Royal Marines Association North Devon

ONCE A MARINE ALWAYS A MARINE

 

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Minutes for the AGM of the North Devon Branch Royal Marines Association 17th May 2019 

held in the Sergeants’ Mess RMB Chivenor at 1900.


Following a dinner of BBQ Chicken Melt 32 members sat down to the AGM. The raffle on the evening raised £98 for branch funds. Following the formal meeting members retired to the bar. Matt (Mason) had parked the boat he plans to row across the northern Atlantic in 2020 in the car park for members to have a look at. The evening finished at 2200.


A summary of the AGM.


  • Welcomes and Apologies: There were 29 who were unable to attend the meeting for various reasons. We welcome our President Derek with Marjorie Sargent, Pete Phillips from deepest Cornwall and Matt Mason.


  • In Sorrow: We lost 4 Branch Members since the last AGM. There was a moments silence to reflect on our losses.


  • The funeral of Bomber Command Leonard Mulhollland. The chair thanked those who attended this service at short notice, highlighting that it demonstrated what this branch will do when other military organisation won’t. He also emphasised how grateful the family was.



Treasurers Report for 2018/19:


The Chair reported Susan McCulloch had sent her apologies as she and Finlay are in the States on leave. Susan submitted a report which the Chair read out covering:

  • Branch Account Income and Expenditure – emphasising that the branch only had a small source of income and most of the branch balance was made up of donations, bequests and sales. Therefore there needed to be a discussion on other options to generate regular income to cover our necessary expenditures like stationary and postage.

  • Branch Expenditure

  • The Charity Account

  • The Social Account


The Chair provided a complete set of submitted accounts for anyone who wanted to look over them, reporting they had been signed off and approved by Central office and that the accounts balanced. He also pointed out that the report covered January 2018 to March 2019 – an extended year due to the merger of the RMA and RMC.


  • CARRIED FORWARD FROM 2017 – £5502.98

  • INCOME - £26,424.35

  • EXPENDITURE – £28,134.68


Financial support requested from Central Office – Nil


  • UPTO DATE BALANCES AS AT 16.05.2019.

  • Branch: £2691.92 Charity: £357.47 Social: £931.33


The chair then thanked to Susan, who’s first year having taken over from Fran had been seamless.



Support:

  • The Chair firstly reported on Bruce’s personal health and although working the treatment was a brutal and Bruce was having “Not So Good” and “Very Bad” days. The Chair emphasised 2 points:

  • With Bruce being on Sick Parade extra people to keep in touch with our support list was needed. If anyone feels they can offer help even in a small way – occasionally phoning those on our watch list – please let the Chairman know.

  • It was vital, particularly at present when we are being slightly less proactive, that information is past to the Chair or Bruce about anyone who needs our help in any way.

  • Bruce White, my Support Officer and the Chair have been keeping a watchful eye on a number of former RM’s and other cap badges over the past 12 months and have around 10 on our radar. In addition we keep in touch with our branch widows and more senior members who aren’t necessarily on our primary watch list and are finding it difficult to attend branch events.


The Chairman thanked Bruce for his diligence and hard work in his role as Volunteer Support Officer for the branch. It has been a busy year for Bruce, particularly as he has had his own personal health issues.


The Chair’s Report on the Branch Year:

  • The Branch Standard - was on parade at numerous national and local. I would also like to welcome Neil Gibbet as our back up Standard Bearer taking over from the Father of the Branch – Bob Fergie. Along with his considerable support for the branch, Bob has carried the standard for many years and I thank him for his outstanding loyalty to me and the branch. To confirm he is not running away but just feels the carrying of the standard should sit with younger, fitter members!

  • Some of the RM and Branch Related Events where the Branch was represented: MFM, Armed Forces Flag Breaking in Bideford, Graspan Parade, a number of branch challenges including Sainsbury’s, The Barnstaple Marathon, The Yomp, Corps The Family Weekend at CTC, Remembrance Parades,

  • The RMA Shop: In 2018 the branch supported the RMA Shop and took it to a few events selling £619.48 of merchandise.

  • The RMA Reunion – Now known as the Corps Families day - 14 members travelled down to CTC and our A team were successful in the Inter Branch Quiz – retaining the trophy.

