Branch Meeting – September 2017

September’s Branch Meeting was held at the Canary Social Club on 26 September 2017 with 39 members attending.

The usual formalities were observed with a minute’s silence for those that have crossed the bar, followed by reports from:

Chairman

The Chairman welcomed S/M’s Robert and Joyce Hood to the Branch, Robert is transferring from the HQ Roll and Joyce joins the Branch as a new member.

The Chairman commenced the meeting by electing a new Branch Secretary.

The Chairman asked the Vice-Chairman to continue with the procedure who advised that he had received three nominations for the same individual, being S/M Gus Honeywood. The Vice-Chairman asked those present to confirm their proposals.

Proposed: Clifford Self

Seconded: Barbara Whiley

The Vice-Chairman than asked all present to raise their hands, indicating the approval or disapproval of the proposal, which was carried unanimously, before the Vice-Chairman stated for the first time that S/M Gus Honeywood was the new Branch Secretary.

The Chairman then welcomed the new secretary to the Branch and invited him to the top table to commence their duties forthwith.

The Chairman continued by hoping that tonight we will see some prospective members joining us after the advertising campaign organised by Gus; advising that there was not much response to the night out at the Eagle public house in Newmarket Road but there wass a good chance that we will see at least one new member. The Chairman has also been approached by a new RMA member who had informed him that he will be joining the RNA as well. Thanks to Gus for all his efforts, and to those who have supported him. Remember, it is not just one person’s job to recruit, it is the role of all members to try and get new members and increase our membership.

Thanks also must go to Alf Wiggins in his efforts to get the Branch accommodated next to the Nelson and Trafalgar exhibition at the Castle Museum. Thank you, Alf.

This coming Sunday sees the Nelson Service at All Saints Church, Burnham Thorpe and it is hoped that as many of you as possible will be able to attend; this is another opportunity for this Branch to ‘show the flag’ and get ourselves noticed. The service starts at 1030, I’ll see you there! A show of hands indicated that there will be 12 shipmates attending the service.

The Branch has received an invitation from the North Norfolk Trafalgar Association to attend their annual Trafalgar Dinner on Friday 20th October at the Virginia Court Hotel, Cromer. The Chairman mentioned that he had dined with this group before and they are a really great bunch of people, unfortunately he is unable to attend as he is duty emergency manager that night and already has had to get a stand in to cover for the Branches Trafalgar Dinner the following night. The Chairman is keen however to see this Branch represented and if anyone can attend then details are available. The cost for a two course dinner with wine is £25. Are there any takers?

The Chairman reported that he had received a letter from Costessey Town Council advising of their plans to hold an Armed Forces Commemoration at their Fete with Sunset Ceremony on 27 May 2018. The Chairman read the letter and asked whether the Branch were in favour of attending the event; of which the majority of those present agreed that the Branch should attend. The Fete will be held between 1000-1700, concluding with sunset ceremony, and the Branch has also been invited to have a stall at the event.

Finally, the Chairman hoped that those of you who attended the lunch at Costessey Park on Sunday enjoyed it. Thanks to Nev for organising the event and he went onto stress that all these events are organised for your benefit so it is up to you to support them. The Chairman knows that members cannot attend everything, and would not expect you to, but this Branch in the last few years has ‘bucked the trend’ compared with other Branches and we have maintained high membership. This is in no small part to the activities that have been organised on your behalf so my thanks to all those who organise events for you, and long may it continue.

Secretary

Commenced by reporting that we have been informed that East Anglia WRNS Association will be hosting a WRNS 100 Celebration Lunch on Sunday 1st October 2017 at the Assembly House, Norwich 1215 for 1245. The Secretary advised that Helen Eales, who was present at the back of the room could be approached for details:

2 course lunch £28. 1200 -1230 – Arrive, meet and greet, 1230 – Welcome, 1240 – Pipe to tables, 1245 – Lunch, 1415 (approx.) – Loyal toast / Coffee / Discussion on future meetings, 1500 – 1515 – Depart for Norwich Castle, 1530 – 1630 – Nelson exhibition (final day, last hour, entry only £2), 1630 – Finish

A Remembrance and Commemoration service is being organised on the morning of Saturday 11th November at the Church of St. Peter in Haveringland. As normal the Service will be for those who died in conflicts and peacekeeping efforts around the World. However, this year sees the 70th Anniversary of the closure and decommissioning of RAF Swannington, so the Service will be in memory of those aircrew members who were killed in action or aircraft accidents, whilst serving on either 85 Squadron RAF or 157 Squadron RAF at RAF Swannington.

