not exactly a level playing field!
All that was to change when George Robins was appointed Commissoner of Police in 1961. Commissioner Robins hired Chief Inspector Roy Chandler from the U.K., specifically to set up a Police Training School along the lines of the British Training Schools, and the first 3 month basic training course was organized in the Spring of 1962.
However, to his credit, COP Robins quickly realized the imbalance that existed in the training of overseas and local officers, and this group of local recruits were given a 6 week training course held at Prospect in the clock tower building that was used for many years as the Police Training School.
Sadly, one of these officers, Lawrence "Mincy" Rawlins passed away just before we posted the photo.
"Mincy" and several of his colleagues from this course attended one of the new Basic Training Courses #3 from April to June 1962.