Royal Marines Association North Devon

ONCE A MARINE ALWAYS A MARINE

The last 6 months Chairman's letter to the branch published - the latest first.

2018

December

November

October

September

August

July


 

    Chairman’s Letter December 2018.

 

Festive Greetings to You All.  I hope this finds you all as well as and your Christmas has been a good one.

 

  • Yet again we have had a very successful Christmas Appeal fund raising for RM Associated Charities and should raise over £8300. I will update everyone with the final figure and distribution at the next meeting and January’s Bulletin. We also have made our annual donation of  £150.00 to the RMB Chivenor Children’s Christmas party.

 

  • There were 64 guests at our Christmas Party on Friday 14th in the Officers Mess and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves – I did.  We are hoping to secure a date towards the end on May or the 1st Saturday in June for our Regimental Dinner.

 

  • Our next branch “Get together” is scheduled for Friday the 11th January.  The timings are as usual- 1800 for food and 1900 for branch business. If you intend coming along please let me know by January 7th so I can give the Chef our food orders.  The meal choice will be Chicken Kiev + Chips and a cold dessert.  We will be showing a DVD on L Coy, 42 Cdo. Limbang Raid in 1962 at the start of the Borneo Confrontation with a Q&A by branch member, John Grebby who was a young RM on the raid.

 

  • February’s meeting on the 8th will be a Burns Night Theme again.

 

  • One very important date for your diary: On the 11th April Commando Logisitc Regiment will receive the Freedom of Barnstaple and the CO has personally invited the branch to attend (and possibly march).  I will update you as to our involvement when I have had more information but see this as a one off honour for the branch.

 

  • With the imminent merging of the two charities – the RMA and RMC - it is likely there will be information relevant to us at branch level I will need to get out to you as and when.  But I see it as “Business as Usual” for us. One change is that membership is free.  If you have standing order you need to cancel it immediately.  Direct debits will be cancelled automatically. Don’t worry everyone who is a member, remains a member without having to do anything.

 

  • 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 well above our weight and hold the spirit of the RMA and Corps family uppermost. A special thanks to our multi cap-badge colleagues, your contribution to our branch, our events and the work we do is outstanding.

 

My Committee, Jacky and I, albeit belated, hope your Christmas was full of Festive Fun and may 2019 bring good fortune, happiness, safety and good health.      

 

  JP

 

Contact Details:

Chairman - John Peel: 01237477438 or Mobile - 07845989377

Vice Chairman - Colin Shearsby: 01271 813821 or Mobile - 07737204646

Support Officer - Bruce White: 01271 346611


Chairman’s Letter November 2018.

 

Dear All, Trust you are all as well as………..

 

  • The Remembrance Events around the area went off very well with representatives at a number laying a wreath on behalf of the branch.  My thanks to all who attended this historic occasion.

 

  • Thanks you for those who have put their names forward to help shake a bucket (or as a reserve) during our annual Christmas Appeal.  I will see you all in the various locations we are covering.

 

  • We have had a good response to this years Christmas Party and to date have around 60 attending including the former Corps RSM and now Operations Manager West Region, Phil Gilby and the CO at CLR Lt Col Alderson.  We also have representatives from Wilko’s, Sainsbury’s and B&M, who support our endeavours so well through the year. Anyone still thinking of attending please get in touch with me as soon as possible.  The final cut off date is the 5th December. I look forward to enjoying a glass or two with those who are coming along – it will be a good evening.

 

  • By the time you read this I will have attended the Regional AGM and will be able to update you on the future of the RMA.  I can tell you that all Chairman have just received a detailed letter from the new Chief Exec regarding how the Association is going to develop in the coming months and years.  As a branch we will not see any great changes to the way we operate. I will update you all at January’s meeting and news bulletin.  But if you want to know more please ask.

