Royal Marines Association North Devon

ONCE A MARINE ALWAYS A MARINE

To locate a specific monthly letter scroll down.  Letters published in month order latest first

Months Published so far in reverse order:

December

November

October

September

August

July

June

May

April

March

February

January

 

December


Dear All,

 

I hope this finds you all as well as can be expected and your Christmas arrangements are well in hand.  We do not intend having a Committee meeting this month so a few notes:

 

  • We are having a very successful Christmas Fund Raising Appeal and are on track to make donations of at least £3000 to the RMA, £1000 to Commando Logs Welfare and £500 each to BLESMA and the Royal Naval Benevolent Trust.  With 4 days to go we have a total in the Charity Account of around £5000. I will update everyone at the next meeting and in the next minutes in January.  My thanks to those who volunteered to hold a bucket.  Again we have had an outstanding support from the Corps at RMB Chivenor.

 

  • There are 51 attending our Christmas Party and everything is on track for an excellent evening.

 

  • Our next branch “Get together” is scheduled for Friday the 13th January.  The timings are as usual- 1800 for food and 1900 for branch business.  We will be arranging a social function following the business party.  If you intend coming along please let ne know by January 10th so I can give the Chef our food orders.

 

  • As there will be no December minutes, we will endeavor to get a set of minutes out in early January.  However, in the meantime if you have any issues, queries or need to report something, please get in touch – my door is always open and I would welcome input from everyone.

 

  • It only leaves me to thank you all for your support in what has been another busy but successful year for the branch here in North Devon.  We continue to punch above our weight and hold the spirit of the RMA and Corps family uppermost.

 

Wishing you all an Outstanding and Happy Christmas and I hope 2016 comes with good fortune, happiness and good health for you all.

 

JP

November

Dear All,

 

It is with sadness that we lost Dennis Small this month. 

Dennis was a great supporter of the branch and epitomized all that is good about Royal Marines – courage, determination, unselfishness and above all cheerfulness in the face of adversity.  Dennis attended nearly all the branch meetings and annual Reunion parades at Lympstone even when he was struggling with his eyesight.  Of late his back caused him a great deal of pain which couldn’t be treated but still Dennis traveled to 1AGRM, RM Tamar to be a part of the hand over of the Landing Craft standard. He will be truly missed.

 

I am pleased to say our Vice Chair – Col Shearsby is on the mend. He has just returned from a relaxing two weeks in the sun and now starts a period of cardiac rehab, which will take him up to Christmas.  We wish him a continued speedy recovery.

 

We had a good turnout at November’s branch meeting as usual and I thank all who support these events. Also congratulations to branch member Bill Baverstock who received formal recognition on receipt of his WW2 campaign medals (71 years late) and Legion d’Honneur from the branch and WO&SNCO’s Mess.

 

The branch spread itself around during the Remembrance parades.  First up was the Unit Parade at RMB Chivenor where we had an excellent turnout.  It was good to meet the new CO who came over to speak to many members.  Following the parade a number of us enjoyed brunch in the Mess.  On the Sunday the branch was represented at Bideford, Torrington, Barnstaple, Marwood and the Cenotaph. – Tom Riveberg with BLESMA and Brian Mulholland with the RAFA.

 

We have had a good response for volunteers to support our annual Christmas Appeal for the RMA, RNBT, BLESMA and CLR Welfare – thanks you.  The unit are also providing manpower during our appeal dates.

 

You should have received the proforma for our Christmas Party is scheduled for Friday 16th December in the Officers Mess commencing at 1830 for a 1930 sit down. This is a less formal evening where we have some festive fun.  The meal will be a carvery again and we expect it will be priced at around £20 per head for a Welcome drink, 4 course dinner and entertainment.

 

Finally, you may recall that friends of members John and Liz Gingell produced a RM Poppy Quilt which we displayed at the Regimental Dinner and presented to Jonathan Ball, CEO of the RM Charity with a commitment from him to use it to raised as much as possible for the RMC.  I am pleased to announce we have a result.  The quilt was transported to Hong Kong for the RM Charity dinner and was auctioned off, raising £5,500 for the charity.  As always my thanks to you all for your support.

