The Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force Band was invited to be part of Grenada’s 50th anniversary of Independence parade last week and arrived in St. George’s about 8 a.m. on Friday, having sailed from St. Vincent with a 26-members contingent, led by Inspector Vaughn Miller.
They were met at the wharf by Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Connaugh and ACP Charles and also the Grenada Police Force band master, Inspector Ethan Francis who welcomed the contingent and outlined the activities planned for the independence celebrations and the expected participation of the visiting band.
Their first rehearsal took place on Saturday at the national stadium, having formed a combined unit with members of the Grenada police force band and the Cadet corps band.
On Sunday, the RSVGPF Band attended an official church service and had rehearsals again on Monday and Tuesday.
On Wednesday, the official parade started with a march off from Melville Street, St George’s about 2 p.m. with all the uniform groups, including the Police, Coast Guard, Cadets, Prisons and Guides in a procession to the national stadium which was packed with thousands of peoples dressed mainly in national colours: red, gold and green.
The performance of the RSVGPF Band, which made up the majority of the combined unit, was received with tremendous applause.
Spectators were wowed by the mace-spinning skills of Sergeant Omaro Thomas of the RSVGPF Band and his counterpart, Corporal Lyndon Langdon of the RGPF Band.
Witnessing the parade also were the Grenadian Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell and several other heads of government from the Caribbean including Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves of SVG and guest of honour, President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo.
It was the first time that a non-national band was performing at an independence celebration in Grenada, therefore, SVG had the honour of making history.
The band members were taken on a sightseeing tour during their stay and on Thursday were invited to the RGPF Commissioner’s Office where Commissioner of Police Don McKenzie handed over a plaque to the band.
The RSVGPF band also received a plaque of appreciation from the Grenada Independence Committee and Miller donated to the RGPF band two pieces of musical instruments, a French horn and a flugelhorn.
The band returned to SVG about 7 p.m. on Friday amidst rough seas and high ground swells.