  • CLR Events: We have had representation at every Joiners and Leavers, the Summer and Christmas Balls, The Garrison Families Day & The Mess Beer Festival. Finlay McCulloch, who served in Logs when at Plymouth, had a special invitation from the CO to attend the Joint Mess dinner in celebration the 75th Anniversary of the forming of CLR.

  • Branch Nights: We enjoyed “Pay as You Dine” specials at a very reasonable price prior to the meetings. This has become a very sociable warm up to the main event.


    • Average attendance has been 28+. So my sincere thanks to this loyal band for the support you give to me and the branch.

    • Entertainment included our Summer BBQ, Bingo Nights and DVD’s, Roli’s Roadshow, our Mini Burns Supper now in it’s 4th year and our first Corps Birthday Band Concert which – as we are a multi-cap badge branch - included Trafalgar day, RAF 100 and WW1 100

    • We held our 5th Branch More Senior Members Lunch at the Barnstaple Hotel


    • We had a very enjoyable Christmas Party in the Officers Mess with a good turnout of around 78 enjoying a carvery meal and a few games enhanced the party atmosphere.

    • Our Regimental Dinner in June with VIP attendees Brig Richard Spencer, Corps RSM Phil Gilby, Unit bRSM Tim Jukes, 2 I/C Maj Luke Davies and OC 11 ATT Instow, Maj Martyn Heenan all enjoying the experience. I can report they were suitably impressed with how the evening was conducted, not to mention Mess Beatings by our good friends, the Bideford Youth Pipe band.

  • Membership


    • We have around 135 on our branch books but of that around 40+ are what I would call active supporters – as usual many present here tonight. We still recruit the occasional new member. It is hoped when Richard Spencer starts his Unit Road Shows active membership may increase again.

  • A Summary of the Fund Raising Challenges the Branch carried out this year:

  • Sainsbury’s: £6549.46: The Mariners Families day: £290.18: The Long Swim: £1543.30: B&M Challenge: £574.51: Christmas Appeal: £8476.12 - our tins dotted in pubs and shops raised £1352.00 of this.

  • From the Christmas Appeal there were donations made to Cdo Logs Welfare Fund - £1500, BLESMA North Devon £500, RNBT £500 & SSAFA North Devon £300 – with the balance of £5676.12 to the RMC. Money raised from Sainsbury’s and other challenges went directly to the RMC.


  • The Globe and Laurel magazine has published articles from North Devon in every addition

  • The Branch and RMA Website. We have tried to reflect everything about the branch even though it is sometimes a struggle to keep upto date. I think we are getting there and I thank Roger for taking charge and supporting me with this task.

  • The Branch Display Cabinet. The Chairman announced that at long last the Branch Display Cabinet, which had been installed by Jacko a few months ago, but remained empty, had at long last been filled with reports and news about the Branch. It was located outside the Ajax Bay Bar. The plan would be to update items and change displays as and when. Although it was requested the Quiz Team regained the trophy as it was the only silverware in the cabinet – no pressure there. Thanks to Jacko for his working in getting this off the ground.



The President’s Address:


The Chairman introduced the Branch President – Derek Sargent - highlighting the outstanding service Derek had given both the Branch, the Region and the RMA over the years and that he was now standing down from many of his duties but would remain as our President. Derek’s report included the following:

  • Thanks to the Branch, emphasising the high regard the Branch are held in at Central Office and the wider Corps.

  • One of the few branch which has such a good relationship with the serving Corps through the liaison with CLR

  • One of the best branches for our fund raising exploits

  • As mentioned by the Chair Derek reported he was currently a member of the Membership Committee of the RMA but would be stepping down.

  • Following the merger as everyone knew subs had ceased but members were encouraged to make a donation to the RMA instead.

  • As a Branch we shouldn’t have seen any changes.

  • In the new merged organisation there were now 2 Operations Managers with a possibility of another in the future.

  • The RMA Shop should be supported to keep this operation viable.

  • Members may like to join the RM Historical Society.


Election of Officers and Committee:


    • The Chair reported that apart from Team Shearsby all other officers have volunteered to continue in post.

    • We have 3 new members who have volunteered to join the Committee.

    • Jimmy Headrick has volunteered to take over Sue’s role as Branch Secretary. As Jimmy has far more time than Sue ever did this will also include Branch Admin.

    • Bob Winslow and Bob Martin have volunteered to join the Committee. Their roles would evolve but the area that were being looked at where support would be useful was in events, functions and raffles. The emphasis and hope was that by having this additional help the Chair’s workload may reduce.