​Following​ research into the RAF airmen who died, details of two Royal Navy aircrew members who were attached to 157 Squadron RAF (*See Names below)​ have been identified​. The Secretary advised that he had details of the two officers should anyone member wish to view them:

The two Officers died of their injuries after an aircraft accident on Monday 7th August 1944 whilst flying a 157 Squadron Mosquito aircraft. At the moment I am trying to find out more about the incident and to trace any of their living relatives.

* The two Officers were:

Ty/Lieutenant (A) Peter Francis Pryor RNVR (Pilot), HMS Daedalus (Age 28) Attached to 157 Squadron, RAF Swannington.

Ty/Sub Lieutenant (A) Douglas MacKenzie RNVR (Observer), (Age 22) Attached to 157 Squadron RAF Swannington

​A request has been received to see if any of our ​Branch Members would lay a wreath in memory of those two Navy ​Officers?

​If you are able to attend and represent the Branch then please email me, and I will forward your details to the person organising.​

In addition, although not buried here, there is a bench in the churchyard here dedicated to a Royal Navy Harrier Pilot who died in a crash on 1st December 1996. His name is Lt.Cdr. Mike Aukland and he was from 899 NAS OEU Based AT Yeovilton. Sadly, his brother, Flight Lieutenant Bill Auckland RAF, also a Harrier Pilot was also killed in a flying accident shortly after. Both are mentioned on plaques on the bench Their parents, Fred and Gisela Auckland will be at the Service in November.

The Sea Cadets have their Annual General Meeting at 1900 on 24th October at the T.A Center, all ship mates are welcome to attend; There should be updated news on what is to become of Norwich sea cadets.

Membership Secretary

Welcomed the two new members to the Branch and advised that a new Associate Member had joined, who unfortunately was unable to attend this evenings meeting.

Welfare Secretary

Joan Clark recently crossed the Bar, she was an associate member for many years and attended many meeting and functions. Her funeral is at St Helens Church, Gurney Road, Costessey 1330 on 4th October. Joan was age 90 this year

The Branch has been asked by Peter Taylor Funeral Services if any branch members could attend the funeral of the above gent.  He served in the RN for 24 years.  I have no further details of him.  His funeral is on the 9th October at 1200 at The Parish of Eaton, Christ Church. The family would be grateful for any to attend.

Have been contacted by a lady asking if we could make contact on a regular basis with S/M Reg Savory-Smith. In February of this year he was 91.  He is now housebound and would welcome a visit or phone call.  He lives in Cringleford.  If you are able to visit or give him a call please contact me.

We get asked more and more if we could provide a Befriending Service, as does many other Ex Forces Associations.  If you would be willing to assist in this area that would be great.  Many of the calls are for those over 90, have no immediate friends or family and are usually quite isolated.

As previously mentioned, the Veterans Discount Card is well worth considering. Costs £25 for a lifetime card and it would appear that a 10% discount on the price of a new card has been available.

Social Secretary

Provided an update on forthcoming events:

Forthcoming Events

01st Oct – Nelson Service – 1030 at Burnham Thorpe – Area 5 Standard will be present / Standards Requested / Blazers and Medals/

01st Oct – East Anglia WRNS 100 – 1215 – 1245 at the Assembly House Celebration Lunch – 2 course lunch – £28 for all serving and Ex WRNS.

03rd Oct – Branch Committee Meeting

07th Oct – Edith Cavell Service – 1030 at Norwich Cathedral.

08th Oct – Breakfast Club – 1000 at Table Table

10th Oct – Branch Meeting

21st Oct – Trafalgar Night – Received notification from RAF Marham that Lt Cdr Anna Townsend and her partner will be attending as the Branches Guests of Honour.

22nd Oct – El Alamein Service (Desert Rats) – 1100 at St Andrews Church

04th Nov – Run Ashore – 2000 at Trafford Arms – Celebrating Pickle Night.

12th Dec – Christmas Function – S/M Nev Townsend advised that S/M Chris Spinks had been booked to host his disco. Last year’s catering company has also been booked, buffet and desserts being provided. In addition, there will a quiz on the evening, and the theme for the evening would be ‘gash’ Christmas Jumpers.

Any Other Business

S/M Reg McGuire – Requested volunteers to help dress the room for the Trafalgar Night Dinner. S/M Pat Whiley advised that the room is available from 1200 on 21st October. 8 members indicated that they would be available to help dress the room.

S/M Mark Boast – Advised that he will be attending the Remembrance Day Service at the Gardens of Death for the Burma Railroad in Thailand, and will be available to place a poppy cross for any members that had family involved that Theatre of Conflict.

 

RNA Norwich

The Norwich Branch is one of 300+ branches of the Royal Naval Association world wide. It was commissioned in 1979 and today has a membership of just over 90. It is a registered charity in its own right - the Registered Charity Number is: 1068699

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