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Governor presides over 'Beating Retreat' ceremony

Written by: Staff
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Mumbai, Dec 4 (UNI) Maharashtra Governor S M Krishna today presided over the colourful 'Beating Retreat' ceremony, organised by the Western Fleet of the Indian Navy at the Gateway of India here, marking the end of 'Navy Week' celebrations.

The ceremony began with scintillating music played by the world's acclaimed Naval Band of the Western Fleet, displaying a range of colorful quick march and Nautical Buglers and Beethoven music.

Naval officers of 22 countries attending the three-day World Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS) were also present in full strength and gave the salute, along with sailors and officers of the Western Fleet, when the Navy Tricolor was lowered during the 'Sunset Ceremony'.

At sunset, the Band played Hymns - 'Night Fall in the Camp, Abide With Me', Cornfield Rock, Fifth of Beethoven, Light Cavalry Overture, 'Lord You Are The One I Want', inviting applause and ovation from invitees and officers of the WPNS.

During the week-long Naval celebrations, there were various activities including an open sea swimming championship, sports, ferrying physically challenged children for a sea cruise and interaction with the people.

Ministry of Defence Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) A K Lamhate told UNI that the Naval Band of the Western Fleet is one of the best and most acclaimed bands in India and across the world.

The Western Fleet band has done exceptionally well since its inception and has been invited on many occasion to perform in several countries like Singapore, Malaysia Indonesia, Germany and France.

The Naval Band was first formed in the 1940s during the colonial era with 50 personnels. In the early 50s, the band was inducted into the Western Fleet. Today, it boasts of 130 personnels playing various instruments with utmost precision and expertise.

'Beating Retreat' is an age-old military ceremony, which has its origin in the practicalities of warfare. The drum, used for all signals on the battlefield, beat the signal to 'Retreat' in the evening.

The custom was also used to warn outlying troops to return to their billets before the gates were shut for the night. Later, piper playing was added to the 'Beating Retreat'.

The ceremony has been embellished over the years, which has taken the form of a military musical pageant. The ceremony culminates with the lowering of colours at sunset.

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