From the voyage of Christopher Columbus in the 15th Century, to the political movements that shaped the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force Band gave a magnificent showing during the 2018 Independence Beat Retreat.

As the country prepares to celebrate 45 years of Independence, the marching bands representing the military and various Law Enforcement agencies held their Annual Beat Retreat on Rawson Square. The Defence Force band bedazzled the audience with 100 percent Defence Force production … 100 percent Defence Force performers…. and 100 percent Defence Force rhythm and beat” taking hundreds of spectators back to the arrival of Columbus’s flagship ship, the Santa Maria, in the New World over 500 years ago.

Attended by Her Excellency Dame Marguerite Pindling, the annual showcase was one for the ages. Also in attendance were Prime Minister Hubert Minnis and Mrs. Minnis, the Minister of National Security, the Honourable Marvin Dames, and Mrs. Dames, other government Officials, Commander Defence Force, Commodore Tellis Bethel and Mrs. Bethel, Police Commissioner Anthony Ferguson and Acting Deputy Commissioner Andrew Rolle from The Bahamas Department of Correctional Services, and scores of Bahamians.

Spectacular performances and renditions by the Defence Force Band included a special appearance by the Defence Force Rangers as slaves from West Africa and Pirates of the Caribbean, as Sub Lieutenant Earnestine Cleare touched the hearts of many with the old Negro spiritual, “Wade through The Water.,” and the Band’s drumline, reenacted Royal Governor Woodes Rogers’ ending the reign of piracy in The Bahamas.

The multi-talented Defence Force Band members also featured a rendition of the Womens Suffrage Movement with their female band members taking over the blowing of the sousaphone from the male band members.  If that was not enough, the Band captured the imagination of the crowd with a reenactment of the Burma Road Riot for equal pay, and later the throwing of the hour glass and mace out of the House of Assembly by characters, who represented parliamentarians, Milo Butler and Lynden Pindling, who later became The Bahamas’ first Governor General and Prime Minister, respectively.

Defence Force band members did not stop there, as they ended their performance in grand style with a spectacular display on Bay of their armored personnel carriers, K-9 Unit Vehicle, and a Fast Patrol Craft.

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Photos by Chief Petty officer Jonathan Rolle and Marine Seaman Kyle Smith

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