The morning of our scheduled annual Memorial Service and ExPo BBQ started ominously with a bleak weather forecast for the afternoon and evening of Sunday 1st October. And did the heavens open! The Military/Police Cemetery had been meticulously cleaned and prepared for the Memorial Service, and we had the visiting Halton Police Pipe Band from Ontario all set to perform during the service, but torrential rain continued through the afternoon and there was no option but to change the venue to the Police Club.
All credit to the BPS for working flat out to re-arrange the PRC main hall and revise the programme which went off flawlessly. The hall was packed to capacity as the service got underway with a Police Honour Guard marching in the Colours, Assistant Commissioner Martin Weekes was master of ceremonies, and the service was a sombre and moving experience for all present.
After a moment of silence, the Last Post was performed by Bugler Neilson DeGraff of the Somerset Brigade Band. Recently appointed Police Chaplain, Dr. Kevin Santucci offered a Prayer of Reflection, and Commissioner Michael DeSilva read out the Honour Roll of our former colleagues who have died during the past two years. Their names were as follows:-
Wreaths were then laid in front of the Police Colours by H.E. The Acting Governor, Mrs Ginny Ferson, Minister of National Security, The Hon Wayne Caines, JP, MP, Commissioner of Police, Mr. Michael DeSilva QPM, CPM, Commandant Reserve Police, Ms Sandra Beach, C.O. Bermuda Regiment, Lt. Col. David Curley, and President of the Ex-Police Association, Roger Sherratt.
Family members who had lost loved ones during the past two years and in previous years were also invited to lay wreaths or flowers and did so.
Rev. Santucci offered a final prayer, and the service came to a close with the playing of Reveille by Neilson DeGraffe.
Attendees were entertained with performances by the Somerset Brigade Band, the Island Pipe Band and the Halton Regional Police Service Pipes and Drums, while the hall was prepared for a BBQ.
Although quite a few invitees were not able to attend because of the dreadful weather, there was an excellent turnout. Those in attendance included our senior retiree, Gladwin “Doc” Hall who joined the Bermuda Police in October 1950, and Dudley Swan who joined in July 1951. “Doc” and Dudley were accompanied by their beautiful wives, Lillian and Marlene, along with Brenda Wingood, wife of our good friend Hilton “Jellybean” Wingood who is the brother of Lillian and Marlene. Unfortunately, “Jellybean” was not feeling well and was unable to attend.
Two persons also missing from the event were Retired Sergeant Dudley Proctor, and former Constable Gilmore Simons, both of whom we learned later are in hospital for observation. We will report on their condition as we receive them
In addition to retired and former members of the Police Service we were delighted to see quite a few ladies whose husbands had served with us. These included Lois Simmons (Hubert’s wife), Patricia Edwards (Lenny’s wife), Claire Rushe (George’s wife), Jaunita Young (Gary’s wife) Mary Van de Weg and family (John’s wife), and Charlotte Beech (Ron’s wife). Spouses of our former police officers are Honorary members of the Ex-Police Association.
Also in attendance was Edith Durrant, the mother of Sergeant Andrea Durrant, and the family of Constable Jasmine Eugene Saltus, both of whom died far too young. Jasmine's family included his mother, Rose Saltus, his sister P.C. Jenea Smith, and other family members (see photograph).
During the BBQ we were entertained by the Halton Regional Police Service Pipes and Drums. Making his presence felt was their bass drummer, former RCMP officer, Howard Adams who is a good friend of Jeff Baker in Toronto and who also knew the Late William “Bill” McCormack who served in the Bermuda Police before emigrating to Canada where he became Chief of the Toronto Metropolitan Police
Judging by numerous comments made, the whole event was a great success. Kudos to Commissioner DeSilva and the BPS team for pulling off a near miracle.
Many thanks to Dexter "Fudge" Flood for providing us with copies of the ceremony.
The Royal Gazette covered the memorial service and published an album of photo in the Royal Gazette which can be viewed at http://www.royalgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/tngallery?Site=RG&Date=20171001&Category=NEWS&ArtNo=100109998&Ref=PH
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