Royal Marines Association North Devon

ONCE A MARINE ALWAYS A MARINE

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March


February


January
 

Branch Meeting Report and Committee Meeting Minutes: March 2018.

 

Report of Branch Meeting:  25 members attended the meeting with 33 apologies. It was good to see Paula and Norman Kitchen back.  Paula is recovering from a bout of illness.  It was not difficult to notice that the Mess had been decked out with “Happy Birthday” banners and balloons for Mrs Sec’s 59 +1 birthday – yes Sue - that makes 60.  Everyone seemed to enjoy the Gammon Steak, Egg and Chips and the addition of tea and coffee included in the price (even though Mr Chair’s hot drinks recognition skills were lacking - calling tea coffee - well it was hot and wet!).  No-one could escape Mrs Chair as she scurried around the tables with her book of raffle tickets and as usual the gathering supported this, raising £67 for the branch.   At around 1900 we moved to the Ajax Bay Room – (more Birthday decs adorned the room) for a round of branch business.  When everyone was seated Round 2 of the birthday surprise occurred and in walked Tonia (Sodexo Mess Manager) with birthday cake and candles.  Naturally this triggered a round of “Happy Birthday to You”.  While the Chair commenced the meeting Mr Vice dissected the cake into chunks, which were passed round the table.  Following the usual agenda points and Chair’s report a lively and interactive discussion was had about ideas to streamline the business section of the branch meeting to free up more time for the social part of the evening.  On completion of this raffle prize winners were drawn and the evening finished with some members retiring to the bar and others making their way home.  The Chairman would like to thank all those who attended another pleasant evening – JP and his Committee appreciate the support of this loyal group of members, who make this branch what it is.

 

Items Covered in the Meeting: See main minutes for details.

 

Support:

  • The Chair reported that Tom Riveberg had undergone brain surgery and his recovery was progressing, although he was still in hospital in Bristol.  We wish Tom a speedy recovery.

 

Accounts:

  • Subject to end of year audit:  Branch Account: £2884.00   Charity Account: £384.95                      Social Account: £221.32

 

Chairman’s Report:

  • Our Regimental Dinner in June.
  • The Branch Calendar.
  • The West Region Operations Manager.
  • Speed March Success.
  • Making History.
  • Support for Cliff Coates Great Grandson.

 

What’s Coming Up?

  • A list of dates & ticket availability for RMA events of interest for the next few months was provided.

 

Other Matters: 

  • Branch Meetings - The Way Ahead.
    • Themed Evenings
    • Talks/Entertainment
    • Socials
  • Ways to Reduce the Workload of the Chairman.

 

There was no other business.

 

 

Committee Meeting Minutes – March 2018.

 

Accounts:

  • At the time of publication we are working on year-end accounts and awaiting some outstanding statements.
  • Account amount details will be published on completion of this work.

 

Support:

  • As you may have read in the Chairman’s letter - Pauline Winslow, wife of branch member Bob, passed away after a very sudden short illness on 2nd April.  Our thoughts are with Bob and his family at this time.
  • The Chairman has spoken to Bruce, our Lead Support Officer.  Although he is in good shape, all his immune system has been destroyed through the treatment, requiring a round of injections.  Bruce is starting to get out.
  • The chair reported on a number of people who are currently less well than they would like.  The Support Team are in touch with all.
  • Tom (Rivenberg) had recently had an operation to hopefully combat a condition he has developed.  We wish him a speedy recovery.
  • We continue to keep a watchful eye on 10-12 people.
  • As usual if there is anyone we should know about could you let me know.

 

Chairman’s Report:

  • Our Treasurer is Stepping Down:  After 4 years in post, Fran has decided to step down.  In her time as treasurer the branch has adopted split accounts for Charity and Branch and introduced a Social Account.  Most of all, as we continued to be very successful in the fund raising area with more collection tins dotted around North Devon, more private challenges and more support for Corps related events the job of Treasurer has become more time consuming and complex.  Fran has continued to be vigilant.  Our sincere thanks to Fran.
  • Wilkos Cycle Challenge for RM Charities: In 7.5 hours we completed 259Km and raised £817 for Colin Reynolds Marathon pledge.   Colin sends his thanks for all the help we have given to meeting his sponsorship target.  Through our contacts the branch generated over £1500 towards his total. Thanks to the team who helped on the day.
  • Community Youth Group Presentation: The Chairman and Jacko gave a presentation and demo about training to become a Royal Marine to 2 Youth Groups from Bridging the Gap, 1 in Barnstaple and 1 in Ilfracombe.  All the kids seemed to enjoy the experience, tried some rations and handled some personal kit that Royal Marines carry.
  • Our Regimental Dinner in the WO&SNCO’s Mess -June 9th:  Over the last few years we have benefitted from not paying the VAT.  This charge has been covered by Central Office, who can claim back the VAT. Over the 2 dinners this saved the branch over £600.  Sadly as of now we must meet the VAT costs as well.  To that end the cost of this years dinner will need to go up slightly to £30.00, which the Committee hopes will still be considered good value for the evening. The Invitation Proforma with menu choices, guest requirements and instructions for payment is attached with these minutes.  Please note that returns are now to be sent to Susan and Finlay McCulloch who have taken on this responsibility.  Please get your requirements in as soon as possible.
  • The Branch Calendar: You should all have received a 2018/19 calendar. The idea of the calendar is give some pre-warning of events that the branch maybe involved with.  It is only there as a guide. The dates noted can be either confirmed or provisional and subject to change.  The monthly minutes will confirm what is coming up in the next couple of months.  If there are any doubts and queries please don’t hesitate to ask the question.
  • The West Region Operations Manager: It can be reported that the appointment of a new Operations Manager has been made.  Corps RSM WO1 Phil Gilby will become the West Regions Ops Manager on his retirement from the Corps. 
  • Speed March Success: At the recent Joiners and Leavers Mess function it was announced that not only does the Royal Marines hold the Marathon Speed March World Record achieved around the streets of London late last year; they also won the Team Award for the Commando Speed March from Achnacarry train station to Achnacarry House in Scotland, home of the Commando Training Centre during the WW2, last month. During WW2 recruits were given just 1 hour to complete the 7-mile route.  Those that failed to achieve this time would be returned to their parent unit immediately.
  • Making History:  The Royal Marines Museum in Portsmouth is moving from Eastney Barracks to the Dockyard. The Corps has launched an appeal to help fund this project and be a part of history.  They are offering a named brick in the Donor Wall in the new Museum for donations of £120.00.  For more information - visit: www.royalmarinesmuseum.co.uk/make-history .  The Committee thought it would be a good idea for the branch to sponser a brick.
  • Support for Cliff Coates Great Grand-Son:  The Branch has made a donation of £100.00 to Clifford Coates Great Grand-Son’s Crowd Funding page in support of equipment to help Pierce’s ability to communicate.  If anyone wants to support this individually the link is: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/anne-marie-wiles

 

What’s Coming Up?

  • April 14th & 15th – RHS Rosemoor Wilderness Weekend – Roli’s Road Show, a military equipment stand & Branch Stand and shop.
  • April 13th - Branch Mtg – This is a change of date from the 20th.
    • The supper will be BBQ Chicken Breast, Chips and Salad.
    • We hope to have a talked.
    • This will be the first go at the new format, which was discussed at the last meeting.  Please help to make this work by making the Chairman aware if you are attending by Monday 9th.  An agenda will be sent out prior to the meeting with limited copies available on the night.
  • April 25th - Joiners and Leavers in the WO&SNCO’s Mess starting around 1830 to dine
  • May 13th – Graspan Parade Horse Guards and The Mall – London – tickets on sale
    • There is a plea from Central Office that if numbers don’t increase the RMA may need to pay for certain services, which are currently free.
  • May 18th  - Branch AGM
    • Everyone is entitled to be considered for any position on the Committee, even those where there is currently someone in post. 
    • With Fran (Rivenberg) stepping down the position of Treasurer is now open.  It would be helpful if those considering volunteering have some basic knowledge of the use of Excel spreadsheets and bookkeeping. When we mean basic, yes it is basic - although not essential.
    • As discussed at the last meeting and with the Chairman feeling the need for more support with the administration work of the Branch we are creating an Admin role - individual or team.  The role will involve adhoc tasks through the year in support of operating a busy successful branch.  This role will develop in time. We haven’t decided how many would be in the Team but, essentially, if there were a group of people the sharing of tasks would be easier.  The Admin Officer would manage the team and it would only be necessary for one member of the team to sit on the Committee.  A few members have already expressed an interest, which is great. As always the Chair would support this position.  So no-one should feel abandoned.
    • Nominations/Volunteers to join the Committee should be communicated to the Chairman or Vice Chair by May 8th.
  • May 30th & 31st – Beat Retreat by the RM Massed Bands Horse Guards Parade – tickets on sale.  The standard will be forming an Honour Guard for a VVIP Guest
  • June 7th – An Exclusive Branch visit to 11 ATT Instow –  The day would start around 0930 to 1000 and following previous visits would involve a briefing of the Operations of 1 Assault Group RM, static displays, lunch (pay as you dine) and hopefully the Dip Tank.  More details to follow.
  • June 9th – Branch Regimental Dinner
  • June 20th – Joiners and Leavers

 

If anyone wants to know more about these events please get in touch with the Chairman.

 

Other Matters: 

  • Branch Meetings - The Way Ahead.  Richard (Martin) opened the debate by first thanking everyone for making an Ex Army person very welcome to the RMA.   To summaries what Richard proposed to the branch was that we trial a format used in most businesses, such as Sainsbury’s where Martin was in management.  The emphasis would be on the members accepting that it is everyone’s responsibility to take ownership of running the branch, read the minutes of the previous meeting, the agenda of the next meeting and any reports from the committee’s various activities since the last meeting so they are prepared for the next meeting.

A productive debate followed with various observations being made about how the branch differs from a business, that what is provided at the meeting is information about the branch, it’s activities, future events of importance, the practicalities of sending out the agenda/format for the evening could be costly for the postal members.  However, there was general agreement of the benefits of trailing a version of Richard’s proposal for the next 3 months and then review it.

 

The following format will be trailed:



      • All receive Monthly Information Bulletin including Com Mtg Minutes as normal.
      • Members inform Chair by cut off date they are attending the next meeting.
      • When Chair knows who is attending Branch mtg he sends out an Agenda to read by all attending.
      • The Agenda on the night would be a bullet point summary of what was sent out with any additions items that may need detailed discussion.
      • Attendees could discuss any points arising from the previous minutes and agree the minutes.
      • The bullet points would be covered for comments but without details.
      • Any new items would be discussed.
      • Any other business?
      • Agree the menu for the next meeting and those knowing they are attending give their names
      • Confirm the date of the next meeting.
      • Go to the bar/Guest Speaker/Social Activity

 

This approach will cut down the time we spend at the meeting and therefore free up time for other activities during the evenings.

 

  • Themed Evenings. One concern about the changed format was that with the possible time saving benefit of a shorter business section could result in the evening finishing earlier on occasions.  The Chair pointed out that it is hoped to expand the themed evenings by having a Regimental Birthday Evening in October.  Therefore, including the Regimental Dinner, Xmas Party, the Annual BBQ, Buffet in August and AGM, 7 months of the year are covered, leaving only 5 months where a speaker or games evening could happen.  It is felt that the question –“What Would You Like to Do” – should be debated at a future meeting.  One thought is the members attending may have some great life experiences that would be interesting to share, similar to talks already given such as the Chair’s Offshore Diving Experiences, Bruce’s work in Security or Fergies’ talk on the Falklands before the conflict.  So again part of the new proposed format would be to agree a theme for the next meeting, meal choice etc, speaker, social.

 

  • Ways to Reduce the Workload of the Chairman.  The Chair has been giving some thought on ways he can reduce his workload without impacting on what the branch achieves.  As mentioned earlier an Admin role would help. Having a specific job description maybe difficult as it is thought this role will develop.  This role could also benefit other Branch Officers like the Treasurer and Secretary.  It was suggested that one thing members could do immediately was be more proactive in letting him know they were attending the next meeting and whether they wanted to eat.  This could be done as part of the business section on branch night.

 

  • New CEO of the RMA: It has been announced that Brigadier Richard Spencer RM (Rtd) will take over as CEO of the RMA. 

 

  • RNRM Widows Association:  The Association has been dormant for some time, with the support of the committee, they are going to provide a Newsletter, refresh the website, share information, inspirational stories, offers and events both on the RNRMWA Facebook page (and secret group) and by post for Members not online. Postal address - Sarah Clewes, Conference of Naval Associations (CONA), Room 209, Semaphore Tower (PP70), HM Naval Base, Portsmouth, Hampshire PO1 3LT   Email - [email protected]  Phone – 07462 376850


All RMA Enquiries/Branch business/Welfare: John Peel on 01237477438/07845989377 or email  [email protected]

Welfare/Support: Phil Waites on 01271879344/07812366483 or email [email protected]

Welfare Back Up: Mac Grenney on 07565 520030 or email [email protected]

Back up to all the above : Colin Shearsby on 07737204646 or email [email protected]

If all else fails: Our President – Derek Sargent on 01237475999 or email [email protected]

 

See item above in What’s Coming Up for details about Meeting in April, note the date change.

Minutes Branch Meeting: February 2018.

 

Report on the Meeting:

26 members attended the meeting with 34 apologies.  As usual we gathered at around 1800 but change to the usual format for the evening was dinner and business reversed.  So at 1803 the branch business agenda was distributed and order called. The Chair tried to speed through the notices (see man minutes) so the gathering could get onto the main entertainment of the evening – the Mini Burns Supper.  A warm welcome to Mike Harper, piper was given.  At 1900 everyone moved to the dinning area where a moments silence was observed for the 3 former RM’s who crossed the bar this month. Following this we had an evening with ”Rabbie Burns” well Bob Fergie and Mike Harper.  The haggis was piped in, ceremonially slaughtered and despatched back to the kitchen.  The gathering enjoyed cottage pie and neeps and a spoon full of Haggis on the side, followed by apple crumble and custard.  During and following the meal Bob and Mike provided Rabbie style entertainment with words of the Bard and music from the pipes.  At conclusion, the toast to the ‘Bard’ was proposed by Bob and a ‘wee dram’ of whiskey downed by all.  Our grateful thanks to JC Bowden for providing the fine malt whiskey.  Finally the Chairman mentioned the outstanding support Mike Harper has given the branch over the years in support of RM Charities blowing his pipes in all weathers.  A bottle of port was presented to Bob and Mike in appreciation for an excellent evening’s entertainment.  The evening closed with members returning to the bar.  The raffle raised £74, which was agreed would be pledged towards a donation from the branch to Clifford’s Great Grand-son’s cause (See the main minutes)

 

Items Covered in the Meeting: See main minutes for details.

 

Support:

  • The ‘Crossing of the Bar’ of 3 former RM’s was reported. Also mentioned was a progress report on our Support Officer, Bruce. A touching thank you letter from RM widow, Jane Guyer was read out.

 

Accounts:

  • Branch Account: £2650.00            Charity Account: £7345.00       Social Account: £1403.00
  • Dave Rowland enquired where the £400 which was not now going to the CLR Welfare would be going. It will be going to the RMA.  More about this in the main minutes.

 

Chairman’s Report

  • The results of the Merger of the RMA and RMC.
  • Paula Heaton’s new born.
  • Update from the Unit.
  • Branch Christmas Appeal distribution clarification.

 

What’s Coming Up?

  • A list of dates & ticket availability for RMA events of interest was read out.

 

Other Matters: 

  • Echosave.
  • Armed Forces & Veterans Breakfast Club Comes to Barnstaple.
  • Branch Member Clifford Coates Equipment for Disabled Great Grand-Son Appeal
    • Suggestions from branch members how money could be raised appears in the main minutes
  • Volunteers for an RMC bucket collection at the Exeter Chiefs home game on the 28th April.
    • There was interest shown for this event.  See main minutes for details

AOB:

  • The Chairman was approach after the dinner had concluded to suggest ways of streamlining the Business Section of the evening.  See main minutes for comments.

  

 

 

Committee Meeting Minutes – February 2018.


The Committee had a meeting by email and agreed the following minutes.

 

Accounts:

  • Branch Account: £2650.00            Charity Account: £7345.00       Social Account: £1403.00
  • Payments to Sodexo for the Christmas Party and the Christmas Appeal takings to Central Office are still to be made.  On completion of this the Charity and Social Accounts will be reduced significantly.
  • An explanation of the change to the distributed amounts can be found in the item Branch Christmas Appeal under Report on Recent Events.

 

Support:

  • It is my sad duty to inform you that we have lost 3 Royal Marine veterans this month. 
  • Jim Allison served 33 years, finished his service as a C/Sgt and was on operations in Suez, Borneo and Korea.  His funeral is on Tuesday 13th at 1500 for 1540 at the North Devon Crem. If you plan to attend could you be ready to form up at 1520. 
  • Alf Bolt: Alf , who was a long time branch member, crossed the bar after fracturing his hip and was unable to recover.  He was 95 so his general health wasn’t wonderful.  He was a ship’s Marine serving 3 years during WW2 and holds a number of WW2 medals including The Atlantic, Italy and Burma Stars as well as the Legion d’Honneur, presented to him at Chivenor last year by the Hon French Consul to the Southwest.  His funeral is on the 23rd February with a Cremation at St Peters Chapel, Exeter Crem 1000 for 1030 followed by a Memorial Service at St Peter’s Church, North Tawton 1200. It is hoped to take 1 or 2 cars leaving here between 0800 and 0830.
  • RM CSM Spike Hughes: I have been informed that former RM Sgt Spike Hughes crossed the bar peacefully 3rd Feruary.  He was in Pinehurst Care Home, Ilfracombe and his aging health was poor. Spike’s funeral will be held on the 21st Feb at 15400 for 1540 at the North Devon Crem, Barnstaple.

 

Buglers have been requested for each service and the branch standard will be on parade.  It is hoped to have a few members and serving RM’s to form an Honour Guard at each service. Dress as usual for all funerals, berets, medals and blazers. We appear to be getting good support for the 2 local funerals but very few to travel to Exeter – please consider giving Alf a fitting RM send off.

 

  • A thank you letter from RM widow of branch member Lt Col Simon Guyer, Jane, was read out at the meeting.  It said she was heartened by the contact we have established with her and the Christmas donation would be spent on a guide book for a forthcoming 600K walk and would be a great help in navigation as Simon would only be there in spirit to guide her. 
  • It should be noted that the Chairman has also received thanks from the other branch widows for the Christmas gift and card the branch sends out annually.
  • Bruce White, our Lead Support Officer, is at home and recovering well.  He hopes to resume his Support role in the next month or two.
  • We continue to keep a watchful eye on 10-12 people.
  • As usual if there is anyone we should know about could you let me know.

 

 

Report on Recent Events:

  • The Merger:  This was approved by a resounding 90% of those who voted in favour of the merger. Of the 2,377 votes that were cast, 2138 were in support of the motion and only 239 votes were against the motion. Apparently this is actually a good number of votes for campaigns like this.  The work will continue to ensure the merger goes smoothly.  As said no change in the way we operate.
  • Paula Heaton:  Paula, the Sodexo Supervisor who helps us a lot with our meetings etc here has had a boy.  Mum and baby doing well.  A congratulation’s  card was sent on behalf of the branch.
  • Update from the Unit: I had a couple of good meetings in camp with the RSM and his cohorts about our planned year.  As usual there are no dramas and we will get support as and when we need it based on availability
  • Branch Christmas Appeal: We have requested the following split for the Christmas Appeal. £500.00 to BLESMA and the RNBT, £300.00 to SSAFA, North Devon, £1400.00 to CLR Welfare and the balance to the RMA.  Central Office requested that we reduced the amount to CLR to £1000.00 as they had just had grant funding in support of the Families.  On behalf of the branch I agreed with this.  To clarify under Charity Regs the money we collect is technically not ours but belongs to the Charity Number we collect it under.  So we can only request our preference of where it is sent .  It is intended to discuss this further with Central Office so they fully understand our thought reasoning for the percentage split and allocations we request.

 

 

What’s Coming Up?

  • March 16th - Branch Meeting: Format will revert to meet and eat at 1800 – gammon steak, egg, chips and peas and a warm dessert, business at 1900 followed by some entertainment - a guest speaker, quiz/bingo.  The Chairman was approached at February’s meeting with considerations of how to streamline and reduce the time spent on the business part of the gathering.  It is proposed to have a full open discussion about this and the way forward during the next meeting.
  • March 9th & 10th – MFM, RM Massed Bands – The Royal Albert Hall
  • March 17th – Fund Raiser Cycle Challenge with Wilkos Staff, Barnstaple, 0930-1700 - 1 or 2 helpers are needed for this
  • April 14th & 15th – RHS Rosemoor Wilderness Weekend, 1000-1600 – Roli’s Road Show, Med Squadron, Branch Stand and Pop Up RMA shop (hopefully).
  • May 13th – Graspan Parade on Horse Guards and The Mall – London – tickets on sale on the RMA Website
    • 1000-1130: Meet on Horse Guards.
    • 1135: Form Up.
    • 1150: Step Off.
    • 1200: Memorial Service Graspan Monument on the Mall by Admiralty Arch.
    • 1300: March up the Mall and back round to Horse Guards.  Salute to be taken by senior RM, Normally the Commandant General RM
    • 1330: Huge Buffet Reception (+ beer tokens) at the Union Jack Club – Tickets £16.50
    • 1700- Reception formally finishes but you can stay as long as you want.

A message from the Operations Manager: The services of the Police and Parks Officers are free to the RMA.  This is based on the size of the parade.  Over recent years numbers attending have been diminishing and there is a danger of this free service being removed – possibly making the parade unsustainable.  Please support this main RMA event.

  • May 30th & 31st – Beat Retreat by the RM Massed Bands, Horse Guards Parade .
    • No information yet.
  • June 9th – Branch Regimental Dinner, WO&SNCO’s Mess – Commencing 1800, Mess Beatings 1830, Take seats at 1900 –
    • Details and proforma to come out towards the end of March/early April
  • June 10th - NMA Parade, Alrewas, Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire – tickets on sale on the RMA Website
  • July 21st & 22nd - Spean Bridge Parade, Scotland – tickets on sale on the RMA Website
  • September 15th & 16th - RMA and Families Reunion Weekend – tickets on sale on the RMA Website
    • Programme of the itinerary will be published later in the year

 

If you want tickets but are unsure how to get them please contact the Chairman who will be glad to help you and even do the ordering on your behalf.

 

Other Matters: 

  • Echosave:  In conversation with new branch member and local entrepreneur – Jules Swanne – owner of the Surf Academy at Croyde he introduced the chairman to a service he is running where a “Loved One” can leave a video that can be retrieved by the family as a memory.  It is an on-line service but not meant to be an “If you are watching this-I am dead” message.  If anyone feels they would like to know what this free service entails the Chairman can point you in the right direction.  The website is: www.echosave.com
  • Armed Forces & Veterans Breakfast Club Comes to Barnstaple: An Ex Army veteran has been in touch with the Chairman to spread the word about this club.  It is a nationwide scheme designed for like-minded serving and veteran military personnel to meet once a week.  The club in Barnstaple meets at the Panniers (Weatherspoons), is free and flexible.  It says Breakfast Club but if you don’t want to eat - no problem.  No membership fee, no subs, no obligations, just turn up for a chat.
  • Branch Member Clifford Coates’ Great Grandson:  The Chairman has been approached with a very sad situation.  Branch founder member, Clifford Coates’ Great Grandson was born with considerable disabilities and was not expected to survive.  Fast forward 18 years and his Great Grandson will be moving into Northam Lodge as a young adult.  One of the difficulties is the only means of communication is by blinking.  There is a computer system available that would provide this means of being able to communicate but it cost £17,000.  RM charities will only consider close relationships/next of kin, our charities cannot help. At February’s meeting a number of suggestions were put forward and the Chairman will follow these up.  One other gesture by the members on the night was to pledge the raffle money (£74) to support this purchase.  It was also agreed that an additional amount from branch funds would be added to this bringing the donation to £150. So if anyone knows of an organisation that may be able to support this in some way, please get in touch with the Chairman.
  • Exeter Chiefs: The Exeter Chiefs have designated the RMC as one of their charities for the Exeter Foundation.  There will be a bucket collection at the game on the 28th April for the Royal Marines Charity.  Volunteers are required to join the bucket collecting team to be there at 1415 for a 1500 kick off.  There will be Free entry to watch the game. If you would like a day out at an excellent rugby match and carry out some vital work for the charity please contact Jo Whitwood at  [email protected]  for details.
  • RMA Support Officer Training: Central Office has advertised another RM Support Officers Course.  It will be held at the Armed Forces Chaplaincy Centre, Amport House, Andover, Hampshire, SP11 8BG – April 9th to 13th 2018.  For more information please contact the Chairman, John Peel.

 

 

All RMA Enquiries/Branch business/Welfare: John Peel on 01237477438/07845989377 or email  [email protected]

Welfare/Support: Phil Waites on 01271879344/07812366483 or email [email protected]

Welfare Back Up: Mac Grenney on 07565 520030 or email [email protected]

Back up to all the above : Colin Shearsby on 07737204646 or email [email protected]

If all else fails: Our President – Derek Sargent on 01237475999 or email [email protected]

 

See item above in What’s Coming Up for details about the Meeting in March.

Minutes Branch Meeting: January 2018.

 

Report on Meeting:

23 members attended the meeting with 33 apologies. Following a meal of spagbol branch business was held at 1900.  There was a moment’s silence held for the recent passing of long time branch member Jen Vickers followed by reports on branch support, branch finances, chairman’s report on recent events, what’s coming up and other business.  Bob Martin thanked the branch for the support at the Christmas Party held at Ilfracombe FC.  Bob highlighted that the serving RMs were well received and a credit to the Corps, making many friends that night.  He passed over a letter of thanks and asked if this could be passed to the CO and RSM as well.  Congratulations were given to Col Shearsby, Mr Vice Chair on his 37 years in the Corps and forthcoming retirement (from the Corps only).  Colin is now on terminal leave.  Roli thanked everyone who supported his “Ride the Somme” for SSAFA and RM Charities.  Mac Grenney reported that Tesco, Rose Lane would like the branch to carry out a collection day.  The Chair will meet with their Community Champion in due course to discuss further.  JC has offered to provide a quality malt whiskey for the next meeting as we will be holding a mini “Burns Supper”.  Jacko reported that work is starting on the “Scruffs Bar” in the Mess and permission to have a display cabinet for the Branch. 

 

Accounts:

  • Branch Account: £2642.14            Charity Account: £7298.35 Social Account: £To Follow
  • We will soon be paying the bill for the dinner and making our annual contribution to the RMA and other military groups who support our Service personnel less fortunate than us.

 

Support:

  • We continue to keep a watchful eye on 10-12 people.  Bruce and Phil are sharing the work in support for those who need it. 
  • As usual if there is anyone we should know about could you let me know.

 

Items Covered in the Meeting: See main minutes for details.

  • Appointment of the New Captain General RM.
  • Branch Christmas Appeal.
  • Branch Xmas Party.
  • The Mess Christmas Meat Draw and Christmas Party.

What’s Coming Up?

  • February’s Branch Meeting.
  • Branch Meetings 2018 – Confirmed Dates So far.
  • Other Provisional Events of Interest to the Branch.

Other Matters: 

  • Mark Ormrod’s 10 Year Bangaversary.
  • Living Needs Solutions based in Barnstaple.
  • Green Wheelie Bins for Sale.

 

With the formal part of the evening completed the meeting was closed and a quiz was held in the bar for a bottle of Port, won by Richard Martin.  The raffle raises £75 for the branch.

 

 

 

Committee Meeting Minutes – Januray 2018.

