Sixty nine Rangers marched, drilled and paraded in front of a panel of dignitaries, instructors and parents on June 6 for the program’s Passing Out Parade (POP). It was under grey and threatening skies that the ceremony unfolded in the courtyard of the Government Complex; but the weather held until the end of the function.
After a prelude from the Royal Bahamian Defence Force Band, the Rangers, in full uniform, reported to the Chief Petty Officer Maxwell Lloyd and to the Acting Commander of the Defence Force, Captain Tellis Bethel.
Senator Keith Bell, who represented the Minister of National Security (the Honourable Dr. Bernard Nottage being elsewhere retained) inspected the ranks before addressing the graduates. The Senator praised the program. He reminded the cadets that they will have the first preference to enter in a Defence Force job program.
Each Ranger was then called to receive a certificate, with Commander Bethel and Senator Bell congratulating them.
The Rangers qualifying for special awards were then called out.
The Minister of Security Award was handed out to Adrian Newbold of St Francis de Sales Catholic School. Donte Richard of Forest Heights Academy received the Commander Defence Force Award. Six students were awarded the Commodore Award. They were: Rayvyn McKinney, Alicia Armbrister, Nathan Mullings, Quintesha Bonomy, Nathan McIntosh and Andrew Hanna.
The Rangers Director Award went to Quintesha Bonomy and the Most Improved Award to Victor Cartwright. Academic Achievement Awards were received by Victor Cartwright, Jerai Brennen, Shammoth Innocent, Stephanie Francois, Jonnashia Dorsett, Vesley Raymonville, Paulette Curry, Shonell Saunders, Lannekka Morely and Randy Jean.
The award distribution was followed by more drill displays as the cadets marched in platoons in the courtyard. They were accompanied by the band.
After the vote of thanks by Destiny Seymour, the rangers were gathered on the main entrance steps for photographs while refreshments were served under the arcade.
The Rangers program was supported in Central Abaco and Green Turtle Cay by the Parents in Action group. Kirk Reckley is the President of the GTC group seconded by Susan Jones. The board of the Central Abaco group is headed by Soluke Innocent as President, with Phillippa Nixon as Vice President. Kayla Forbes is the Secretary, assisted by Karen Rolle; Gayle Sands is the Treasurer, assisted by Marilyn Innocent. The Chaplin is Dennis Hall while Telanna Newbold takes care of special events.
The lead Defence Force Officer in charge of the Ranger program on Abaco is Able Seaman Marco King, assisted by Marine Seaman Dearoop Louis. Petty Officer Bethel is the Defence Force Officer in charge of the island.
Before they left the function, Able Seaman King and Marine Seaman Louis received presents from Parents in Action as an expression of the parents’ gratitude for their dedication to the program.
The Rangers will have practice until July 10 as they will participate in the Independence Parade; the Parents in Action are in the process of planning summer activities for the students.