Sussex Day ceremony at Winkle Island in Hastings. Photo by Roberts Photographic SUS-210617-082110001

Hastings raises the flag for Sussex Day

The Sussex Day Champion, Members of the Winkle Club, Members of the Hastings & St.Leonards Veterans Association (HSVA) and members of the public assembled on Winkle Island & streets nearby, Hastings Old Town, in a very hastily organised ceremony for Sussex Day on Wednesday, 16th June, when it was learned that there would otherwise only be an on-line celebration. The Veterans paraded the Queen’s Colour and the HSVA Standard (carried by Bryan Hunter & Stuart Murphy)

Monday, 21st June 2021, 7:57 am

The Champion, Brett Maclean, reminded everyone present that Sussex Day is the birthday of St.Richard, patron saint of Sussex (East- & West-), whose legacy was for the citizens of the County to safeguard the future & encourage growth, development, harmony & goodwill, which is also celebrated today. However, the Covid-19 restrictions mean that examples from the Arts, Culture, & Entertainment, from Commerce, Design, & industry, from Retail, Hospitality & Innovation of the wonderful entrepreneurs in our County of nearly 900,000 will needs be put back to next year, whilst members of the voluntary & charitable sector who safeguard & support the most vulnerable, must carry on regardless.

The Champion was joined by Richard Butcher (President of HSVA) in thanking the Winkle Club, whose Secretary, Reg Wood and Flag Master for hosting the ceremony, which continued with raising the Sussex Flag, after the parade had been brought to the salute.

At the end of this part of the ceremony, the jest that we should all give a loud rendering of the song “Sussex by the Sea” was greeted with groans & appropriate refusals!

Moving on, HSVA President reminded everyone that other countries have an “Army Day” in their calendars, and that for the UK, Waterloo Day which was on 18th June, would surely qualify. The Battle of Waterloo in 1815 was decisive and a game-changer, not just the Victory of Britain, and its allies, the Dutch and the Germans determining the fate of Napoleon Bonaparte, but the whole global war which we loosely call the “French Revolutionary Wars” (1792~1801) & the “Napoleonic Wars” (1803~1815). It allowed the return to the provisions of the Congress of Vienna, which changed the map of Europe and the World, and ushered in a period of unparalleled peace, prosperity and advancement in science, medicine, industry and navigation.

After the parade had been readied, the Army Flag was raised by Flagmaster Robert Ayers, to the salutes of those present. It represented the regiments of men who had fought, suffered, died, at Waterloo and the global war before it.

Before anyone succumbed to the heat of the day, the parade was then dismissed so that many could gain refreshment locally.

Pictures by Roberts Photographic.

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