A taste of the exotic comes to HMS Collingwood

Topic: People Storyline: HMS Collingwood

To celebrate Commonwealth Day, staff at HMS Collingwood were given a taste of the music and food of the Caribbean and Fiji.

There was a warm welcome as staff were greeted by the smiling faces of members of the Catering Services Shore Employment Team (CSSET), glorious aromas and a backdrop of calypso and Caribbean music.  Treats available included Fijian coconut rice, beef patties and jerk chicken with banana bread and cassava cake. 

Lieutenant Re Tagivetaua, originally from Fiji, was keen to showcase some of the food available as he also explained why he joined the Royal Navy.

He said, “I grew up in a small village and in 2004 there was an opportunity for people in Commonwealth countries to apply to join up. It was a very simple online process and I was invited to come over for an interview and a fitness test. I returned to Fiji for three or four months before joining HMS Raleigh in 2005. Since then I’ve been able to bring my wife and children over to live here but I’ve also been at sea for sixteen years and seen many countries in that time!”

Able Seaman (AB) Dorcia de Freitas joined the Royal Navy back in 2016. Smiling, she said, “I’m glad I joined up, I’m really enjoying the naval life.”

It is true to say that a little flavour of warmer climes definitely brightened up a chilly Monday morning at HMS Collingwood!

Photographs courtesy of Keith Woodland, Crown Copyright

I’m glad I joined up, I’m really enjoying the naval life.

Able Seaman Dorcia de Freitas