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The Mayor's Speech


Deputy Lord Lieutenant
Fellow Mayors and Chairmen
Freeman of the Borough
Member of Parliament
Officers, Staff and Cadets of the Royal Military Academy
Distinguished guests
Ladies and Gentlemen – Boys and Girls

It is with great pride that I greet, on behalf of the whole community, The Commandant Major General Timothy Evans, the officers, staff and cadets of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. We are honoured with your presence here today as a mark of friendship and respect between the town of Sandhurst and the Royal Military Academy.

We are all here to recognise your tremendous commitment to our country, to your cadets and to our community. In recognition of the Academy’s 200th year of officer training, and in support of the strong bond between the community of Sandhurst and the Royal Military Academy, I have chosen as my charity for this year the Army Benevolent Fund - The Soldiers Charity.  I invite everyone here today to give generously to The Soldiers Charity whilst enjoying everything this event has to offer.

I welcome especially, riding Winston, the Academy Adjutant Major David (Dia) Bevan of the Welsh Guards who I am told was here in 1997 as a cadet in the first ever Sandhurst Freedom March, - welcome back!

I also need to point out that riding the other charger, called Coldstream, we have the Old College Adjutant, Captain Rick Lewin. Now you might not think that is very unusual except for the fact that those amongst you with a keen military eye will have noticed he is wearing the head dress of the Parachute Regiment and I have to tell you it is indeed very unusual to see a Para on horseback.

Today is primarily about the serious business of marking the award of the Freedom of the Borough to the Royal Military Academy and the 200th anniversary of officer training at Sandhurst, but it is also about having fun and enjoying ourselves. The joint organising committee wanted today to have a strong focus on young people in our community, so we are especially grateful to the Royal Military Academy for organising todays School Sports Challenge where our superb schools will get the chance, in this Olympic year, to show what they can do at rowing, tug-of-war and the army assault course. Good luck to all of them.

It is important we acknowledge and thank everyone who has made today possible. Our thanks go to the Royal Military Academy in particular Major Tom Kelly, the Town Council and our own Mr Chris Smith, the organising committee under the Chairmanship of Mr Norman Bowers, Indigo Blue our event management company and all the sponsors, clubs and organisations who have worked so hard to deliver this fantastic event, and of course our thanks must go to all those who are taking part, especially all the boys and girls from our schools.

Finally General, can I pass on to you, and all the men and women of our armed forces, wherever they are, in the service of our country, the heartfelt and grateful thanks of the people of Sandhurst.

Welcome to the Sandhurst Freedom March and community celebrations here in our fabulous award winning Memorial Park.