The Chairman and President agreed that, as there were no challenges to the current Committee positions but 3 new additional members who had volunteered to join, the election of the new officers and re-election of the current committee would be a formality.

For the record voting in of the Committee, including the new members, was proposed by Dave Rowland and seconded by JC Bowden and carried by all with no abstentions.



The Chairman’s Personal Thoughts:


  • The Branch still punch well above it’s weight and our relationship with Commando Logs enhances the reputation of the RMA within the serving Corps. The Branch is held in high esteem at Central Office and the RMC for the work we do. – quote the RMC – the North Devon Branch is a model branch and only one of about 10 who support the RMC.

  • He personally thanked the Committee for the sterling work they did over the year. Having already mentioned the work of Susan as Treasurer and Bruce for his diligence with the Welfare Support, he mentioned the following:

  • Colin and Sue Shearsby were stepping down as they are “jumping ship” and moving to Cumbria to be nearer family. Sincere thanks to both of them for their outstanding support, tireless work and for steering their Chairman back onto the rails when he goes off on a metaphoric wander – not to mention spelling and grammar!!!!


    • Jacko, for his liaison work with CLR, which was so vital to our operation. He now assumes Colin’s role, even though he doesn’t want to be called Mr Vice.

    • To Roger Staines with getting to grips with our websites – even though the Chair has been a little unreliable getting information to him.

    • To Rafflettes- Fran and Jacky who have continued with their “Black Magic” getting a steady flow of raffle prizes, and ambushing members before they have had time to get their coats off when selling raffle tickets. They generate this vital source of branch income, which we could not do without - an outstanding job Ladies.

    • And not forgetting Steve Marshall who in an adhoc role continues to find time in his busy life to help the branch operate successfully.


The Chairman thanked all members who have supported our branch nights, dinners and fund raising activities – we would not be the successful branch that we are without the support from you my “Usual Suspects” as I call you.


Looking Ahead:


  • Hartland RBL D Day Event – June 8th – You have had a poster. If you need more info please ask.


  • Regimental Dinner - June 15th -There are around 65 attending so far with some regulars still to confirm. If you plan coming and haven’t put chit in please do so. Remember to buy your raffle tickets to help branch funds. There are some excellent prizes on offer.


  • The Dartmoor Yomp 2019 – June 22nd - A 12-mile circular route out and back to Bickleigh Camp home of 42 Cdo. for RM Charities

  • Looking to take a group down leaving Bideford at 0700 for breakfast at Bickleigh at 0830

  • Briefing 0900 -Groups leave 1000. Anyone interested to contact the Chairman.


  • Torridge DC Armed Forces Flag Raising - June 24th TBC – Victoria Park, Bideford


  • Instow Community Day – Instow beach – July 14th -This is in conjunction with 11 ATT


  • 11 ATT Instow– Families Day – July 19th – 1700 onwards -Branch invited to run the bar with profits going to RM Charities. Branch stand with buckets and gizzits, possible RMA Shop


  • Sainsbury’s Challenge – July 15th-19th – 0800 to 2000 -This year’s theme is the 3 Peaks starting at RMB Chivenor and finishing at Spean Bridge – around 800KM on 2 x treadmills.


  • WO&SNCO’s Mess Summer Ball – July 20th – Details to follow but branch normally have 1 or 2 10 place tables available


  • Corps Families/RMA Weekend September 14th/15th - The programme for the Saturday starts at 1100 and finishes at 2000. We will be entering the quiz as we will have to defend our crown. It is suggested taking a group down leaving Bideford and pick up at Barnstaple 0930, returning when everyone wants to leave (poss around 2000)


  • Matt Mason’s Ocean Revival 2020 – Various dates throughout the year






If you need to make contact for any reason by phone or email; please select from below:


Branch Matters

Primary Contact John Peel on 01237477438/07845989377 or email [email protected]

Jacko Jackson on 07821 448043 or email [email protected]

Derek Sargent on 01237475999 or email [email protected]


Welfare Matters

Primary Contact: Bruce White on 01271 346611 or email [email protected]

Phil Waites on 01271879344/07812366483 or email [email protected]

Mac Grenney on 07565 520030 or email [email protected]uk


The next Branch meeting is scheduled for July 12th and is the Branch BBQ at the Hoof Inn – meeting at 1800 as usual. We hope to have Sophie Gibbet who plays a mean saxophone as entertainment.