 

  • Regarding the ending of membership fees and cancellations of Direct Debits – I can assure all your membership status will not change – you now just get it for free.  Those with Standing Orders should cancel them immediately.  Please consider continuing your support of the work of the Association and Charity by replacing your membership fee with an annual donation.  Need to know how – please ask.

 

  • You may have heard that the Government replaced the Data Protection Act with the General Data Protection Regulation in May this year.  RMA Central Office have looked at this in detail to ensure the Association complies.  There has been a memo sent to branches to ensure everyone responsible for holding data understands their duties.  Our branch officers take their responsibilities very seriously and data such as names and contact details are not abused in any way.  If anyone has concerns and needs to know more please get in touch.  In the coming months we will review our procedures.

 

  • Please consider the item on “Veterans United Against Suicide”.  This is not a request for money but if they get enough votes Aviva will sponser them.

 

There is plenty more information in the branch bulletin, including updates on what’s coming up.  If there is anything you are not sure of, have concerns about or an event you would like to support please get in touch by email or phone. My door is always open.  

 

As always thank you for your support.   JP

Chairman’s Letter October 2018.

Dear All, Trust you are all as well as………..

 

  • The Branch inaugural Corps Birthday Band Concert by the Appledore Silver Band, I think, was a successful.  A very good turnout and all seemed to enjoy themselves.  To that end we are considering making this an annual event for our October meeting.  That is also thoughts on recruiting the Chivenor Wives Choir for a Coral Evening sometime next year.

 

  • As mentioned in the last bulletin and my Chairs letter Chivenor are holding a Remembrance Parade at Crow Point on Braunton Burrows on the 8th.  It has been mentioned to Jacko and I that the Branch are invited to attend and we hope to have the standard there and lay a wreath on behalf of the RMA.  Although we have no further details at present, I am working with Jacko Jackson to put a plan together, hopefully including transport from camp.  What I need from you is email confirmation that you would like to attend before the end of the month.  Obviously although an open-air event - it is unlikely that any shelter will be made available as happens at the Memorial Garden.  If I don’t receive email, text or phone notification from you I will assume you don’t plan to attend.

 

  • On Remembrance Sunday the standard will be parading at Bideford and our President we will be laying a wreath at that event.  As we are the North Devon representatives of the RMA we endeavour to lay wreaths at other services and have a number of members willing to represent the branch at these events.   

 

  • This year see the 100th Anniversary of end of fighting from WW1 and a special Beacon Lighting Ceremony will be taking place in Bideford on the evening of the 11th.  You are warmly invited to attend.  Details in the main bulletin and on line at Bideford Town Council Events.

 

  • Our Christmas Appeal dates are published in the Bulletin - where and when and I am looking a few volunteers to hold a bucket for a couple of hours.

 

  • Our Christmas Party in the Officers Mess is booked for the 14th December starting at 1800.  You should have received a proforma by now.  This is a great festive occasion and is excellent for money.  So if you want a great night out please get your form completed and returned as soon as possible. We hold one of our 2 main annual raffles and have at least 20 excellent prizes. They will be on sale at the November meeting and on the night of the function or contact me and I can arrange for you to be in the draw.

 

  • We don’t carry out fund raising and support work for praise or accolades but it is heartening when this is recognised by the wider Corps Family.  The Commandant General RM, Major General Charlie Stickland OBE has sent words of acknowledgement and congratulations to the branch which I will share with you all at the next branch gathering in November.  You should all be proud of what you do for the wider Corps family and Armed Forces.

 

  • There is plenty more information in the branch bulletin, including updates on branch calendar dates.  If there is anything you are not sure of, have concerns about or an event you would like to support please get in touch by email or phone. My door is always open.  

 

As always thank you for your support.   JP

Chairman’s Letter September 2018.

 

Dear All, Trust you are all as well as………..

 

 

  • We had a number of events in September – The Mess Beerfest, September’s Branch Meeting, The RMA Reunion/Families Day at CTC, supporting the placing of crowd barriers for the Barnstaple Carnival & The Barnstaple Marathon.  These were very well supported by branch members.  My thanks to all.

