Director of Music (Lt Col Wayne Hopla)
Late in the evening of Tuesday 16 May following several weeks of careful planning and diligent rehearsals, we boarded our transport and headed off to Brize Norton on the first leg of our Annual Training Exercise….next stop - Cyprus!
On arriving at Akrotiri and taking over accommodation, it was a visit to the RAF Volunteers Band facilities, to borrow some of their larger instruments which they very kindly agreed to lend us. It had been an extremely long day so we all slept well, waking fully refreshed for the first day of our week-long deployment.
Full Band rehearsal in the RAF Practice Room
With planned training sessions in all aspects of our capability, we programmed a Friday visit to Akrotiri primary school, performing the same concert to THREE different aged audiences (note: same VERY bad DOM jokes!). The Corps of Drums when down particularly well with the youngsters ….
3 PWRR Corps of Drums in action ….
Despite being a weekend, the next morning several of our ultra-keen runners took part in the weekly ‘Parkrun’ (around the Station) and of course there was always time to relax in the evenings, where we attended line-dancing lessons, ‘Friday Night is Karaoke Night’ (thank goodness for PPE ear defence!) and basic Salsa!
A small team were lucky enough to invited to look around a Puma helicopter on a guided tour offered by the RAF.
Our keen aviators ……………..
Of course, you cannot visit Cyprus without seeking out the rich and diverse culture that makes it one of the oldest civilisations in the Mediterranean. Band members took full advantage of a clear Sunday, to explore what the island had to offer, ranging from the stunning mosaics in Paphos, breath-taking buildings and natural beauty of the Troodos.