Early festive celebrations at HMS Sultan

By Matthew Hibberd

CHRISTMAS jumpers, carols, turkey, fun and games and charity were amongst the festive themes as Christmas came early to HMS Sultan earlier this week before the holidays begin.

On Monday service and civilian personnel from across the base came together for its annual carol service. Held on St Nicholas Day, marking the patron saint of sailors, the service included readings and carols accompanied by the HMS Sultan Volunteer Band. In the evening, in keeping with the best of Naval traditions, Commanding Officer Captain John Voyce and his command team served junior ratings with their Christmas dinner.

On Tuesday, Santa hats and outrageous pullovers were all on display as personnel took part in Charity Divisions for Save The Children and The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.

Wednesday saw the festivities continue as the Sports and Recreation Centre (SARC) held the annual Christmas It’s a Knockout competition. Teams in fancy dress from across the establishment took part in fun and games ranging from carol singing and sticky pudding runs to visiting Santa’s grotto, with donations of food and gifts collected for the Pompey in the Community and the Trussell Trust Food Bank’s ‘Reverse Advent Calendar’ appeal.

Capt Voyce said: “2021 has been busy for everyone at HMS Sultan.  Training throughout the year we have continued to equip our Air and Marine Engineers and Technicians with the skills to keep the Royal Navy’s ships, submarines, and airframes at sea and in the air.

“In addition, we’ve supported local and national events of importance, promoted STEM activities to engage future engineers and supported our local community, through charity events, including our fireworks display – all this delivered as we celebrate 65 years of HMS Sultan as a centre of Royal Navy engineering excellence.

“Nothing would have been possible without the ongoing efforts of our people, military and civilian, and as we reflect on the year that has passed I am delighted that we can come together and enjoy some well-deserved fun.”

PICTURED BY PEPE HOGAN: The CO, Captain Voyce and XO Cdr Bastiaens serving at the Junior Rates Christmas Dinner