 

Any ideas, queries or issues or anything you read in the minutes and want to discuss more please don’t hesitate to get in touch.  We can’t help if we don’t know.            JP


October

 

Dear All,

Firstly as you may have heard Colin Shearsby, our hard working Vice Chair had a serious set back at the beginning of the month.  He thought it was indigestion but in fact his heart had otherideas.  After a casivac to The Royal Devon and Exeter by Devon Air Ambulance (some say he just wanted a free helicopter ride!!!) and the fitting of 4 stents to unclog his blockage he is making a great recovery.  Sue says although recovery will take time; Col is in good spirits.  The challenge is to stop him doing too much.  I say - you can’t keep a good man down.  Get well soon Col.

 

We had a good turn out for October’s branch meeting and my thanks to Bruce who gave an excellent talk on the Battle of Waterloo and the only Royal Marine to fight in the battle.  At the meeting we welcomed another Navy rating, Mac Grenney, who has joined our growing band.  Welcome Mac.  We also said hello to Paula and Dave Thomas.  Dave is recovering from being very ill for quite a while but he is in good spirits and his health is improving. Great to see them both.

 

On Sunday 16th October JC Bowden donned his lycra and water wings and turned to at the Barnstaple Hotel to complete his personal Commando Challenge - a 5k row, 400 meter swim and 5 k row – all arms only.  He completed the challenge in 1h 45 mins (although showering and changing from rowing kit to speedos and back took some of that time).  JC was raising funds for the RMA and Devon Air Ambulance.  So far the total stands at £290.  Well done to JC and thanks to those who came along to support and hold a bucket.

 

Coming up we have the Remembrance Parade at RMB Chivenor.  This will be held on the 13th November, not the 6th as originally stated.  Please advise me if you intend participating.  Timings are usually 1000 meet in the chapel by the Memorial Garden for a fall in/take your seats at 1030/45.  Following the service there is normally a “Pay as You Dine” carvery in the WO&SNCO’s Mess at 1300 followed by some entertainment.  I will update those who intend taking part nearer the time when I get more info.

 

We also have our annual Christmas Appeal for the RMA, RNBT, BLESMA and CLR Welfare.  You can find dates and locations in the minutes.  Please let me know if you can help out.

 

Finally our Christmas Party is scheduled for Friday 16th December in the Officers Mess commencing at 1800 for a 1900 sit down.  Proformas will be sent out soon.  This is a less formal evening where we have some festive fun.  The meal will be a carvery again and we expect it will be priced at around £20 per head for a Welcome drink, 4 course dinner and entertainment.

 

As always my thanks to you all for your support. Any ideas, queries or issues or anything you read in the minutes and want to discuss more please don’t hesitate to get in touch.  We can’t help if we don’t know.        

  

 JP

 

September

 


Dear All,

 

We continue to get a good turn out for our branch meetings and I thank all who support this.

 

I have had a good productive meeting with the new RSM WO1 Tim Jukes and can report that Tim is hugely enthusiastic of what we achieve and nothing will change regarding how we conduct our business with CLR.

 

I can report that £518.91 was raised from the Family Fun Day at The Mariners Arms in August.  We will be presenting them with a certificate of thanks and branch plaque in due course.

 

Although I am not aware of anyone attending the Dartmoor Yomp this year, Tom and Fran Rivenberg were again down there running the raffle for the Tavistock Branch. Well done to them both.

 

We had a good turnout for the Reunion and I believe all enjoyed the weekend.  We had mixed fortunes in the completions but I can report the Ladies shooting team came runners up and the Branch came 2nd and 3rd in the quiz (unfortunately to Exeter again).  I can report that Jacky Peel came away with the first prize in the Ladies Individual Shooting (I am now watching my back and saying “Yes Dear” a great deal more).  The branch also gained two other awards – recognition as one of the best fund raisers during RM Charity Support Appeal in April and I received the President’s Award. I must say that was it not for the continued support of you the branch membership we wouldn’t achieve the successes we do during each year and I wouldn’t have been nominated.  So many thanks to you all.

 

Jane McGill, along with a group of serving and former RM’s completed the Dartmoor Way in 36 hours.  I am pleased to report that Jane’s Just Giving website total stands at £745 with £101 collected during the walk £500 for Royal Marines Charities.  If you want to make a small donation the site is still open – see the minutes for details.

