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Tacama battle school drill square renamed in honour of outstanding veteran

The Guyana Defence Force on Friday renamed the Drill Square at the Colonel John Clarke Military School at Tacama in honour of  Warrant Officer Class Two (ret’d) Patrick Williams . The decision to honour WO Williams in this manner, together with the establishment of a Veteran’s Affairs Office testifies to the commitment of the Guyana Defence Force to recognise its stalwarts and their invaluable contributions.

Williams’s military history dates back to 1956 as a soldier with the British Guiana Volunteer Force, where he served with distinction during emergencies and civil unrest in the pre-independence era. He later enlisted in the Guyana Defence Force, serving with honour until his retirement on November 12, 1984.  WO Williams was awarded the Rupununi Border Defence Medal for his valiant efforts in the Uprising of 1974. Thirteen years of his service was spent at Tacama where he was engaged in the training of recruits.

At a simple yet significant dedication ceremony held at the Drill Square, Chief of Staff, Commodore Gary Best lauded the work of the former soldier. He stated that he felt that the tribute was fitting since WO Williams was an individual of extra-ordinary character. “You were an exceptional Sergeant Major, a patriot and a remarkable person and the name of Warrant Officer Class Two Patrick Williams is now assured in the history of the Guyana Defence Force,” COS Best remarked.

Commanding Officer of Training Corps Lieutenant Colonel Khemraj Persaud in brief remarks echoed the sentiments of the COS. “He made this ground sacred and transformed many wavering minds into military souls. This was his stage and form his privilege position he was able to singlehandedly uphold the high standards required of the military, especially at the inductee stage,” he said.

Warrant Officer Williams humbly accepted the honours bestowed upon him and stated that he was delighted to have the Drill Square renamed after him. “This will be remembered by my family long after I have passed and so I thank you,” he said.

He recollected that Tacama was his home for 13 years and it was his duty to ensure that training produced good recruits for the organisation he had grown to love.
In addressing the Training Instructors who led on a parade of recruits on the Square, he implored that consistency, patience and enthusiasm are the qualities which they needed to possess and urged too that they needed to disassociate themselves from certain indulgences.

He emphasised that Drill Squares are sacred and was the place where military discipline is best displayed. He urged the Force’s hierarchy Force to continue on a path of naming other Drills Squares in honour of  other Warrant Officers who may be worthy of such recognition.

Warrant Officers (Ret’d) W Nurse, Randolph Reynolds, Margaret Arthur, Bertram Jervis and Dennis Rock and Staff Sergeants (Ret’d) Beverley Sommerset  Cecil Chin and Thomas Prince were among those who attended and were honoured at the dedication ceremony.