Governor General of St. Kitts and Nevis, Sir Cuthbert Sebastian, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis Dr. Denzil Douglas, Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr. Curtis Martin, other government dignitaries, Reigning National Carnival Queen Ms. Kaila Huggins and private sector officials, were all present to witness the traditional ceremony, known as Beating the Retreat, which took place on the Bay Road.
In front of hundreds of spectators, the ceremony began with the arrival of the Governor General who was greeted with several cheers as he exited his vehicle and took his position on a dais where he took a salute from the security units on hand. The first stanza of the National Anthem was then played by the band.
An inspection was then carried out by the Governor General, of the troops on display.
The parade moved its way down to Port Zante, where they halted for approximately 10 minutes as the day’s sunset drew nearer; and they were once again brought into action by the sound of the bass drum, signalling the troops to make their way back to the Bay Road.
One minute to sunset, the Governor General took to the dais once again, where he received another salute from the troops. At sunset the flag of St. Kitts and Nevis, which was being flown throughout the entire parade, was lowered and then the second stanza of the National Anthem was played, to signal the end of the parade.
The Beating of the Retreat Ceremony dates back to a time when the drum was used to command solders on the battle field and the ceremony was used to summon the troops from the battle field at sunset.
Monday marked 60 years to the day, since the Queen’s ascension to the throne, following the sudden death of her father.