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Governor bids emotive farewell to Gibraltar

Photos by Johnny Bugeja.

Governor Vice Admiral Sir David Steel bid farewell to Gibraltar as walked down Main Street greeting the public during an emotive event on Thursday morning.

For the public, Sir David’s last moments in Gibraltar were an opportunity to thank him for his service and share brief meaningful exchanges.

Schoolchildren lined Main Street clapping, cheering and waving at Sir David, holding their hands out for a ‘high-five’ from the Governor.

Sir David, a retired senior Royal Navy officer, assumed office of Governor of Gibraltar on June 11, 2020.

Thursday marked the end of his almost four-year tenure in Gibraltar.

“I’m completely overwhelmed,” Sir David told the Chronicle.

“I feel very emotional about it because Gibraltar’s become my home and now having to leave and I will miss the people of Gibraltar immensely.”

He added he never expected the large crowds and turn-out at his ceremonial departure.

His service to Gibraltar was recognised during the ceremonial departure with crowds outside the Convent waiting to catch a glimpse of the Governor.

Sir David exited the Convent at 11am to two Guards of Honour provided by members of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment and essential services personnel who were on parade.

He inspected the Guards of Honour, and in recognition of his naval career, Royal Navy personnel acted as the Convent Guard.

After inspecting the parade and a Royal Salute, Sir David handed over The Keys of Gibraltar to the Port Sergeant in an emotional moment.

He then walked up Main Street greeting the public and bidding farewell.

He momentarily stopped outside the Courts speak to the Chief Justice, Anthony Dudley, and later outside the Cathedral of St Mary the Crowned to say his goodbyes to local religious leaders.

In the Lobby of Parliament, Sir David greeted Speaker of the House Karen Ramagge and the Members of Parliament before proceeding to City Hall to bid farewell to the Mayor, Carmen Gomez.

Outside City Hall, Sir David inspected the Calpe Band, spoke to the GirlGuides, and received a round of applause from Gibraltar Cultural Services.

Ending the route downtown, Sir David visited the Royal Gibraltar Regiment Association premises in Irish Town to say farewell to the and later drove to the Naval base to say his goodbyes to MoD personnel.

The Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, escorted Sir David airside at the International Gibraltar Airport before a final farewell at the foot of a British Airways flight to Heathrow, which departed at 10pm.

A 17-gun Salute was fired by Thomson’s Battery, the Royal Gibraltar Regiment, as Sir David stepped onto the aircraft.

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