Small charge for BBQ and Pop Up bar serving beer, cider, wine, soft drinks.

Branch Meeting and Monthly News Bulletin: April 2019.


A Summary of the March Meeting at the WO&SNCO’s Mess, RMB Chivenor


  • 30 members attended the evening with a number of apologies including those we know cannot make the meetings.

    • There was no matters arising and the previous Branch Bulletin was proposed and seconded by JC Bowden and Tom Rivenberg.

  • Following Gammon Steak and chips the Chair covered the following during Branch Business:

    • Support

    • Accounts

    • Wilkos Challenge on 23rd March

    • An Evening with the Sea Cadets from Bideford

    • Castle Combe Track Day

    • Freedom of Barnstaple – The date change to 4th April.

    • The Merger

    • 11 ATTRM Instow -D Day 75 Schools Event running in May

    • Branch AGM – 17th May

    • The Mess Boxing Evening – postponed from the 28th May

    • Hartland RBL Event – 8th June

    • The Branch Regimental Dinner – 15th June

    • The Dartmoor Yomp

    • Armed Forces Flag Breaking Ceremony in Bideford

    • Supporting Matt Mason and the Ocean Revival 2020

    • What’s coming up.


Details of everything covered can be found in the main bulletin below.


  • Following branch business the members retired to the Ajax Bay Bar for a social drink and Quiz. The raffle raised £95 with £5 being provided as a runners up prize for the keenly contested quiz. The main prize was a joint of lamb. Special thanks goes to Bob Winslow who organised our first meat draw – something he did when with RNA Swindon. This may becoming a regular addition and supplement the monthly raffle prizes from time to time.


Bulletin For April 2019.


Branch Accounts:

  • End of Year Accounts: Susan McCulloch and the Chair have been working on the accounts for the extended financial year and they are pleased to announce the books balance. In the interest of saving paper and printer ink the Chair stated at the monthly gathering that it was not proposed to provide a copy of the accounts to everyone but the paperwork would be available over the coming months to anyone who would like to scrutinise it. It can also be sent out by email if required.

  • Branch Budget: Susan McC has also been working hard on what it cost to run the branch. In summary, although our bank accounts look health - the majority of the capital in the branch account has come from one off donations of various kinds and one big RMA lottery win. We cannot rely on this income source. Taking just our guaranteed income against the cost of stationary there is a shortfall. In the short term this is not an issues as the accumulated donations will ensure we are financially healthy for the next 5 or 6 years. However Susan and the Chair believe that there is either a need to reduce stationary costs (primarily postage) or generate another regular income stream. Previous Car Boot sales have provided an additional income in the passed and we are looking to resurrect this in some way. It is requested that members look for ideas and ways the branch could generate regular income. The Chair emphasised that on his watch the policy of not applying for Benevolence from Central Office will continue.

  • It was pointed out that of the £1172.95 in the Charity fund £909.52 will shortly be deducted as a cheque will be sent off to the Charity for money raised at the recent Wilko’s Challenge.

  • Branch Account: £2646.03 Charity Account: £1172.95 Social Account: £222.73

Support:

  • It was reported that Bruce is coping with his treatment at present but has good days and not so good days.

  • As always please help the Committee to support those who may need it by getting in touch if you hear of a potential beneficiary.

Chairman’s Report:

  • Wilko’s Challenge – 23rd March - This was a very successful first fund raising outing of the year. 2 bikes were used and we cycled over 300 miles in 7 hours and raised over £909.52 for the Royal Marines Charity. And they want us back again.

  • An Evening with the Sea Cadets at Bideford. – 1st April - The Chair attended an evening with the Sea Cadets at Bideford to give them a presentation on Recruit Training to become a Royal Marine. The presentation seemed to go down well and I have offered further visits to give presentations on various aspects of life in the Armed Forces. Hopefully we can establish a good relationship with them for the future.

  • Track Day at Castle Combe – 2nd April - Sadly the weather wasn’t as last year with the 4 wseasons rolled into one making conditions on track challenging. However, 5 from North Devon and 6 from Termoli Troop, 40 Cdo had a good day out with as many passenger rides as we wanted. RMA CEO came along to thank the drivers and Chris Darwin, the organiser for the invitation to the RMA. I have been advised that the charity will be better off by at least £1500 and we are invited back next year.

  • Freedom of Barnstaple – 4th April. - This item attracted many comments from members expressing their disappointed in what involvement the branch were aloud to play. Clearly there had been some mis-communication between the Unit and Council resulting in some of the decisions made. Had there been an invitation to have greater input and a chance to speak to the Co-ordinator for the Council, undoubtedly the Branch would have been able to put on a better show. But sadly this was not to be. Nonetheless, staying within the numbers allowed, 14 members and the Branch Standard did what they could to support the day. The Branch received thanks from the Mayor and Senior Councillors, were invited back to the Reception at the Park Hotel and were again thanked by both the CO and Mayor in their addresses. An interesting foot note was Yeo Valley School who were watching the parade showed great interest in the veterans and as a result branch members have been invited to give a presentation to the school. This continues to demonstrate our value in North Devon.

  • The Merger - Completions of the legal processes for the RMA and RMC to finally merger occurred 1st April. The Chairman read out the announcement at the branch meeting and a copy can be found on the RMA website. It confirmed members should not see any changes to the way the branch operates.


  • What’s Coming Up.

  • 11 ATTRM Intow D Day 75 Schools Event – The Chair and possibly one other will represent the branch for the Press Day on the 7th May and there are a number of Schools events to follow. Large support by member’s is not required, as we have only been requested to have 1 or 2 to meet and greet & answer questions from schools.


  • Branch AGM – 17th May: Annual reports will be given by Chair and President, Voting of Officers and Accounts

    • All branch Officers positions open. So if you feel you want to get more involved you can step forward as an Ex-Officio Committee Member. What does this mean – you will contribute with your opinion to how the branch is operating and maybe take on adhoc tasks from time to time.


  • Hartland RBL D Day 75 Event – 8th June - A poster for this event has been attached with this bulletin. It should be pointed out that since the poster was received there may have been some changes to the itinerary. It is no longer thought the there will be a display by Royal Marines.


  • Regimental Dinner – 15th June - Everyone should have received notification of this very important event in the branch calendar. Please get your replies back to Jacky by post or email to [email protected] at the earliest opportunity.

    • Spring Raffle: We have now secured some great raffle prizes including meals out, hampers and holiday vouchers. Books of raffle tickets are now available. If you aren’t planning to attend the dinner it would be great if you could support the branch buy purchasing a couple of books. Please make your request to the chairman at: [email protected] or phone on 01237477438/07845989377. A text message would be fine.

    • Cabins: Be advised cabins in the Mess are very limited. Other than those who have already booked and confirmed the chair has blocked out 3 additional doubles and 2 x twins for branch use on a first come basis. If you want to secure one please quote “RMA” to Reception. Reserve will be removed 31st May.


  • The Annual Dartmoor Yomp – 22nd June - This is a 12-mile ramble on a circular route from Bickleigh Barracks, just outside Plymouth – home of 42 Cdo - and back. There is no time limit, you can walk at your own pace and there are checkpoints to stop and have a break. The entry fee is £15 and this money goes to Royal Marines Charities. Breakfast (£6) is 0730 Sgt Mess Bickleigh Barracks, briefing at 0900, 1st group away at 1000, last group back by 1700. It is also a good way of supporting RM Charities and not believed to be too challenging. So if you would like know more information about a day out on Dartmoor on a well-organised ramble please let the Chairman know. We can take a group down for the day. Depending on interest transport from Bideford could be arranged and the Chair will give detailed instructions to those attending well ion advance.


  • Armed Forces Week Flag Breaking – Victoria Park Bideford - 24th June. - This Annual event has been running for a number of years and involves a short march along the Quay behind the band, a parade in Victoria Park by the flagstaff and a celebratory service including the raising and breaking of the Armed Forces Flag. It all kicks off at 1800 for an 1830 step off and following the parade and service there is a VIP reception at Bideford Rugby Club. No start up meeting with the Council has taking place yet – so this is by way of a warning order.



  • Supporting Matt Mason with his Ocean Revival 2020 Project. - Matt has secured a number of slots at Asda and Tesco Barnstaple this year to row on a Concept Rower, raise awareness and funds for RM Charities in support of his epic row across the Atlantic next year. He has asked for some branch support. I am due to have a meet with him to clarify what his wish list is but I expect it will only require a couple of people to be with him bucket holding while he rows. More info to follow. We are putting on an event for him in Ilfracombe on the 29th June, which Bob Martin and the Chair are currently working on.


Key Dates

May: 8th – Press Day at 11ATTRM

12th – RMA Graspan Parade & Reception, Horse Guards & UJC.

17th – Branch AGM

Dates Various – Attendance of Branch Stand and 2-3 personnel to answer questions from Schools visits

June: 8th – Hartland RBL – D Day 75 Anniversary

14th/15th – Supporting Matt Mason and his Ocean Revival 2020 at Tesco Barnstaple

15th – Branch Regimental Dinner

22nd – The Dartmoor Yomp

24th – Armed Forces Day Flag Break and Reception.

29th – Fund Raiser in Ilfracombe in support of Matt Mason’s Ocean Revival 2020


If you need to make contact for any reason by phone or email; please select from below:

Branch Matters Primary Contact John Peel on 01237477438/07845989377 or email [email protected]

Colin Shearsby on 07737204646 or email [email protected]

Jacko Jackson on 07821 448043 or email [email protected]com

Derek Sargent on 01237475999 or email [email protected]

Welfare Matters

Primary Contact: Bruce White on 01271 346611 or email [email protected]

Phil Waites on 01271879344/07812366483 or email [email protected]

Mac Grenney on 07565 520030 or email [email protected]


Next Meeting:


    • May Branch Gathering – The AGM 17th May – SNCO’s Mess – RMB Chivenor – 1800 meet and supper - Ajax Bay Bar/Dining Area followed by a report on the Branch Year, a Presidents Address, Voting in of Officers and the Accounts will be available to scrutinise.



Branch Meeting and Monthly News Bulletin:

March 2019.


A Summary of the March Meeting at the WO&SNCO’s Mess, RMB Chivenor

  • 28 members attended the evening with a number of apologies including those we know cannot make the meetings.

    • There was no matters arising and the previous Branch Bulletin was proposed and seconded by JC Bowden and Dave Rowland.

  • Following fish and chips the Chair started by welcoming Matt Mason, Michele and Ed Gibbett to the evening. The Chair then covered the following during Branch Business:

    • Support

    • Accounts

    • Wilkos Challenge on 23rd March

    • Freedom of Barnstaple – The date change to 4th April.

    • 11 ATTRM Instow -D Day 75 Schools Event running in May

    • Branch AGM – 17th May

    • The Mess Boxing Evening – postponed from the 28th May

    • Hartland RBL Event – 8th June

    • The Branch Regimental Dinner – 15th June

    • Sainsbury’s 2019- provisionally booked for the 15th-19th July

    • A trip to 1 Assault Group RM, Devonport – date to be confirmed

    • Central Office is moving and there is a change to the Admin Team

    • What’s coming up.

    • ESS update

    • End of our relationship with B&M

    • New blazer and Grey trousers offer.


Details of everything covered can be found in the main bulletin below.


  • Following branch business the members retired to the Ajax Bay Bar for an evening with Matt Mason of Hunted fame. Matt talked and answered questions about his experiences on Hunted and then gave an overview of his next mammoth challenge a team row from New York to London in 2020. His aim is to raise awareness of the Royal Marines and their charity work as well as plastic pollution in our Oceans. Matt had brought his boat along for people to have a look at. But due to the dark and precipitation it was not feasible to take advantage of this. We plan that when the weather improves we will invite Matt back to show people around his boat. It was also hoped that the branch would be able to support Matt during 2019 with his various events. The raffle raised £90.


Bulletin For March 2019.


Branch Accounts:

  • The extended financial year budget will be completed after the end of March. Details available at the AGM.

  • Branch Account: £2556.03 Charity Account: £86.83 Social Account: £162.73


Support:

  • At the meeting the Chair read out a “Thank You” letter to the branch from the widow of Lt Col Simon Guyer - Jayne. In it she expressed her gratitude that through this annual Christmas card and gift she remains connected to the Royal Marines. She also reported that she had completed her walk in 2018 with help from the guide book she bought with last years gift and was planning another walk this year and again would buy a guide book.

