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Douglas strengthens affiliation with HMS Vigilant

Wednesday, 12 December 2018 07:49

The Borough of Douglas has strengthened its civic affiliation with HMS Vigilant, after four of the submarine’s crew- Lieutenant Nick Spurgeon, Petty Officer Joe McGrath, Leading Hand David Beverley and Chef Howard Pearson - met with His Worship the Mayor Councillor Jonathan Joughin JP, Council Leader Councillor David Christian MBE JP and senior Council officers at Douglas Town Hall on Monday December 3.


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Following the visit Councillor Christian, (pictured above with the Mayor) said: ‘The affiliation between Douglas and HMS Vigilant was established in 1996, the year which marked both the launch of the boat and the Council’s centenary year during which I served as Mayor. Since then there have been visits to HMS Vigilant at her base in Faslane and reciprocal visits have been made by a number of her officers to Douglas when HMS Vigilant has, in some years, been represented at our Remembrance Sunday service. Crew members have also competed in football matches with local clubs, played in golf competitions and taken part in other sporting activities.


‘Over the years HMS Vigilant has become very much a part of the community, with crew members supporting local charities through events such as sponsored cycle rides. In addition, when their duties permit, officers visit the Isle of Man Sea Cadet unit.


‘As one of four submarines which make up the United Kingdom’s national nuclear deterrent force, HMS Vigilant has a deployment schedule that does not allow for regular contact to be maintained. We were therefore delighted when, in August this year, we were contacted by the new Commanding Officer, Commander Ben Smith, proposing that some of his officers pay a formal visit to Douglas to re-energise links with Douglas. Now, with a largely new crew and a strengthened relationship made through this visit, there is an appetite on both sides to bring a fresh impetus to the affiliation, which we hope might be celebrated next spring with a parade through the town.’