 

  • At the Reunion our 2 quiz teams were successful with the Inter Unit Quiz coming 1st and 2nd.  However with only 3.5 teams entered and no Exeter Branch the challenge wasn’t as great.  But you have to be “In it to Win It” and we have some silverware to put in the new display cabinet which is situated outside the Ajax Bay Room in the Mess and is due to be completed shortly.

 

  • During the AGM at the Reunion the new CEO, Brigadier Richard Spencer RM Rtd gave a briefing about the RMA, the merger and plans going forward to better integration Units and RMA, something which is well established here in North Devon. There was nothing that should concern us as a branch.  The merger is now planned for December 31st/January 1st and feasibility studies are under way on membership fees.  The Deputy Commandant General gave a briefing on the health of the Corps and that the recent threats to our amphibious capability have, for now, receded.  Although the branch is tri-service; the health of the Corps may have an affect on our Association and therefore the branch.

 

  • We have secured the services of the Appledore Town Band for our October evening and I invite you to extend an invitation to your friends and family to join us for the evening, have a meal and enjoy the 1-hour concert in the Mess.  However, due to the changes in Security and Caterers it is important that I get names by the normal cut-off date of Tuesday 16th.

 

  • November is the month of Remembrance and this year CLR will not be holding a parade on the Sunday.   However, as in previous years we plan to have representatives to lay wreaths at other Remembrance Parades.   This years see the 100th Anniversary of end of fighting from WW1 and a special Beacon Lighting Ceremony will be taking place in Bideford on the evening of the 11th.  You are warmly invited to attend.

 

  • Our Christmas Appeal dates are published in the Monthly Bulletin - where and when.

 

  • Our Christmas Party in the Officers Mess is booked for the 14th December starting at 1800.  You should have received a proforma with this months Bulletin.  This is a great festive occasion and is excellent for money at only £20.  I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible.  And for those who haven’t been before it is a very relaxed evening, no formal dress and no military regimental protocol.  We have also secured the services of “Crooner”, Steve Valentine again - who was excellent last year.

 

  • There is plenty more information in the branch bulletin.  A reminder that although you will have had a branch calendar updates, including date changes will always appear in the bulletin. If there is anything you are not sure of; have concerns about or an event you would like to support please get in touch by email or phone. My door is always open.  

 

As always thank you for your support.   JP

Chairman’s Letter August 2018.

 

Dear All, Trust you are all as well as………..

 

 

  • Because to the predicted bad weather due on the Sunday - Instow Community Day on the beach was cancelled but the 11 ATT Families Day on the base went ahead.  A good team of branch members attended and ensured we gave our support to the base.  The shop did very well, selling over £200 of RM merchandise.  Roli came along with his Road Show and all in all a good day was had by all.  My thanks to those who supported this.

 

  • Again the weather wasn’t brilliant at The Mariners Arms for their fun day in support of RM Charities.  Nonetheless we had a reasonably good day.  Takings were down on last year but we still raised nearly £300 and sold some RM merchandise.  As always it was a good PR exercise which enhances the reputation of the Branch. Thank you as always to those who came along to help on the day.

 

  • We have a few events coming up in September, which are mentioned in the main bulletin.  Some of you have already shown an interest or volunteered to support these events.  But if you want to attend or help please get in touch.
    • The Mess Beer Festival – 8th : Contact Jacko Jackson (or me by email only while I am on hols)
    • The Corps Families Day and RMA Reunion at Lympstone – 15th/16th : ticketing on line
    • Supporting Barnstaple Carnival Organisers put out the crowd barriers – 22nd/23rd –: Contact Col Shearsby/Jacko Jackson
    • The Branch Meeting back at the Mess – 28th –:Contact me nearer the time if attending.  The usual format on the night and I will be mustering the troops on my return from holiday.
    • The Barnstaple Marathon – 30th: contact Jacko Jackson (or me by email only while I am on hols)

 

  • A word about the Annual RMA Reunion now called Families Day. This is being advertised on line on the RMA website.  If you fancy having a day out at CTCRM and need help getting tickets or want to know more please let me know and I will advise you what to do or help. It’s a great day out and finishes off with a concert by one of the Royal Marine bands.