 

We also helped branch member Brian Mulholland with the Barnstaple Marathon, providing marshals for the airfield while 4 of our ladies were stationed at the Water Sport Centre providing water and encouragement for the runners.  Thank you to all who gave up their time to help support this event.

 

Besides our branch meetings we have some other up and coming events, JC Bowden’s row and swim challenge at the Barnstaple Hotel in October, Remembrance Parade at RMB Chivenor in November, our annual Christmas Appeal starting at the end of November, finishing off with our Christmas Party in December.  Please try and support what you can when you can.  As always my thanks go to you all for your support in making our branch so successful.  Please also read the Easy-fundraising item in the minutes – I sure we can all help.  Any ideas, queries or issues or anything you read in the minutes and want to discuss more don’t hesitate to get in touch.  We can’t help if we don’t know.           

 JP

August

 

Dear All,

We had a great turnout for the branch meeting at Bideford Rugby Club.  Thanks for everyone who supported this.  A good raffle with some of the takings being given back out in prize money.  Thanks also for those who donated raffle prizes.  As we had a 3 way tie in the quiz the donation of prizes came in very useful.

The Family Fun Day at the Mariners Arms was very successful.  My thanks to those who came along to help or just attend

At last a small group attended 1 AGRM to formally pass over the old Landing Craft Standard, which is now hung outside the CO’s Office.  Thanks to Col Shearsby for getting this arranged and Clifford for raising our awareness in the first place.  A fitting home for it.

Trustees minutes have just be produced by Central Office.  For those with computers I have placed a copy on our website.  If you need more info please ask.

The Reunion at CTC is coming up fast – 17th and 18th September.  We have current 12 confirmed as attending.  There is still time to get your tickets.  If no PC I can help.

The next branch meeting is on the 2nd September – next Friday.  This is a change of dates from the normal 2nd Friday.  For those who noticed the error on our website please be aware that when I produced and update the calendar on the website it is with info I have at the time.  Some dates may change and the most up to date advise is to read the last minutes.

 The Barnstaple Marathon is on the 25th September.  If you can help marshall please get in touch with Colin Shearsby.

The Dartmoor Way in 36 Hours.  Jane McGill who was walking the Southwest Coastal Path joined up with us when we were walking with Taff Davies on his JOGLE last year. She was obviously impressed with the RMA and wants to do this challenge and has asked us for support. Fund Raising is always important but as we never set targets anything we raise for RM Charities is more than if we did nothing.  If you have an idea, a contact who can help or you are able to help let me know asap. The date is fixed as it’s the only time Jane can get off work.

As always my thanks to you all for your support in making our branch so successful.  Any ideas, queries or issues or anything you read in the minutes and want to discuss don’t hesitate to get in touch.  We can’t help if we don’t know.             JP

    

 

July

 

Chairman’s Letter July 2016.

 

 

Dear All,

 

Well done to all for an outstanding effort at Sainsbury’s this year.  I can announce we raised £8,001.73.  This will be sent to The Royal Marines Charity in due course.  We have had congratulations for the RMA and RMC, Unit RSM and CO and Corps RSM.  A great week and a great demonstration of the harnessing of the Corps family.  CLR supported our effort magnificently as usual.  A thank you letter and Certificate has been presented to Sainsbury’s who very much look forward to us coming back next July.

 

The BBQ at the Hoof Inn was another great branch night with 35/40 enjoying Sgt Ginge Dudley’s culinary skills.  Colin, who set it all up, provided liquid refreshments and donations received on the nigh covered the cost of the evening.  The raffle raised £114 for branch funds and there was entertainment from Roli Jones with his Survival road show and some participating in Genga.

 

On August 6th we have been invited by The Mariners Arms, Braunton to hold a Family Fun Day for Royal Marine charities. This will commence at 1330.  There will be a BBQ, a band, Roli’s Field Kitchen, Tombola, Camouflage Face Painting, Guess the Weight and Spot the Sniper competitions.  This is an event for the public to get to support RM Charities.  As usual a raffle will be run and the pub have asked us to provide raffle prizes.  Can I ask you to see if you could donate a small prize – bottles of wine/beer, biscuits, sweets, smelllies or similar.  We will be seeking donations from other sources but don’t want to ask our usual donors as we have our two main annual raffles to consider.  Let me know if you can help.  Why not pop along for an hour or two.  Also anyone wanting to help run one of the games or man our Branch Stand will be most welcome.

