Today has been a poignant day as we remember those who were murdered on 11th September 2001 in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. Our thoughts and prayers are with their friends and families on this sad 10th anniversary.
It was particularly fitting that I was able to attend the Ceremony to award the Freedom of the Borough of Ipswich to The Royal Anglian Regiment, held at the Corn Exchange last night. Colonel Julian Lacey, Deputy Colonel of the Royal Anglian Regiment, received the Freedom of the Borough of Ipswich Presentation Scroll from The Mayor of Ipswich, Councillor John Le Grys.
Serving and retired members of the Royal Anglian Regiment were present as were local Army Cadets from ‘C’ Company Suffolk ACF. All the uniformed soldiers and cadets were impeccably dressed.
We were then treated to some excellent music, at the Celebration Concert immediately after the Presentation, played by the The Minden Band of The Queen’s Division and supported by members of The Royal Anglian Territorial Army Band. The music had an international sound as it featured American, Russian and, of course, British composers. As there were two bands, there were two conductors, who were very amusing during their very knowledgeable introductions to each piece.
The audience was also entertained by a bizarre performance of The Huntsmen by Leo R. Stanley, where one member of The Minden Band played several household items, such as a vacuum cleaner or even a bicycle handlebar, instead of the traditional horn. I believe this style of performance of The Huntsmen is played by other military bands but it may be a first where a ceramic toilet was used as a substitute horn!
The concert ended with the Regimental Marches of the Queen’s Division and The Royal Anglian Regiment followed by a stirring rendition of The National Anthem, which, right on the cue of the drums, we all stood up to listen in respectful tribute to our Monarch and our Country.
The Celebration Concert was a public event but it was shame more did not turn out. It is, I believe, very important to be reminded of our country’s values and traditions, exemplified by our military, during these difficult times our world faces. It is the traditions which hold our communities together and should not be dismissed as old fashioned as without them we are nothing.
I very much look forward to seeing The Royal Anglian Regiment march through out town centre, drums beating, colours flying and bayonets fixed as is now their right to do!