By J. Brock (FINN)
Bright sunshine rising on the 31st anniversary of the liberation of the Falkland Islands from Argentinean occupation in 1982 contrasted the wet snow that was blown about last year for the big Liberation 30. At 9.45 am Christ Church Cathedral was full as the National Anthem played and Rev Dr Richard Hines began the Liberation Service with words of welcome. His Excellency the Governor, Members of the Legislative Assembly together with the Chief of Staff attended and participated in the service.
Prayers were said by Monsignor Michael B McPartland of St Marys Catholic Church, Armed Forces Chaplain, Squadron Leader the Rev Richard Clement RAF, Jackie Earnshaw of the Tabernacle Free Church and Rev Dr Hines, who also read the Greeting.
Bidding prayers were said by The Chief of Staff, Group Captain Stephen Ward OBE RAF and the Introduction was said by Squadron Leader the Rev Richard Clement and the Hymn All People That on Earth Do Dwell was sung.
The First Reading, Deuteronomy 30:15-19 wad read by Tomisha Courtney. Her reading was followed by the Hymn, Dear Lord and Father of Mankind. The Second reading, James 4:13-16 was read by a 1982 Visiting Veteran.
Jackie Earnshaw and Monsignor McPartland said prayers that were followed by the third Reading by H. E. the Governor Mr Nigel Haywood from John 15: 9-17. Hymn, O God Our Help in Ages Past, was followed by the sermon which was delivered by Rev Dr Richard Hines.
He recalled Patrick Watts Invasion Morning radio broadcast and remembered the Exhibition on the 1982 War at St Marys Parish Hall, exerts from Graham Bounds Diary and remembrances from Fox Bay. He went on to remember the terrible cost of our liberation. He called our liberty precious and challenged all in authority to govern to continue to develop leadership in prosperity and justice. Liberty is a treasure that needed to be identified by the Falklands way of life and the willingness to receive help if you are in need as we are all in this together. He advocated reading the Bible to help on through difficult times.
Lead Us Father Into Freedom was the hymn following the sermon. Rev Dr Hines dismissed the gathering with a final blessing.
Marching troops consisting of Royal Navy, Falkland Islands Defence Force, Army, and Royal Air Force, Royal British Legion Royal Naval Association, Royal British Legion and Royal Marines Association, as well as Youth Groups and Veterans from 1982 made their way to the Liberation Monument.
At 11.00 am the traditional ceremony was held at the Liberation Monument in front of the Secretariat building. After prayers His Excellency the Governor laid a wreath. Wreaths were also laid by a Member of the Legislative Assembly, the Chief of Staff, Veteran associations, and by relatives and others wishing to do so.
A huge crowd of community members attend. After the ceremony a public reception hosted by the Falkland Islands Government, was held in the Town Hall.