Brigade Week (BW) normal routine activity for 2020 was curtailed due to the COVID-19 restrictions.
Routinely it would have consisted of BG specific management meetings (Council of Gurkha Colonels, BG Steering Group (Commanding Officers (CO) and Gurkha Majors (GM)), GM’s Cabal, Religious Leaders, BFBS Bilat, RCMOs meeting, The Royal Gurkha Rifles (RGR) Council, Trust and Colonels meetings, the “4 Pillars” (serving BG, Gurkha Museum, Gurkha Welfare Trust and Gurkha Brigade Association), Gurkha Media Reps meeting and then the Nepal Cup, BG Sounding the retreat and Dinner Night. The GBA Bhela, the largest annual gathering of the Gurkha veteran community in Aldershot. All these events were either restricted or did not occur this year. But find out how we delivered key elements.
The overall aims for BW are to improve operational outputs and efficiency, communicate areas of shared interest and improvement and to deepen the bounds of camaraderie. To catch up, celebrate success and ID areas to improve over messing!
The meetings were held virtually over the period 6-10 Jul, usually first thing in the morning to accommodate those in Brunei, Nepal and Iraq, who were not able to travel back to RMAS in Camberley for the meetings. With the near 4 months of lockdown, these virtual meetings were familiar to all and were still effective given the deep bonds of friendship and trust born of operations and training together that exist in the Brigade.
The Council of Gurkha Colonels and BG Steering Group were held in person at HQBG. Areas of strategic interest that affect all in the BG were discussed, politics, policies and people. The excellent contribution made by many BG Unit and Regimental leaders was also marked, with Colonels Queen’s Gurkha Engineers (QGE) and the Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment (QOLGR) changing and CO 1 RGR, CO and GM 2 RGR, Commandant and GM QGE, GM Queen’s Gurkha Signals (QGSigs), Commander QOLGR all moving on after loyal and dedicated service. Collective thanks and best wishes were suitably passed on.
BG 2020 was unusual, the annual “gathering of the clan” where one would expect about 4,000 to meet did not happen in person but the very strong sentiments of friendship, enthusiasm, hard work from all elements of the Brigade of Gurkha family were very evident. It was perhaps more of a success than we would have anticipated. Plans are being made already for a slimline version of BW before the end of the year, to the fullest extent that regulations will allow, to meet up and drive things forward and to deliver the Nepal Cup to boot.