A civic procession and service took place in Bury St Edmunds on Sunday to welcome the new Mayor of St Edmundsbury, Cllr Terry Clements.
Parading for the first time since being granted the Freedom of the Borough on May 18, TS St Edmunds (Mayor’s Own) Sea Cadet Corps led a procession of councillors and dignitaries, including visiting mayors and chairmen, from the Athenaeum, around the Abbey Gardens and to St Edmundsbury Cathedral where a special service was held.
Cllr Clements said: “I believe the civic service showed what St Edmundsbury is all about. Who could fail to be impressed with what was presented by our sea cadets who gratefully received the Freedom of the Borough and who proudly led us out? I was smiling all the way as residents and visitors took photos and videos and lined the route.”
He added that there was ‘real teamwork’ involved in making sure security difficulties were overcome so the event could go ahead following the tragic events in London the night before.
“The instant feedback from visiting dignitaries was really encouraging. I believe we got people feeling proud of our country. I certainly heard that in the cathedral when the singing was loud and proud,” he said.
The unit returned to lead the parade back after and broke into a more informal semi-circle outside the Athenaeum where they put on a display, playing movie theme tunes off the back of marching music.
It was a fitting last parade for their commanding officer of 10 years, Lieutenant Daniel Davis RNR, who has handed over to Petty Officer Oliver Townsend, one of his former cadets, to oversee part of the Suffolk and Norfolk district.
Lt Davis said: “It was my last parade and my first ever member of staff, who led my first parade, she then finished leading my last parade so from that point of view it was quite emotional. When you see young people from the age of 10 go all the way through, and work, it’s great.”
Of handing over to PO Townsend, he said: “He was one of my cadets. He stayed on as staff, has served as second in command over the last three years and has now taken over as commanding officer. That’s quite emotional in itself, to see one of your ex-cadets come through from joining the cadets to taking my post. I’m sure he will take the unit above and beyond what I could manage in my 10 years. He’s going to do really well.”