 

The August branch meeting on the 12th will be at Bideford RFC, commencing at 1830 as the Sgts Mess is now closed for summer leave.  There will be a buffet laid on, for a small charge, along with bingo and a quiz. Please advise me by 9th August if you are intending coming along.  Bideford RFC is near Riverbank House with parking free after 1800.

 

I would like to bring your attention to a fund raising item: 

The Dartmoor Way in 36 Hours.  Jane McGill who was walking the Southwest Coastal Path joined up with us when we were walking with Taff Davies on his JOGLE last year. She was obviously impressed with the RMA and wants to do this challenge and has asked us for support. I would urge the fitter ones that we could form a relay team to accompany her around the 90 mile route and hopefully have a support/shuttle bus to meet and do change overs at various RV’s. Fund Raising is always important but as we never set targets anything we raise for RM Charities is more than if we did nothing.  If you have an idea, a contact who can help or you are able to help let me know asap. The date is fixed as it’s the only time Jane can get off work.

 

As always my thanks to you all for your support in making our branch so successful.  Any ideas, queries or issues or anything you read in the minutes and want to discuss don’t hesitate to get in touch.  We can’t help if we don’t know.            

JP

June

 

Chairman’s Letter June 2016.

 

 

Dear All,

 

We have had some very successful events since my last letter and thanks to all who have given their time.

 

Our annual Regimental Dinner was a huge success with 84 attending.  The food and service was excellent and continues to be good value for money.  Our formal guests expressed their thanks for an outstanding evening and our main speaker Jonathan Ball, CEO of the RM Charity was very impressed and thoroughly enjoyed himself.  His address was inspirational and put some clarity (if we needed it) to what we endeavor to achieve as a branch.  As usual the head rafflette, Fran Rivenberg worked wonders with the raffle and the contributions helped considerably in keeping the cost of the evening affordable for all.

 

We had two outings for Armed Forces Week.  The first was the Flag Raising in Victoria Park, Bideford organised by Torridge Council on the 20th June.  This was well attended and went very well.  The refreshments in Bideford RFC afterwards were enjoyed by all.  Later that week the North Devon Vets put on their Expo at Pilton School on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  The branch had a stand there and Roli demonstrated his survival cooking skills again.  CLR and 11 ATTRM had a big presence at the event.  Over 2000 children visited over the first 2 days and the open day on the Saturday was better attended than last year.  Lord John Burnett, former Lt RM, formally opened the event on the Saturday and came over to chat to us on the RMA stand.  Both these events will be happening again next year.

 

By the time you receive this letter we will be well under way at Sainsbury’s with our annual challenge towards the RM Support Appeal.  My thanks for the great support we have received this year.  Even though we are only there for 5 days, which will affect what we collect – I am sure it will be a great success.  A report will be sent out next month.

 

On the 15th July we are holding our annual BBQ at the Hoof Inn (the Old Fiddlers Green/RV) outside the wire at Chivenor. The evening starts at 1830 and Roli is going to do a survival cooking demo, with some appetizing titbits to sample! Come along and enjoy an evening with us.  Names to Colin Shearsby by 13th July.  His contact details are in the main minutes.  Please read his memo attached.

 

On August 6th we have been invited by The Mariners Arms, Braunton to hold a Family Fun Day for Royal Marine charities. This will commence at 1330.  There will be a BBQ, a band, Roli’s Field Kitchen, Tombola and possibly the Military Wives Choir.  As usual a raffle will be run and the pub have asked us to provide raffle prizes.  Can I ask you to see if you could donate a small prize – bottles of wine/beer, biscuits, sweets, smelllies or similar.  We will be seeking donations from other sources but don’t want to ask our usual donors as we have our two main annual raffles to consider.  Let me know if you can help.

Just an advanced reminder that the August branch meeting on the 12th will be at Bideford RFC as the Sgts Mess will be shut for summer leave. 

As always my thanks to you all for your support in making our branch so successful.  Any ideas, queries or issues don’t hesitate to get in touch.  We can’t help if we don’t know.

 

JP

 

    

 

May

 

Chairman’s Letter May 2016.

 

Dear All,

 

The branch continues to be busy.

 

We supported Baz Gray on his Southcoast path record attempt, which unfortunately he had to pull out of with a knee injury.  However, C/Sgt Jacko Jackson and Brian & Joyce Mulholland, Bob Fergusson, Bill Milster, our resident piper Mike Harper, Pete Phillips and a number of other members did support him during his 2 days in North Devon.  Well done and thank you for flying the branch flag in such poor eather. We managed to raise an additional £260 for his cause.

 

Graspan was excellent as usual and the standard will be at Beat Retreat on Thursday 26th May.

 

The branch stand was at a very wet RMB Chivenor on Saturday 21st for sapper 300.  This was an excellent day and over 5000 attended the event.  We had a lot of interest with our stand.  My thanks to Bob Martin, Bob Fergi and Bill Milster for braving the weather with me.

 

Mike Culley’s challenge was a massive success on Sunday 22nd.  Having swam 5 miles with Mike, I joined Bob Martin and Mike Harper on the support vehicle to follow Mike, WO2 Phil Eames and a team of RM/Army Cdo’s cycle 110 miles to Exeter and back.   I think we have had a great deal of support with raising funds for the RMA/RMC and I will let you all know the total when we have finished counting.  Mike Culley was on the go for 12 hours to complete his 75th birthday challenge.  You can still donate – details in the minutes.

 

We have had a great response for our Regimental dinner which is now closed.  However, you can still support by purchasing for £5 a book of raffle tickets.  Please contact me and we will be able to put a book aside for you.  Over 20 prize include a Holiday voucher for £100 towards a UK cottage holiday, 2 lots of vouchers for 2 for lunch or dinner and a tablet for those who are into the electronic communication age.  The draw will take place at the dinner on the 4th June.

 

Sainsbury’s Support Appeal runs from 4th to 8th July.  Again your support for a little exercise on a bike and/or bucket holding would be much appreciated. The corps teamwill be in Sainsbury’s 13 hours each day so if you can spare an hour that would help us massively and give those who will be there for the duration a break for food and coffee. Please get your names to me so I can form a rota.

 

Torridge District Council are holding their Flag Raising Parade at the start of Armed Forces Week on the 20th June at 1800 for 1830.  This is an evening event held in Bideford with a short march to Victoria Park, a service and then free refreshments at Bideford RFC.  Please let me know if you are supporting this annual event.

 

As always my thanks to you all for your support in making our branch so successful. In an attempt to keep the correspondence some items in the minutes are bullet pointed or summarised.  If in doubt or you need more info, have an idea, want to help more or are confused please, please get in touch for any reason.  I am sure I will be able to help.   JP

 

    

 

April

 

Chairman’s Letter April 2016.

 

 

Dear All,

 

I hope this finds you all as well as can be expected. I have tried to make the minutes as detailed as possible but also brief.  Hence it is not possible to cover everything in detail. Please read them carefully and where you need more details get in touch with me.

 

The Legion d’Honneur presentation went very well and we had a good turn out – also from the media.  Congratulations to Clifford, Len and Dennis on their award. I found their interviews very interesting.

 

Jacko Jackson (C/Sgt RM) and Brian Mulholland are heading up our support for Baz Gray’s Solo630.  If you want to know more contact Jacko (number in the minutes).

 

May seems to be a busy month with Joiners and Leavers on the 2nd, Graspan in London on the 15th, Branch night at RMB Chivenor on the 20th, Mike Culleys Ironman Challenge on the 22nd and Beat Retreat in London on the 25th and 26th.  If you need more info about any of these events please ask.

 

Our Regimental dinner fast approaches on 4th June and you should have had your forms by now.  Please help your committee by getting your menu selection and payment in as soon as possible.  This year we may have a professional photographer taking portrait photos of you all in you finery 9Probably available to purchase) – watch this space.  As usual we are running the Spring Raffle with some magnificent prizes to be won.  Tickets can be purchased on the night.  However, if you don’t plan to attend our main branch function of the year you can still support the branch by buying a book or two.  Please request from me and I will ensure you are in it to win it.

