On Wednesday 3rd September 2014, the Chairman of Huntingdonshire District Council, Cllr Alan Mackender-Lawrence, hosted the annual flag-raising ceremony to mark Merchant Navy Day. VIPs and Guests included the Deputy Lord Lieutenant for Cambridgeshire, Colonel Derek Bristow OBE DL, the Mayor of Huntingdon, Cllr Bill Hensley, the Revd Andrew Milton, Councillors and representatives of community associations (including shipmate Karl Webb representing Huntingdon & District Branch of the Royal Naval Association).
The Royal British Legion and Royal Air Force Association provided Standard Bearers (sadly, the Royal Naval Association’s Branch Standard Bearer was unable to attend due to a family funeral). With VIPs and guests in place, the service began with the Chairman giving a brief history of the Merchant Navy, and of their role during war as well as times of peace.
The Reverend Andrew Milton was asked to Bless the Merchant Navy ensign (fondly referred to as the ‘Red Duster’) before the Chairman hoisted it outside of the Council HQ.
A minute’s silence followed, Standards were dipped in the usual mark of respect as we remembered those seafarers past, present, and those who will follow. After the minute’s silence, Colonel Derek Bristow gave thanks to those in attendance and passed on messages from the Lord Lieutenant on behalf of Her Majesty.
On completion of the ceremony, the Chairman invited all participants to attend a reception and light refreshments.
Gallery: Click on the first image to view other photographs taken during the flag-raising ceremony: