Mays Branch Meeting was held at the Canary Social Club on 14 May 2019 with 42 members attending.
The usual formalities were observed with a minute’s silence for those that have crossed the bar, followed by reports from:
Began by commenting on the Area 5 Meeting which took place at the Canary Social Club and thanked all the Branch Members who came along and helped make the meeting a success with 27 people attending the meeting representing 10 Branches.
Continued by reporting that the Branch Run Ashore was held at the Nelson Hotel after the Area 5 Meeting and it was good to see a few members from other branches attending for a beer or two.
Closed by advising that the CSF Veterans Project survey sent out to all Branch Members and many other organisations attracted 140 replies, which the Chairman believes is a good response. Funding bid goes in early June. From there it is hoped to have a September start.
Reported from Semaphore that next year, 2020, sees the 50th Anniversary of the cessation of the Rum Ration and HQ are already in cahoots with Pussers Rum and the RNRMC to commemorate appropriately. Additionally, there will be a trial run this year to be held on 30 July 2019 at HMS Belfast. One Shipmate can be proposed from each Branch; the criteria being that the S/M must have served while RUM issue was being issued, be a Veteran and someone who has given great service to the RNA; and it has been proposed that all those who wish to be nominated have their names put in the hat and a name be drawn. Therefore, all those who wish to be nominated will receive a raffle ticket which will be pulled out of the hat later on in the evening.
Reminded all present that the Branch will be looking to be present at Fetes and Fayres in the local area beginning this year, if any Shipmates are aware of any taking place then please notify either himself or S/M Steve Phillips.
Reported that he has received contact from Jeff Stewart, who has asked if anyone within the Branch knew of his father, James Stewart who was in Communications Branch at Chatham CJX 661371, James joined in 1946 at Ganges and sadly passed away in 1958 whilst at Pembroke. If anyone has any information, then please make contact with him.
Reported that April had been a very calm month on the welfare front, with nothing new to report, commenting that he had recently spoken with S/M Fred Hogben who was in good spirits and is hoping to make it to the next Branch Meeting.
S/M Mike Mizen added that the recent funeral of the ex-RM, with no family, had been very well attended with 17 veterans turning out and 2 standards and he thanked all those that attended.
27th May – Costessey Fete – 1100 – Costessey Park
02nd Jun – Breakfast Club – 1000 – Hotel Nelson
06th Jun – D-Day Service and Parade – 1030 – Norwich War Memorial
24th Jun – AFD Flag Raising – 1030 – City Hall
26th-27th Jun – RNS – Norfolk Showground
29th Jun – Armed Forces Day
30th Jun – Dunkirk Veterans & Armed Forces Service of Remembrance – 1030 – St Andrew’s Church
30th Jun – 40th Anniversary Lunch – 1230 for 1300 – Wensum Valley Golf Club
25th Jul – Marham Families Day – RAF Marham
17th Aug – Quiz and Chips – 1900 – Bush Pub Costessey
28th Aug – Battlefield Tour
14th Sep – Duxford Visit – RAF Duxford
Any Other Business
S/M Clifford Self
- Reported that there will be another raffle for the Priscilla Bacon Lodge, which will see a new NCFC scarf, which has been signed by all the first team players and Head Coach at the final home game of the season.
S/M Toni McCloud
- Advised that her daughter will be running the Berlin Marathon later in the year and will be looking for sponsorship, adding that there will be a JustGiving page setup so that donations may be made online.
S/M Steve Phillips
- Provided an up update on the Royal Navy Parade for Wells-next-sea SCU that had taken place on Thursday 9th May, adding that the evening had been exceptionally good, and the Unit were very impressive.
- Reported that he was on the lookout for volunteers for the Costessey Fete and Fayre, and anybody able to attend is requested to make contact. The rig for the event will be RNA or Service Polo Shirts with smart jeans or trousers.
S/M Freddie Fitch
- Commented that he had received a phone call recently from a Major within the Royal Artillery advising of the funeral at Earlham Cemetery of a Normandy Veteran. Freddie had attended, representing both the RMA and RNA Branches and commented that the funeral had been extremely well attended.
S/M Mike Wilkinson
- Provided an update on the Battlefield Tour, which is taking place Thursday 28th August, advising that the list for names is now open and all those attending will be requested to pay for their place when booking.
- Reported that on 23 June, the church at Newton Flotman will be hosting a service to celebrate the renovation of the war memorial and the addition of a name and anyone able to attend would be greatly appreciated.
S/M Neville Townsend
- Informed members that he had attended a recent meeting, along with others from the Branch, and that the Veterans drop in centre would be moving from the Revelation Café to the Matthew Project premises later this year; expected to be October.
The draw for the HMS Belfast visit was completed at the end of the meeting with two S/M’s, Mike Wilkinson and Andre Fredricks putting their names into the draw, which was won by S/M Mike Wilkinson.