Ten members of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment Band joined forces with colleagues from the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment Band (PWRR) to deliver musical support on behalf of 3PWRR while their battalion were deployed in the Falklands for Exercise Tiger Island.
After traveling to RAF Brize Norton on Jan. 15, the band met the other 20 musicians who would make up a large band comprised of four different regiments’ (Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, Royal Gibraltar Regiment, Honourable Artillery Company, and Royal Artillery) musicians. Then, a 16-hour flight to Mount Pleasant ensued.
First things first, the local 24 primary schoolchildren were introduced to the instruments in the band and joined in marching around the school hall. The PWRR band prepared an entertaining and interactive performance of the ‘Music Man,’ consisting of costumes such as bagpiper, pilot, and footballer to entertain their 3 to 10-year-old audience.
Friday evening saw the band performing at Mount Pleasant's theater, which usually sits silent, but was brought to life with some assistance from the Military Wives Choir who sang Adele’s ‘Rolling in the Deep’ and Gary Barlow’s ‘Sing.’ (which was originally performed by a Military Wives Choir to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II). The show was attended by serving military personnel and their family members.
The band was not restricted to the base, however, and one afternoon saw them on a visit to the coast at Yorke Bay, Stanley View, and Gypsy Cove, where they witnessed penguins on the beaches and in their burrows, a wooden walkway guided the bandmembers through the grassland which was dotted with the local teaberry shrubs. With most beaches inaccessible to vehicles, the band took a 14km hike to Bertha’s Beach to view the local wildlife, King penguins, Gentoo penguins, sea lions, and porpoises. Some of the braver musicians took a dip in the South Atlantic Ocean carrying the Gibraltar flag.
Some members of the band went on a tour of the war memorials at San Carlos cemetery, which holds the remains of 14 of the 255 British casualties killed during the Falklands War in 1982, and Goose Green. The musicians signed a band t-shirt which was put on display in the Goose Green Café, which is the only cafe for miles around, alongside those of other visiting battalions and regiments.
On Saturday, the band traveled for one hour to the town hall in the capital, Stanley, to perform another concert with the choir. Over 300 people attended, with the audience treated to well-known music from James Bond, Frank Sinatra, and Out of Africa. The concert ended with a very proudly sung National Anthem.
The locals created a very homely feel to the concert, with homemade snacks and cakes in the interval.
The band returned to Stanley the following day for lunch at the welcoming Malvinas House Hotel.
Some of the band opted to try the locally caught toothfish, which tastes similar to ling or ‘rosada,’ and Happy Birthday was sung to WO2 Bandmaster Tom Rundle-Wood along with the presentation of a locally made birthday cake.
Despite the cold winds, the band marched in full uniform to a nearby jetty for a photograph in front of a ‘Welcome to the Falkland Islands’ sign before performing to the local crowd outside Christ Church Cathedral.
It was here that some young children took the baton from the Director of Music, Lieutenant Colonel Wayne Hopla, and conducted the band.
Soon afterward, it was time for the band to warm up and perform inside the cathedral for some jazz, pop, and music from the movies.
With the schedule of performances complete, it was time for the band to pack away gear and souvenirs and prepare for the long flight home, but not before participating in a bowling tournament with mixed teams from all four regiments.
A spokesperson from the Regiment quoted by the Gibraltar Chronicle described it as “a great tour, with a strong sense of teamwork, bound by the love of music.” (Source: Gibraltar Chronicle)
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Successful Falklands tour for Gibraltar Regiment Band..., huhhhh...?Feb 21st, 2023 - 12:55 pm 0
Did they successfully co-play Brittania Rule the Money Laundering Colonies..., or what...?
Just proved my point, childish nonsense from a wate of oxygen troll.Feb 21st, 2023 - 01:18 pm 0