If you joined the Bermuda Police Force during or after 1966 you will no doubt soon be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of your appointment as a Bermuda police officer.
The 1960's saw a rapid expansion of the Force with concerted efforts to recruit new officers both locally and abroad. 1963 had been a pivotal year with the establishment of our own Police Training School at Prospect which allowed local recruits to receive the same standard of basic training as had previously been given to untrained officers recruited from the UK who were sent to the Police Training School at Mill Meece in Staffordshire for a 3 month training course prior to arriving on Island. The new local training school could be used to train new recruits from Bermuda and from abroad, and in 1966 - 50 years ago - we had our first group of Bajan recruits arrive on Island. By our count we had a total of 39 officers join the Police Force in 1966, and two events have been held in recent months to mark their anniversary.
It has been 50 years since the officers listed below first joined the Bermuda Police Force, as it was known then. Some were new recruits with no previous police experience, hired either locally, from the U.K. or from Barbados; some were experienced officers recruited in the U.K, and one was an experienced dog handler brought in from England to take over the Police Dog Section.
We had already reported on the four Bajans who got together over Cup Match to celebrate their 50th Anniverary. Orson Daisley and his wife Madeline came up from Barbados for the occasion, Ralph Sealy and his wife Jennifer came from the U.S. while John McConnie and Vendal Bridgeman didn't have far to travel as they have both settled here. Details of their get together, and what they are doing these days were reported in our Interesting Articles at http://expobermuda.com/index.php/articles/508-bajans-celebrate-50th-anniversary
And a larger contingent of 1966 graduates gathered together on Saturday 10th September at Ascots Restaurant to celebrate that significant milestone. They are all living on Island with one exception, an overseas surprise guest in Tony Timothy who was also one of the first group of Bajans from 1966. By all accounts it was a truly memorable evening giving those present the opportunity to reminisce about their time with the police. Dave Cook brought greetings from overseas members including Les Brown, Pat McBride & John 'Coco' Eve. He also noted that out of the 15 who arrived on 5th Sept 1966, at least three had passed on, that we knew of.
We would like to think that the vast majority of those of us who have survived for 50 years after starting their police careers here, can look back with some fond memories of their days in blue. We realize that most of those of our former colleagues who now live abroad can't make it back to Bermuda, but it would be great to hear from you. For those of you now living abroad we invite you to write to us and let us know what you did after leaving the Island, how you are doing these days, where you are located, and how life is treating you. Just imagine that you have been able to return to Bermuda and you are sitting at one of these anniversary celebrations chatting with old friends about the good old days. If you look back 50 years what would you like to say to your old colleagues, and what sticks in your memory about the people you joined with, and the people you worked with.
The website is here for your use and enjoyment.
Here is our list of police officers who joined during 1966
And what about the 50th Anniversary coming up in 2017? We would like to think that your group will be pro-active and start planning for your own "Golden" Anniversary.Here is a list of all the officers who joined in 1967.