Accounts

  • Branch: £2713.14            Charity: £7325.13              Social: £824.07

 

  • Payments from the Social Account for the Christmas Party and the transferring from the Charity pot of £7303.35 to Central Office for dispersal are due.  The committee agreed to request the funds to be divided as follows:
    • BLESMA - £500.00
    • RNBT - £500.00
    • SSAFA North Devon - £300.00
    • CLR Welfare Department - £1400.00
    • RMA - £4603.35
  • There is a new Finance Manager at Central Office – Janette Frankham.  Renee Davis has moved on to pastures new.  The branch sent a card of thanks for her support to the branch over her 10 years with the RMA.  We wish her well.

 

Support:

  • It is my sad duty to inform you of the passing of 2 members. Original founder members of the branch Jen Vickers passed away just before Christmas.  Her family requested a private funeral by invitation only.  Jen and her late husband Dougie were stalwarts of the branch, Doug being Chairman in his time.  Jen took on the Almoners role, carrying out the vital work of keeping in touch with those who were less able to attend.  Jen attended as much as possible, was an Honorary Member of the Mess and was always out there holding a bucket on our annual collections.  However, when her health deteriorated she was no longer able to carry out this support. 

         Dennis Hannen, also passed recently, after loosing his battle with ill-health.  Dennis lived in Spain with Sue (his wife)          and although they couldn’t attend branch meetings attended the Reunion at Lympstone when possible. Dennis never            forgot the branch and he annually laid a wreath at the Remembrance Parade on Gibraltar, representing the RMA and          Branch.  As happens in Spain Dennis’s funeral was held shortly after his death, but was attended by RMA          representatives from one of the Spanish Branches ensuring he got a “Royal” send off.  There will be a dispersal of          ashes here for Dennis sometime in the future.  Our thoughts are with Sue at the sad time.

  • We continue to keep a watchful eye on 10-12 people.   Please get in touch if there is anyone we should know about.

 

Report on Recent Events

  • The Merger:  The results on the  “1 Man 1 Vote” on the merger have been published and the merger has been approved by the membership.  Work will now continue to ensure there is a smooth transition to the new group later this year.  Updates will be published on Repnet and branch minutes as and when.
  • Appointment of the New Captain General RM: Following the retirement of Prince Phillip as Captain General RM, Prince Harry has been appointed by the Queen to be the new Captain General.
  • Branch Christmas Appeal: Our Christmas Appeal was an outstanding success – thanks to great support from the branch and the serving personnel at RMB Chivenor.  We collected £6461.42.  
  • Branch Xmas Party: 66 (with 2 who couldn’t make it) enjoyed an evening of good food and entertainment. Following the usual Presidents Picture Quiz and Irish Bingo, we had 2 hours of live crooning in the bar by local singer Steve Valentine. As usual an outstanding effort by my Rafflettes, Fran and Jacky and their helpers on the night. 
  • The Mess Christmas Meat Draw and Christmas Party:  Branch members attended these Mess functions.  The Meat Draw evening was very profitable for some branch members with multiple wins of meat and I think cash.  So much so that said recipients became embarrassed and elected for at least two prizes to be re-drawn.  I think there was also more wins at the Mess Ball.

 

What’s Coming Up?