 

  • On a personal note, I completed my 12 hour-3 man relay for RM Charities on Tuesday, doing around 5.5 hours in the water.  We swam almost 30 miles collectively over the 12 hour period.  I have also reached and passed my £1000 target.  Thank you to all those who sponsored the event.  However you can still make a small donation at: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/john-peel2

 

Mrs Chair and I will be taking a few weeks off and relaxing (hopefully) in Marjorca.  We are back on the 12th September.  Contact details of all the Branch Officers are at the end of the main bulletin.  While away I can be contacted by email ONLY and will be checking my emails daily.  If you need urgent assistance please phone Col Shearsby or Jacko Jackson during my leave.

 

There is plenty more information in the branch bulletin/news letter – so please scan through them.  If there is anything you are not sure about get in touch.  If there is any event you would like to support drop me an email – many hands make light work.  If you need to speak to me about any concerns you have my door is always open

 

As always thank you for your support.   JP

Chairman’s Letter July 2018.

 

Dear All, Trust you are all as well as………..

 

 

  • Sainsbury’s was very successful again – with 2200 miles cycled and £6549 raised for The Royal Marines Charity.  Thanks to all who supported or wanted to support but couldn’t.

 

  • We had a good gathering at the Hoof Inn this month for the Annual BBQ.  This was a free evening and our sincere thanks to Bob Winslow’s, late wife Pauline, who had requested we have an “Evening on her”.

 

  • We have our annual outing to The Marines Arms, Braunton for a Family Fun Day in August.  We have raised around £400 each year and are hoping to do so again.  A large amount of this comes by way of a raffle on the day, which we need some prizes for.  If you know of any business that is will to support this event for Royal Marine’s Charities please let me know.

 

  • For the first time the RBL are providing tickets for this years Remembrance Parade at the Cenotaph.  RMA access to tickets is being co-ordinated through Central Office but please let me know if you want to attend.  The cut off date to apply to Central Office for a place is the 15th August so I need to know earlier. 

 

  • Instow Families Day and Community Beach Day 28th and 29th July.  Details are still coming in.  Last years event was a very relaxed and enjoyable day.  We will have our branch stand, shop and Roli’s Road Show at this year’s event.  We will then derig and rerig for the Community Day on the beach on the Sunday.  If you fancy helping out or just coming along on the Saturday please let me know.  Sunday is a free event so if the weather is fine you will find us with the BRV (a big green vehicle) on the beach.

 

  • Advanced preferential tickets for next years Mountbatten Festival of Music at the Royal Albert Hall are available through me.  Details in the main Minutes/News Letter.  But be advised that there is a cut off.  So please let me know by the 20th August.

 

  • The Annual RMA Reunion (now called Families Day) is being advertised on line on the RMA website.  If you fancy have a day out at CTCRM and need help getting tickets please let me know and I will advise you what to do or help. If you would like to attend please contact the Chairman, John Peel.  you  It’s a great day out and finishes off with a concert by one of the Royal Marine bands.

 

  • On a personal note, having swam across Bideford Bay last year I am scheduled to do my Long Swim 2018 for Royal Marines Charity in a lake.  I am trying to raise £1000.  Details again in the main minutes.

 

There is plenty more information in the branch minutes/news letter – so please scan through them.  If there is anything you are not sure about get in touch.  If there is any event you would like to support phone me or drop me an email – many hands make light work.  If you need to speak to me about any concerns you have my door is always open

 

As always thank you for your support.   JP