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Bridgewater Fire Department Band

81 Dominion St. Bridgewater. Nova Scotia

Saturday August 13th

The day began early with a three hour combined rehearsal at WYFRS Headquarters.  After being presented with an official letter of greeting from Her Majesty the Queen, the bands got down to work.  While the English conductor, Lee Whitworth, was rehearsing the selections he would be conducting at the gala concert on Wednesday night, BFD Fire Chief Wayne Thorburne and BFDB Band Director Wendell Eisener were given a tour of their very impressing training, administrative, and dispatch facilities.  The English fire officer giving them the tour lamented that due to financial constraint, the annual fire service budget for their county had recently been cut back to the equivalent of only $160,000,000.00 Canadian!

 

After rehearsal and lunch, members of both bands packed gear and proceeded to the City Hall in Bradford, the county seat of West Yorkshire.  After a marching display in the parade square in front of the town hall (a massive structure) by members of the WYFRS Band, both bands were granted the “freedom of the city,” an ancient and highly prized honour that is usually reserved for the armed forces, and were given police escort as we marched around the city centre.

 

BFD Band members then performed a brief open-air concert for hundreds of spectators in the parade square, in the presence of local dignitaries including the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire (the Queen’s local representative, much like N.S.’s Lieutenant-Governor) and the Lord Mayor of Bradford.