Armed Forces rotate changing of guards

A ceremony by the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) to rotate the responsibilities and duties of ceremonial guards at the Flagstaff House among the Navy, the Air Force and the Army was held at the seat of government in Accra yesterday.

The brief but impressive ceremony was witnessed by the Vice-President, Mr Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur; the Chief of Staff, Mr Douglas Bani; military heads and selected schoolchildren from the Burma Camp Basic School.

The changing of the guard ceremony has the potential to attract the attention of tourists who may want to watch it.

It also offers basic educational institutions the opportunity to arrange excursions for their pupils to coincide with the event, so that the pupils could watch the ceremony which they may have learnt about in history books.

Before the inauguration of President John Dramani Mahama, it was mainly the Army that shouldered the responsibility for this very important ceremonial duty.

The changing of the guard is a military tradition whose origin is shrouded in historical uncertainties.

What is certain is that in most countries guards and sentries at palaces, forts and defence establishments are changed periodically to enable a fresh body of guards to take over.

In Ghana, this practice was common and beautifully performed during the First Republic but was abandoned later.

Story: Timothy Gobah

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