Ely City Military Band To Be Awarded Freedom Of The City At Cathedral Ceremony
THE City of Ely Military band is to be honoured for its outstanding services in the community. The band is to be awarded Freedom of the City in recognition of more than four decades of hard work. The civic honour is normally bestowed upon individuals but
THE City of Ely Military band is to be honoured for its outstanding services in the community.
The band is to be awarded Freedom of the City in recognition of more than four decades of hard work. The civic honour is normally bestowed upon individuals but an exception has been made by Ely councillors.
A special ceremony will take place at Ely Cathedral on Sunday.
There has been a military band in the city since the early 20th century but the two world wars led to its disbandment. The current City of Ely Military Band formed in 1962 and throughout its history; it has performed widely across the country and Europe, as well as regularly in Ely and East Anglia. The band has performed in the Lord Mayor's Parade in London on three occasions, at the Easter Parade in Battersea as well as at concerts in Germany and the Netherlands. Since its formation more than 40 years ago, the band has never missed a Remembrance Day Parade in the city.
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The band's membership spans all ages, from primary school pupils to pensioners and three of the original members are still attending.
As well as supporting many local charities, the band has raised thousands of pounds for Cancer Research, giving many evening concerts to collect funds.
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Every December, the band plays Christmas carols in the Market Place or around the town and its Christmas concert is always well supported.
Band secretary Malcolm Fletcher said the members were thrilled to be honoured.
"We are absolutely overwhelmed," he said. "It must be remembered that this is for the services provided over the whole 47 years and this honour is for all our members, past and present. It is credit to all those people over the years that have put in so much effort."
Mr Fletcher said it was only the third time in Ely's history that an organisation had been granted Freedom of the City. The first was the RAF's Strike Command, which run the hospital, and the British Army's Cambridgeshire Regiment.
He added: "After all these years, I'm a septuagenarian now; I still get excited before every band performed. I am equally as excited as I was 47 years ago - I'm like a child!"
INFO: The service will take place at Ely Cathedral on Sunday, October 11, at 4pm. Past members who would like to attend the service should call Malcolm Fletcher on 01353 663324.