Crowds gathered in Falmouth on Sunday 15th April to witness the historic moment when the Town Council bestowed the Honorary Freedom of the town upon the RFA Mounts Bay.
The Town Council’s affiliation with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessel began when the then Mayor, Councillor Maureen Davies, attended the ship’s launch in Glasgow in April 2004.The relationship between the Council and the Ship has strengthened since then. Last September the ship’s service of dedication was held in Falmouth, which has formally adopted the vessel.
The Ceremony was attended by crew members from RFA Mounts Bay and Civic Dignitaries. Camborne Sea Cadets and HMS Seahawk Volunteer Band were in attendance with Standard Bearers parading from several local organisations including the Royal Naval Association, the Royal British Legion, the Parachute Regiment Association and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Association.
Mayor, Roger Bonney, said: “This is a very prestigious event for Falmouth town and for RFA Mounts Bay. It is vitally important that we show, as a town, our support for the Navy and especially the Mounts Bay. It plays a very important role within the community and we look forward to strengthening this. “We know that the crew from Mounts Bay will be travelling all over the world and Falmouth will be travelling with them. “Wherever she travels, people will see and appreciate that Falmouth is doing its bit for the rest of the world.”
The ship’s Commanding Officer, Captain Ross Ferris, said upon being presented with the official framed scroll: “It is my privilege to receive the honorary freedom of the town and we are extremely proud of that tribute. We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with the town. “This affiliation will reap rewards for both sides of the partnership. Mounts Bay will visit many parts of our country and the world with our home port featured in press releases spelling out the virtues of the town. “In return we get to know the town and its people and demonstrate the worth of our service, the wider Navy and armed services in general and our ship’s crew can enjoy the hospitality of the port.”
The ceremony followed months of planning, mainly by former Town Clerk, Eric Dawkins, who unfortunately was unable to attend.
With compliments of the West Briton