 

Sainsbury’s Support Appeal runs from 4th to 8th July.  Again your support for a little exercise on a bike and bucket holding would be much appreciated.

 

Your chairman is taking a couple of weeks off and going on holiday.  Jacky and I return on the 2nd May – hopefully refreshed for the coming year.  In our absence please contact Colin (Shearsby) Vice Chair on 07737204646 for any branch information and Bruce (White) our Support Officer on 01271 346611 for any support/welfare issues.  The branch standard is with Bob Fergusson in case it is required.

As always my thanks to you all for your support in making our branch so successful. In an attempt to keep the correspondence as brief and to the point as possible (not one of your Chairman’s strong points – I know) some items in the minutes are bullet pointed or summaries.  If in doubt or you need more info, have an idea, want to help more or are confused please, please get in touch for any reason.  I am sure I will be able to help.              

 

JP


March

 

Chairman’s Letter March 2016.

 

Dear All,

 

I hope this finds you all as well as can be expected. I have tried to make the minutes as detailed as possible but also brief.  Hence it is not possible to cover everything in detail. Please read them carefully and where you need more details get in touch with me.

 

My thanks to C/Sgt Smudge Smith, Vice Chair Col Shearsby, Bill Milster, Bob Fergie and the main man Roli Jones for helping out at RHS Rosemoor – a very successful weekend.

 

Mick Culley is in serious training for his personal challenge on May 22nd.  Please remember he is not a former RM (RAF actually and a Snowdrop to boot) or branch member but wanted to raise funds for RM Charities.  His challenge is no walk in the park as he (with myself) will be swimming 5 miles in Ilfracombe Pool (3 hours continues swimming) followed immediately by 110 miles cycling to Exeter and back with 8 serving Royal Marines. HE WILL BE 75 IN MAY.  Please support his endeavors by going to: https://www.justgiving.com/IronmanCulley and make a donation - however small.  Thank you.

 

On the 13th April at 1400 D Day Landing veterans, Dennis Small, Len Husband and Cliff Coates will formally receive their Legion d’Honneur from the Honorary Consul to the French Government at RMB Chivenor Memorial Garden.  Branch members are invited to attend to witness this historic event.  The CO, RSM and representatives from CLR will also be in attendance, as will the Mayor of Barnstaple and a senior representative for the French Navy.  You are welcome to attend.  We are aiming to lay on light refreshments but need numbers by 6th April.  If you don’t make that deadline you are still welcome to attend but may not get refreshments.

 

The AGM on April 15th.  This is your opportunity to have your say about how your branch is run.  Please make the effort to attend.  Anyone thinking of coming on board to help run the branch (we could do with a couple more committed members to share the workload) please get your nomination in by 8th  April.  See item in Minutes.

 

Branch dinner is on the 4th June and proforma’s are with this correspondence.  At £25 per head this we think represents good value.  As you should know by now we run a more expansive raffle.  Books are £5 each with all money going into branch funds.  20 prizes include £100 towards a Holiday Cottages break, Carvery for 2 at The Commodore Hotel Instow, £20 gift voucher to a Braddicks Eatery, A Tablet (PC), a Gas BBQ.  Buying a book of tickets is one way you can support your branch. 

 

Sainsbury’s Support Appeal runs from 4th to 8th July.  Again your support for a little exercise and bucket holding would be much appreciated.

 

Remember please get in touch for any reason.  I am sure I will be able to help.              

JP


February:

 

Dear All,

I hope this finds you all as well as can be expected. I have tried to make the minutes as detailed as possible but also brief.  Hence it is not possible to cover everything in detail. Please read them carefully and where you need more details get in touch with me.

 I continue to request that if you haven’t activated your RMA online account at www.royalmarinesassociation.org.uk please do so.  There are simple instructions in the minutes for this purpose.  However, quoting Central Office “as an organisation the RMA must continue to move forward, the digital age has been with us for some time and we need to join it so that the RMA can achieve its full potential and become the truly world class organisation that we all wish it to be. Please try and embrace what we are trying to do and encourage your oppo’s to do the same.” The RMA are moving to the website as the only means of applying individually for tickets for RMA events.  Please note there will be details whether the branch is supporting an event and additional way of getting tickets in each set of monthly minutes.

