Under the patronage of Commander- in- Chief Brigadier David Granger an explosive and colourfull spectacle is promised to all of Guyana if they turn out to the GDF Play field, Base Camp Ayanganna. Today’s event begins
As the Guyana Defence force continues its observance of its 50th anniversary activities this afternoon a military Tattoo is planned to include the Hollywood-famed Green Power ranger in action.
The programme will include Parachute jumping as well as Martial arts and silent drill Displays that will feature the Hollywood Green Ranger and the Shotokan Karate Dojo.
Also carded are displays from the GDF Military Band, assault and rescue and a Grand spectacle of Fireworks among other activities aimed at showcasing the military prowess of the Guyana Defence Force.
According to the Guyana Defence Force, Tattoo “is the traditional signal given originally by drum beat and later by bugle call. This signal warned soldiers to return to their quarters for the night. In garrison towns, innkeepers turned off the liquor taps — “tap-to” and the drums continued to beat for half an hour, the time allowed for the soldiers to find their way home.
The custom eventually developed into a ceremonial performance of military music by massed bands, a few hours after sunset.
In Guyana, a military tattoo was first held at Eve Leary in 1920 by the British Guiana Militia. The performance included personnel from the Infantry, Artillery and school children. The second tattoo was held in 1963 on the occasion of the seventh anniversary of the British Guiana Volunteer Force.
The tradition of hosting military tattoos was continued by the Guyana Defence Force and in 1972 a tattoo was organized as part of the anniversary celebrations. This event was however cancelled as a result of the inclement weather.
Other tattoos were successfully held on the occasion of the 20th Anniversary in 1985, 30th Anniversary in 1995, 40th Anniversary in 2005, and 45th Anniversary in 2010. All of these events were held on the playfield at Camp Ayanganna.
The event is the penultimate one for the army’s 50th anniversary celebrations under the theme ‘Commemorating the past, celebrating the present and carving the future.” It follows on the heels of the recently staged Trooping of the Colours.
As part of the Tattoo history a hymn was included in the closing stages of the ceremony by the armies of Imperial Russia. This was done because the soldiers, who were conscripted virtually for life from the deeply pious peasantry, used to sing a chorale after the tattoo was over. This custom spread to the armies of Austria and other parts of Russia where the tattoo ceremony developed into an impressive torch light parade.
In the 19th century, displays by massed bands became popular in Britain and this following Continental practice came to include an evening hymn, often “Abide with Me”. Certain of the old regiments of the British Army, kept up the custom by playing a hymn between two bugle calls which mark the beginning and the closure of the “Tattoo Period”
After the First World war, the ceremony of Tattoo was developed to include the military displays with which the name is now associated, but which have no connection, apart from the music, with the original function of the ceremony.
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