Branch Meeting Update – October 2017

October’s Branch Meeting was held at the Canary Social Club on 10 October 2017 with 47 members attending.

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


The Chairman welcomed S/M’s Kelvin Kennedy and Bill Slater to the Branch.

The Chairman commenced by reporting that he had received a card from Sarah, daughter of Peggy Sparrow, thanking all Shipmates and containing a donation of £100 (Passed to Branch Hon. Treasurer)

The recent initiative by the Secretary to increase membership has had mixed success with a few new members but not perhaps the numbers we might have hoped for. Nevertheless, the work put in to the programme was very commendable and thanked Gus for all his hard work.

Hoped that the WRNS 100 celebration lunch on the 1st October at the Assembly Rooms was successful and that Helen Eales, who organised the event, was equally as successful in encouraging retired WRNS to join us here.

The Nelson service at Burnham Thorpe last Sunday week was well attended, especially by this Branch where twelve members turned up. A very well done to all those made the journey to north Norfolk.

Last Saturday saw the commemorative service for Nurse Edith Cavell at Norwich Cathedral and this year we had even more Standards on parade than has been seen in the past. Apart from the ex-Services contingent, there were representatives from the Belgium Embassy, local dignitaries including the Lord Lieutenant, and the medical profession. The Branch was represented by Pat WHILEY, thank you Pat for attending on our behalf.

By the time we have this meeting, we will have had another successful Breakfast Club so would like to take this opportunity to again thank Gus for his efforts in organising the event, and encourage those who have not attended in the past to go to the next one, you are missing out on a great start to the week!

Tonight, we will be holding a book sale and auction, all proceeds to Branch funds so please support this event. Remember, if you buy a book you can always bring it back when we have the next book sale and pass it on to another member.


We have been contacted by Harvey’s Funeral Home, who are officiating a funeral for a gentleman by the name of Stanley Albert Dickerson, who served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War onboard HMS Whitehall.

The funeral will take place at 1330 on Thursday 19 October at Earlham Crematorium and the family would be most grateful if any members are able to attend. S/M John Kett will check his diary to see if he is able to attend with the Standard.

Just a reminder that a Remembrance and Commemoration service is being organised on the morning of Saturday 11th November at the Church of St. Peter in Haveringland; S/M’s Mike Wilkinson, Nev Townsend and Gus Honeywood will be attending the event; with Mike agreeing to lay the wreath.

The Sea Cadets are holding their Trafalgar Parade in Norwich on the 15th October. All Shipmates are welcome to join them, times to be confirmed. In addition, the Cadets are looking for Shipmates to inspect their platoons, please contact the ship if anyone is interested.

The Unit 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. Finally, the Marine cadets had their annual inspection in the field, and I am pleased to say they passed, so that’s good news.

If you have any old one-pound coins in your possession, then the final time they will be accepted as legal tender will be 15th October.

Advised all members that S/M John Kett had brought the clothing catalogue along with him this evening, and would be taking orders.

Membership Secretary

Welcomed the two new members to the Branch.

Welfare Secretary

Please check your model number if you bought one of the 64000 produced between 2006 and 2009. The model number are FF175BP and FF175GB, the Model number should be found inside the door or behind the salad container. Please call this Hotline if you own – 08003163826 or visit

The Bereavement Support Payment came in force April 2017 and is available to all up to the age of State Pension age and can be paid up to 18 months. Its Non- Taxable and will be subject to a disregard in the calculation of means tested benefits and the benefit cap. It replaces Bereavement Payment, Widowed Parents Allowance & Bereavement Allowance. For more info please contact 0345 6060265 or Please be aware this benefit comes at a time of great distress. To be eligible you MUST have been married or in a Civil Partnership. If you are Living with your partner, no matter for how long, you will not be able to claim.

SSAFA Forces Help Line was set up 15 years ago and is confidential, operates 24/7. Free phone 08007314880

I hope you will all be aware Shipmate Stuart Fidler Lt Cdr RN was until March of this year Chairman of SSAFA Norfolk. He served in this post for the past seven years. During his time as Chairman he made quite a few changes to how the branch operates in many ways also in National terms. For me it was a pleasure to work with him. It was announced at the beginning of September he was recognised by SSAFA National and awarded the Prince Michael of Kent Award for 2017 this was unanimously agreed by Central Office. Since then Stuart and his wife Cynthia have been to London to receive the Award. Very well earned and deserved

Mark Boast will be visiting Kanchanaburi Death Railway Cemetery in Thailand for Armistice Day. There are 6858 graves in this cemetery. If you have a relative buried there and would like Mark to lay a cross on your behalf he is willing to do so. Please write on the back on the cross the name of the person, also grave line and plot number, which can be obtained via the War Graves Commission web site and this will save Mark a lot of time. Crosses must be with him by no later than 30th October

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.

21st Oct – Trafalgar Night

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

04th Nov – Run Ashore – 2000 at Trafford Arms

05th Nov – Dunkirk Remembrance Service – 1000 at St Andrews Church

11th Nov – Armistice Day Parade – 1030 at City Memorial

11th Nov – Remembrance Service – 1500 at Hethel

12th Nov – Remembrance Parade – 1015 at City Memorial

12th Nov – Remembrance Service – 1055 at Honingham (Muster 1030)

14th Nov – Branch Meeting – To include Re-dedication

2nd Dec – Breakfast Club – 1000 at Village Inn, Little Melton

12th Dec – Christmas Function

20th Jan – Burns Night

As a footnote the Social Secretary sought to remind all members the main reason we ask for names on a list for certain events is so that the venues know in advance for catering and space. A couple of functions recently members have just turned up on the day, fortunately we have managed to squeeze them in. That may not be the case in the future.

S/M Pat Whiley – Thanked all those that had brought Raffle Prizes along this evening, including S/M Steve Deane who had given Rail Travel Vouchers.

S/M Stuart Fidler – Advised the male members of the Branch of ‘Mens Shed’, a charity that gives the opportunity for male activities including crafts and forging, A number of groups in the City and also one in Poringland. Can be found on the internet by searching for Mens Sheds.

Any Other Business

S/M Mike Mizen – Advised on the protocol for the Armistice Service and Remembrance Sunday Parades in Norwich. Reminder – please be in position at 1000 for the Remembrance Day Service.

S/M Pat Whiley – Please be seated by 1920 at the Trafalgar Night Dinner.

S/M Freddie Fitch – Many thanks to S/M John Kett for taking him to the RNPSA Parade.

S/M John Kett – Re-iterated that he had the clothing catalogue if any members wiched to place an order.

S/M Mike Wilkinson – Advised he had an RNA beret for sale, and thanked S/M Gus Honeywood for arranging the quiz at the last Branch Meeting.

S/M Nev Townsend – Advised those present that are BVC Volunteers, that following fire checks at the Veterans Centre, the top floor can no longer be used and the second floor can only be used during the hours of daylight.


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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