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It was an event of superlatives.

The Principles of Project Management were in operational splendor.

It was not your typical vanity project that was preceded by oversold hype with ensuing deflation because the under – delivery was palpable- even during the event.

This was befitting of the parlance ‘Officer Like’- not used in the context of upbraiding.

The requisite micromanagement of all of the individual parts, to assure the promised quality, was on display here…evident in the Meet and Greet…from the gate.

Yes, the opening leg of the event was hosted at the Military Headquarters Camp Ayangana but the details of registering attendance with regimental number was a chuckling surprise for many because it’s a recollection lost in the bustle of expatriation.

This granular level of detail that the registration exercise represented, though, was a prelude to the carefully orchestrated and painstaking planning that crafted the ceremonious overlay of this EX GDF Officers Reunion 2023.

It was not only grand because of the presence of prominent members of the political sphere.

It was grand because there was the nostalgic restoration of the ceremony that attended the choreographed dinners that were part of the periodic coming together of officers, to establish and extend camaraderie.

The finger food selection, displayed à la haute cuisine at this cocktail event, was forerunner to the lavish elegance to come.

Commending the support staff of the Force’s Messing Department is a collective sentiment we’ll leave here.

This includes the efficient and guest -friendly service at the traditional and juice bars, as well as the bands that stimulated moods with the appropriate genre of music to mingle by.

And this was just the warm up session of the effort and expertise put in to the project.

The grand ball and dinner event, hosted at the local Marriot Hotel, registered past the gradients on the expectations meter.

The hundreds of attendees was testament to the interest invoked when the prospect of a different thing by a new team became incentive.

Its pre-dinner cocktail reception was the perfect segue to the previous evening’s renewing of old friendships, with the opportunity to meet others not met.

Replete with service and appropriate appetizers, the tone was set for the dinner which was a tastefully assembled plating of fine dining, set in a banquet hall with characteristic regalia and exquisite service that goes with ‘Officer-Like’ events.

Couched between dinner courses was tribute to the organization that the function celebrated.

There were interesting but well-timed narrations that ranged from serious to light-hearted; resurrecting the time-hallowed traditions of the Officers’ Dinner… begin, be brief, be gone.

What was evident was that the organization, the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), remains grounded in its military heritage, a resilient tie that binds, even as the allegiance to governments changes.

Most who’ve served and have shared stories of their varied reasons for ‘joining’ will say that their attraction was not the friendships hatched after sharing tight spaces during training, that the exercises and mock battles fought were never part of their consideration.

But, they’ll tell you now that the pride they feel in retrospect is because of these interactions, that the endearment they feel, even after decades, is because of that one time they had to implicitly trust this person and the elation felt when s/he did not disappoint and that the undying camaraderie that the shared privilege of serving creates, is unique to this profession.

It’s this connection that brought many together to celebrate this ExGDF Officers Re-Union 2023 and its lavish elegance met every expectation.

The Officer Corps is the stuff of legend, so paying tribute to it in the form of reunion comes at a premium.

Its brand, in context, is sacrosanct so anything short of a scrupulously planned program shows the dilution of the fabric of preeminence and impeccability that is its customary goal.

The production by this 2023 Reunion Team has re-set the bar to its rightful rung of tasteful elegance.

That has been a trade mark of the Officer Corps, the underpinning of its organizational culture and a fond recall of how these dinners were experienced.

The trajectory of the tradition has been reinstated…now, hopefully, with more permanence than not.

Some Pertinent history.

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