The island’s soldiers turned out in force at the weekend for the funeral of a comrade-in-arms killed in a bike crash. Corporal Ricardo Gibbs, who had served in the Royal Bermuda Regiment for more than 20 years, was buried after a military ceremony at the New Testament Church of God in Hamilton.
Hundreds packed the church on Saturday as the father of three, who died on Wednesday, January 16 after an accident on Paget’s Harbour Road, was remembered.
Corporal Gibbs’ sister, Sanya Gibbs, 38, told mourners: “He was a proud soldier and he took pride in serving his country.”
She added: “He was humble, always smiling and never had anything harsh to say about anybody.”
Ms Gibbs told Corporal Gibbs’ children: “He loved his children. He always made sure he called you guys...He showed up. You guys really made him proud.”
RBR Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel David Curley said: “It is with sadness I stand before you today to remember Corporal Ricardo Gibbs.”
He added that Jamaican-born Corporal Gibbs had spent most of his RBR career in the Regimental Police, which is responsible for discipline, security and also plays a major role in ceremonial duties.
Colonel Curley said: “Like many of us who have served our country in the Royal Bermuda Regiment, Corporal Gibbs found a place of belonging, a place of purpose and a place of pride in the Regiment.”
He added: “Like no other organisation in Bermuda, we draw strength from our diversity.
“In the Royal Bermuda Regiment, our soldiers’ country of origin, religion, economic or educational status, their sexual orientation and their lived experience foster a shared respect and mutual understanding across our ranks.
“We get along and we are family.”
Colonel Curley said: “Corporal Gibbs was all we could hope for in a soldier.
“He was a man who embodied the values and standards of our Regiment ...selfless commitment, courage, discipline, integrity, loyalty and respect for others.
“Corporal Ricardo Gibbs did his job, he did it well, he did it with pride and a smile and also with respect and love.”
Corporal Gibbs’ coffin was taken to the Dundonald Road church on an RBR gun carriage and was carried by fellow soldiers.
The cortege was led to St John’s churchyard in Pembroke by the Regiment’s Band & Corps of Drums and escorted by an honour guard.