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Gurkha Durbar 2011
This year the Gurkha Durbar 2011 was held in Dering Lines, Brecon South Wales on Saturday 03 September 2011. The day was like any other day you could have on the month of September cloudy but thankfully no rain. It is ‘the event’ in the calendar of Gurkha Company (Mandalay) which is held once every two years. It is a public relation event to promote good relations with the local community and to raise money for the two worthwhile charities – The Gurkha Welfare Trust and ABF -The Soldiers’ Charity.
Led by the Officer Commanding, Major Khusiman Gurung MVO, preparations and many co-ordinating meetings had taken place from as early as March 2011. With the final week prior to the day, everyone was involved from setting up the tents, to preparing the stalls, making an ordinary field to a Jungle Lane and many other related tasks. Keen visitors started arriving as early as 0830 hrs and the flow was never-ending till the closing hour.
The Gurkha Durbar started from 1030 hrs with the Commanding Officer’s opening speech. The main arena had events all day starting with the melodious display by the Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas and the Pipes and Drums of the 1st Battalion the Royal Gurkha Rifles. This was followed by dance performances from the ever enthusiastic Gurkha children, Khukuri Fighting Display, Martial Art Display, Nepalese Cultural Dance, Section Attack and the Raffle Draw .
There were number of stands set up for the children which included games like Hoopla, Hit the Coconut, Golf Putting and many more giving away attractive prizes such as a Nepalese Hand Made Bags and T-Shirts. We also had other stands which included rock climbing, bouncy castle, darts, paint balling, PRI Shop and not to forget the endless queue on the Gurkha Curry Stall.
The welcome tent had the Gurkha Durbar programme on sale with one lucky winner to win ‘the Kothimara Khukuri’. One of the Platoons was busy in the Jungle Lane which was one of the attractions for the locals. Just as you entered the lane, you could feel the wilds of the Jungle from the sounds of different animals to the narrow lanes and faint visibility. It was set up to show the people how soldiers live and survive in the Jungle using the natural resources. As you came out of the Jungle Lane, there were all the weapons Infantry Battle School hold on display from Signal Pistol to GPMGs’ and LMGs’. No man would walk away without getting their hands on those weapons. Mrs Rupa Rana from BFBS Gurkha Radio based in Shorncliffe presented an excellent coverage of the activities of the day for our wider BFBS listeners across the world. Our heartfelt thank goes to Mrs Rupa Rana and BFBS for their hard work and excellent support.
The day came to an end around 1630 hrs with the March Off display by the Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas and Pipes and Drums of the 1st Bn the Royal Gurkha Rifles. The event was a huge success and as much pride we took part in organising the Gurkha Durbar 2011.
Jai Gurkha Company(Mandalay) Jai Brigade of Gurkhas
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