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Jun 12 2014

British Contingent National Day Celebrations (Queen's Birthday Parade) 2014

Traditionally at the NRDC-ITA, each of the 14 Nations represented celebrate their National day in one way or another. On 12 June, it was the turn of the British contingent to do so.

This National day was timed to coincide with the official Birthday of their monarch, Queen Elizabeth. To celebrate, the British chose to host a Garden Party in the grounds of the Officers’ Club in Ugo Mara Barracks.

The event was graced with the presence of the British Consul General, Major General Castellano as the representative of the NRDC-ITA Commander, Mayors of both Solbiate Olona and Castronno as well as other distinguished guests, landlords, and members of staff from the NRDC-ITA and support Brigade.

Last but not least, the families and friends of the British personnel were also in attendance.The Garden in the Officers’ Club was decorated with Union flag bunting and had a traditional British fete atmosphere. Maj General Sir George Norton welcomed the guests and explained the relevance and history behind having an “official” birthday for the British monarch in the summer.

He made the interesting point that it has been tradition since 1748 when King Edward VII changed his official birthday from November so he could celebrate it in warm weather.

This is something quite sensible the more you think about it!On behalf of the British contingent, General Norton paid tribute to Her Majesty the Queen and her Consort, Prince Phillip and took the opportunity to thank, on behalf of the British contingent, all those individuals and organisations that provide assistance and support to British personnel serving with NRDC-ITA. Following his speech, toasts were made to Her Majesty the Queen and to the Heads of state of those represented, to which National anthems were played.  During the celebrations traditional food and drinks were served consisting of pimms (with lemonade, fruit and mint) cucumber sandwiches and some impressive cakes representing the diversity of the British isles.

Soldiers from the Royal Irish Regiment had flown in especially for the event to add some musical colour in the form of traditional bagpipes, and they played periodically over the course of the afternoon to round off what turned out to be a successful, very British affair!

Story by NRDC Public Affairs Office


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