  • The Chairman reported the Support Officer, Bruce, was again undergoing treatment for his medical condition, which would be on going for the next 8 months. Bruce will remain as Support Officer but until he assessed how the treatment was going would be less able to actively carry out his role, although would be able to carry on with tasks from home. We wish Bruce a safe passage through this round of treatment.

  • As always please help the Committee to support those who may need it by getting in touch.


Chairman’s Report:

  • MFM 2019.

    • A large group attended the Mountbatten Festival of Music in March. A few took advantage of a visit to Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower on the Friday Then dinner for 25 at a French Restaurant near the Albert Hall on Saturday followed by outstanding concert by the Massed Bands with a few nightcaps back at the hotel afterwards. All in all an excellent weekend.

  • Wilko’s Challenge – 23rd March

    • This was a successful event and continues to enhance our relationship with the community. Total raised will be published in due course.

  • Freedom of Barnstaple – 4th April. Note the change of Date.

    • Following conversations with the RSM the branch will be included in the event but as spectators in the VIP area. We will have reserved seating by the Saluting Dais on the Strand. Some key timings:

      • Plan to be at the Dais between 1000/1030.

      • The Parade will muster between1025 - 1055

      • Parade steps off at 1100

      • Estimated time to arrive at Dais for the presentation of the Freedom at 1145

      • Parade leave Dais area at 1215

  • 11 ATTRM Intow D Day 75 Schools Event – running through May.

    • The Chairman has had a conversation with the OC Instow to establish what the Branch involvement will be. Involvement will be minimal and the Chairman will contact key people he would like assistance from.

  • Branch AGM – 17th May

    • With Team Shearsby stepping down there is capacity for more volunteers (two have already come forward) to join the committee.

    • It is understood that the current Committee are happy to stay in post. However, if anyone else would like to be considered for any role on the Committee they should make this known to the Chairman by COB April 17th.

  • Boxing Evening – 28th May

    • Due to the unavailability of RM boxers (Corps Champ same day) this event has been cancelled. It is hoped that a suitable date can be arranged later in the year.

  • Hartland RBL D Day 75 Event – 8th June

    • Hartland RBL are running a D Day 75 event. The branch has been invited to take part. Thereis a poster advertising the event attached.

  • Regimental Dinner – 15th June

    • Please see the attached proforma with details of the this popular event. For the first time this year the ability to pay by BACS is available. However you must indicate on the form your payment method and use the specified Ref so this payment can be identified.

  • Sainsbury’s Challenge 2019.

    • The Unit has requested July 15th to 19th. and the Chairman is now seeking approval from Sainsbury’s. As soon as the dates have been confirmed the usual requests will be coming out for support for our main fund raising event of the year.

  • A Trip to Devonport Dockyard – home to 1 Assault Group RM.

    • This outing has been extended to branch and now a wider group. No details as yet but it is prossible transport will be provided. Lunch will probably be PAYD lunch in the Mess and there will be various presentations on the base throughout the visit. More information regarding timings, programme and places available will be sent out as soon as.

  • Central Office is Moving.

    • For most of its 73-year history, the RMA Central Office has been based in Portsmouth, firstly at RM Eastney and then at HMS EXCELLENT. The opportunity has now been seized to move to the home of the Royal Marines at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines. From Monday 11 March 2019, the Chief Executive, the two Operations Managers and the Membership Secretary will be based in ‘The Wooden Hut’ at CTCRM, alongside the Marketing and Comms Team from The Royal Marines Charity.

    • There is also going to be a change in the Admin and Membership Secretary with Tamsin Stares leaving.






What’s Coming Up.

April:

2nd - Track Day – Castle Coombe Motor Circuit. We have now secured a number of serving personnel from Termoli Troop, 40 Cdo to take the 10 “deserving places”. I have some of the 10 paying places (£20 to the charity) still available.

4th - Freedom of Barnstaple Parade

5th – Branch Gathering – 1800 -WO&SNCOs Mess

May:

12th – RMA Graspan Parade & Reception, Horse Guards & UJC. Tickets available on line on the RMA website.

17th – Branch AGM


Other Business.

  • ESS Caterers – Update

    • ESS now requires food orders 10 days in advance. So to help please indicate each month as soon as you can if you plan to attend. This will help the Chairman and also comply with ESS requirements.

    • It is being suggested there will be a change to the “Specials” menu available to the branch and pricing.

    • All this is out of our control and Unit personnel are subject to these changes as well.

