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Commissioning of HMS Dragon - 20 April 2012

The Choir was both proud and privileged to be part of the Commissioning Ceremony of HMS Dragon - the Royal Navy’s newest warship.



HMS Dragon is the latest of six new Type 45 Destroyers being built for the Royal Navy at a cost of £1bn each. It was formally commissioned at a colourful ceremony in Portsmouth.
 


The Choir, conducted by Joy Amman Davies and accompanied by Les Ryan, entertained the 200 guests on the Jetty, before the Commissioning Ceremony and afterwards at a Reception.

The distinguished guest list included senior naval officers, amongst them the Second Sea Lord; together with the Lord Lieutenant of South Glamorgan, Dr Peter Beck and representatives of Cardiff City Council, the City to which the Destroyer is affiliated. The wider Welsh connection was acknowledged with the presence of Rt Hon Cheryl Gillan MP. Secretary of State for Wales ( pictured below, right with Commander Darren Houston the ship's Commanding Officer) and, representing the Welsh Government, Deputy Presiding Officer, David Melding. Lord Elis Thomas (pictured below, left) was also amongst the guests at the ceremony.

 

The Choir’s links with HMS Dragon started with an informal tour of the ship when it was still in the Clyde dockyards in Glasgow in February 2011. It was arranged by second tenor Colin Johnson, who served at the Royal Navy's Communications Training Centre in Swansea which was itself commissioned between 1982 and 1994 as HMS Dragon.

He
arranged the visit when members of the Choir were staying in Glasgow as part of a social trip to Scotland. The ship had not been formally handed over to the Royal Navy at that point and the visiting choristers, together with MD Joy Amman Davies, were required to wear full safety gear, including hard hats, for the extensive tour. At the end of the tour the group put on a “mini-concert” in the ship’s helicopter hanger and the naval officers who hosted the visit were sufficiently impressed to later invite the Choir to sing at the Commissioning Ceremony

Guest of Honour at the Commissioning Ceremony was the Ship's Sponsor, Mrs Susie Boissier. Choir Vice Chairman, David Taylor presented Mrs Boisser with a copy of the Choir's latest CD.

David received a ship's shield, on behalf of the Choir, from HMS Dragon's Commanding Officer, Commander Darren Houston

Some other photographs from the Reception

 

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