  • February’s Branch Meeting: This is being held on the Friday 9th with the usual cut off for numbers by Monday 5th.  It is proposed that we will have a Mini Burns Supper.  Planning is under way but the change to the format will be meet at 1800 in the bar.  Have a brief Branch Business or circulate an Agenda sheet.  At 1900 we will proceed to the dining area where the Haggis will be piped in.  Following the “”Ode” and humane slaughter of the Haggis you will be invited to go through to the hotplate for self service Cottage Pie and veg.  The dissected Haggis will be available on the hotplate to sampling – not mandatory!!!  Following dessert – again self-service – we will be treated to some pipe music and readings from the Great man.  Finally we will Toast Rabbie Burns with fine Malt Whiskey before retiring to the bar.
  • Branch Meetings 2018 – Confirmed Dates So far:
    • March 16th
    • April 20th
    • May 18th - AGM
    • June 15th (possible cancellation due to Branch Regimental Dinner)
    • July 13th –The Branch BBQ
    • August 10th - Bideford Rugby Club
    • September 7th – TBC
    • October 5th – TBC
    • November 9th – TBC
    • No December Meeting
  • Other Events of Interest to the Branch: National RMA Events in Red
    • March 9th & 10th – MFM, RM Massed Bands – The Royal Albert Hall
    • March 17th – Cycle Challenge Wilcos, Barnstaple
    • April 5th – Supporting A Track Day Event at Castle Coombe for RM CharitiesThe branch will be represented at this event. The committee have decided to offer places to CLR in gratitude for their support to the branch and RM Charities.  There should be a few places available for a donation of £20 if anyone would like to be a passenger in a classic car and ride at speed around a racetrack.  You will have to make your own way to the circuit.  If you want to know more please contact the chairman.
    • April 14th & 15th – RHS Rosemoor Wilderness Weekend – Roli’s Roadshow, Med Squadron, Branch Stand and RMA Shop.  The chairman is speaking to volunteers who maybe willing to help.
    • May 13th – Graspan Parade Horse Guards and The Mall – London. 
    • May 30th & 31st – Beat Retreat by the RM Massed Bands Horse Guards Parade. 
    • June 9th – Branch Regimental Dinner – Commencing 1800, Mess Beatings 1830 – WO&SNCO’s Mess.  This date is confirmed. Although not fixed yet it is hoped that the cost for 4 courses, port, Mess Beatings and disco will be around £25 per head.  More details will follow.
    • June 25th – Armed Forces Week Parade – Victoria Park Bideford
    • July 2nd – 6th – Sainsbury’s Challenge 2018 – to be confirmed.
    • July 28th – RM Instow Camp – Families Day
    • July 29th – Instow Community Day – Instow Beach
    • September – Beerfest WO&SNCO’s Mess
    • September 15th & 16th – RMA Reunion and Families Weekend – CTC Lympstone
    • September 30th – Barnstaple Marathon
    • October 13th – The B&M Challenge
    • November 11th – Remembrance Parade RMB Chivenor + 100th Ann WW1 Beacon Lighting in Bideford
    • December – Annual Appeal – various dates and locations
    • December 14th TBC – Branch Christmas Party – Officer Mess.

 

Other Matters: 

  • Mark Ormrod’s 10 Year Bagaversary: This year it is 10 years since Mark Ormrod was blown up by an IED in Afghan becoming the 1st triple amputee.  We are hoping to arrange an evening with Mark in Ilfracombe for RM Charities.  However, Mark has launch a Just Giving page to celebrate 10 years since being blown up.  Please visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mark-ormrod2
  • RMA Shop:  Former Royal Marine Captain, Joe Lane – injured in a ski accident developed the shop from the original conception to a fully profitable success story, becoming the Operational Director.  Joe has decided to move to pastures new.  This project was originally a “not for profit scheme” to help the recovery of injured RM’s.  However, over the last few years a profit from sales has started to be generated. The profits are recycled back into the RMA.  The branch has sent best wishes to Joe and his family for their future endeavours.  Back to business – it was always planned to look at running a satellite RMA Shop again this year at 1 or 2 appropriate events.  This is not an onerous task so if anyone is interested in helping out please let the Chairman know.  The benefit of the shop is that it does attract people to our stand.
  • Car Boot Sales: We are running out of space in the container on the airfield and must look to doing some Car Boot Sales this year.  This will generate revenue for the branch, which we can then spend on the subsidising of branch events for the benefit of the members.  What we desperately need is 1 or 2 willing volunteers to help run the stand.  Please contact the Chairman if you feel you can help or would like to discuss what’s involved.
  • The Scruff’s Bar in the Mess: Over the next month there are to be a few changes in the Mess.  Where we meet in the Ajax Bay Room is to become the Mess “Scruffs” Bar where Mess members can dress down and relax.  We are also being offered an area to have a display cabinet.
  • Armed Forces Breakfast Club:  This is being launched in Barnstaple on the 3rd February in The Panniers, Weatherspoons.  It is an all cap badge scheme, which has been running nationwide.  Veterans and serving  meet up to have a chat, have breakfast or what ever they want.  There is no membership fee, no fund raising and no commitment to do anything.  If you would like to go along please do.
  •  Living Needs Solutions based in Barnstaple: They have approached the branch with an offer to do a short talk at some future date on the benefit of daily living aids.  But if anyone would like their support please contact the Chairman
  • Green Wheelie Bins for Sale:  Some of you will know we have a number of almost brand new wheelie bins, which were used for the Shoebox Appeal at the start of the Afghan conflict.  We have I think 8-10 left.  For a small donation of £5 you could benefit from an extra wheelie bin for garden waste.

 

More information will be distributed in future minutes and at our meetings as these events approach.  However.  If you have an questions please get in touch with th chairman who will be glad to update you.

 

All RMA Enquiries/Branch business/Welfare: John Peel on 01237477438/07845989377 or email  [email protected]

Welfare/Support: Phil Waites on 01271879344/07812366483 or email [email protected]

Welfare Back Up: Mac Grenney on 07565 520030 or email [email protected]

Back up to all the above : Colin Shearsby on 07737204646 or email [email protected]

If all else fails: Our President – Derek Sargent on 01237475999 or email [email protected]

 

See item above in What’s Coming Up for details about February’s Meeting.