 The branch website www.rmand16641664.webs.com is our own website and is independent of Central Office but has more branch related items on it.  No need to join the public can access this.

 2 major RM events are coming up in May – Graspan the main RMA parade and Beat Retreat on Horse Guards.  Details are in the minutes about both.  Tickets for the reception at the Union Jack Club after Graspan will be on a first come basis and tickets for Beat Retreat are open to the public with the Corps Reception exclusive to RM’s and MA with guests.  Don’t be disappointed let me know soonest if you are intending going.

 Many of you will have received Homeport.  This replaces the RMA Magazine.  Central Office is aware there are issues with delivery – too many copies per household etc. There was a lively debate at our branch meeting about the content and you will find a item in the minutes covering this.  I urge you to understand the rational behind the change – one of economy and resource at Central Office.  However, a memo has been sent to our Regional Trustee requesting a review of the situation and reflects the comments and suggestions made at the meeting.  I will update you when there are developments.  For those who don’t attend our meetings if you want to comment please get in touch with me by email or post.  I will pass your views on to our Trustee.

 A branch calendar will be produced again for the year to April 2017.  These will have all key local and national dates on it.  However, we will continue 2 monthly roll over update as part of the minutes.

 The AGM on April 15th.  This is your opportunity to have your say about how your branch is run.  Please make the effort to attend.  Anyone thinking of coming on board to help run the branch (we could do with a couple more committed members to share the workload) please get your nomination in by 1st April.  See item in Minutes.

Branch dinner is on the 4th June and proforma’s will be coming out in due course.  At £25 per head this we think represents good value.

Sainsbury’s Support Appeal runs from 4th to 8th July.  Again your support for a little exercise and bucket holding would be much appreciated.

Remember please get in touch for any reason.  I am sure I will be able to help.                 

 

January:

Dear All,

May I first wish you all a Happy New Year and I hope you all had a good Christmas.

We have just sent a cheque off to Central Office for £7501.35, which was collected before Christmas around the region.  The request is that this be split between our 4 chosen charities and once approved I will be in a position to distribute the money.  Once again, with massive support from Commando Logistic Regiment, an outstanding effort by all – thank you.

Please be aware that due to availability of the Mess at RMB Chivenor our February branch meeting has had to be moved from the 12th back to the 5th February with food ordering through me by 2nd February.  Hopefully this will not disrupt your plans and you will be able to join us.  We will be holding a couple of games of cash prize Bingo and if I can get it organised an additional cash prize participating game.

Joiners and Leavers will be held on the 3rd February and as always the RSM and his Mess will make branch members very welcome.  Pay as You Dine food is available at 1830 and there is no need to order it in advance.

So you can put it in your diary - our branch Regimental Dinner is now booked for Saturday 4th June in the SNCO’s Mess.  This is our more formal evening where we invited a VIP guest, the CO, RSM and OC 11 ATT as our guests.  We have Mess Beatings by the Bideford Youth Pipe Band before dinner with port toasts and a number of speeches to close the formal part of the evening.  We can then relax and kick off our shoes and enjoy the disco.  I propose to keep the cost to £25 per person, which will include a welcome glass of Fizz, 4 course dinner and a glass of port for the formal toasts.  There is no need to book your places yet as a form will come out nearer the time with a choice of food etc.  Oh - as usual the Rafflettes will be after your cash with some wonderful prizes to be won.

We have now confirmed all our branch meeting dates with the Mess and these will be coming out to everyone in due course along with other key RMA dates for your calendar.  We plan to hold one meeting at Bideford Rugby Club and our annual BBQ either at the Hoof Inn or Watersports Centre on the airfield.

I note that around 80 members appear not to have activated their account on the RMA National website.  I urge you to read the instructions in the minutes and log in.  It is free and painless, will not expose you to excessive emails cyber crime or volunteer you for anything.  It is your website.   

I had an excellent meeting with the RSM and, as expected, he was keen for the Unit to support the branch as much as they could, subject to their military commitments.

We have secured 5 days (4th July – 8th July) in Sainsbury’s for our annual challenge in support of the Royal Marines Charity.  The reduction in time is not your Chairman going soft but due to restriction placed on the store by Sainsbury’s head office.  I am sure we will still do very well.  Watch this space for more details.

JP