  • End of the relationship with B&M

    • The Chairman has been advised that the charity policy at all B&M stores nationwide has changed and sadly that means we can no longer have our “Tins” in store. He is in discussions regarding continuing the annual 1 Day Challenge, which the staff at Barnstaple are keen to continue.

  • Donation of Brand New jacket + Grey Trousers’ by the Late Geoff Tudor

    • Carol Tudor, widow of the late Associate Member Geoff has donated a brand new blazer and grey trousers to the branch. Her only request is that who ever would like them makes a small donation to branch funds. It is believed the jacket is a more expensive one. Branch member Edd (Sambrook) has offered to make any necessary alterations FOC. It is hoped to bring the balzer and trousers to the next meeting.


As always if you need to make contact for any reason by phone or email; please select one of the

Branch Officer Contact Details


Branch Matters

Primary Contact Colin Shearsby on 07737204646 or email [email protected]

Jacko Jackson on 07821 448043 or email [email protected]

Derek Sargent on 01237475999 or email [email protected]

Welfare Matters

Primary Contact: Bruce White on 01271 346611 or email [email protected]

Phil Waites on 01271879344/07812366483 or email [email protected]

Mac Grenney on 07565 520030 or email [email protected]


Next Meeting:


    • April Branch Gathering – 5th April – SNCO’s Mess – RMB Chivenor. The format will be as usual – 1800 meet and supper - Ajax Bay Bar/Dining Area followed by Branch Business at 1900 and some form of entertainment at 2000 – maybe a quiz or bingo or something else. Please indicate whether attending and if eating or not by 27th April.



Branch Meeting and Monthly News Bulletin:

February 2019.


A Summary of the February’s Meeting at the WO&SNCO’s Mess, RMB Chivenor

  • 32 members attended the evening with a number of apologies including those we know cannot make the meetings.

    • Previous Branch Bulletin was proposed and seconded by Jimmy Headrick and JC Bowden.

  • Branch business came before supper and the Chair covered the following items:

    • Accounts:

      • The Merger and the branch legal declaration and end of year accounts.

      • Branch budget

      • Branch Account

    • Regimental Dinner – 15th June

    • Freedom of Barnstaple – 11th April but could slide.

    • Branch Membership – Free – there are some who are not members of the RMA

    • Branch Website – www.rmand16641664.webs.com

    • Branch Calendar

    • What’s coming up.

    • Graspan 2019.

    • ESS price increases and possible changes to meal plans

    • Chair and Mrs chair are on holiday – 12th Feb to 1st March


Details of everything covered can be found in the main bulletin below.


  • Following branch business members were piped into the Mess for our Mini Burns Supper. Following the Selkirk Grace the Haggis was piped in with the Ode and toast to being recited by genuine “Jock” Jimmy Headrick. Following the main course the Toast to the Lassies was given by our 2nd resident Scot, Vice Chair Col Shearsby with the reply to the Lassies being performed by Treasurer Susan McCulloch after dessert. The amber nectar was provide by JC. Final there was the toast to the Immortal Memory of Burns was scribed by Bob Fergie who was AWOL and read by the Chair. Thanks to all participants. We all then retired to the bar. The raffle raised £94.



Bulletin For February 2019.


Branch Accounts:

  • The Merger. Due to some legal requirements branches have to make legal declaration regarding assets. This is in hand. Also we now know the accounts year will be extended to March 31st.

  • Branch Budget. Branch Treasurer Susan McCulloch and the Chairman are still working on what we need as a minimum in the account to operate the branch – primarily stationary and postage plus a contingency. We will then plan to subsidies more events/meetings as and when. We feel we should keep a contingency fund of 50% of our known annual expenditure on top of the total amount we know we will expend each year. Obvious the number of events and total we subsidise them for will vary, subject to donations we receive in addition to our regular income from raffles etc.

  • Branch Account: £2641.77 Charity Account: £64.19 Social Account: £162.73


Support:

  1. The Passing of Norman Kitchen. After a struggle with health and the onset of aggressive cancer Norman Kitchen sadly passed away recently. His funeral was held at Barnstaple Crematorium on the 14th February and the branch was well represented. For those who didn’t know Norman, he served in the RAF for 37 years. Norman came onto our radar as Paula, his wife of 60years, shopped at Sainsbury’s and regularly donated to our Sainsbury’s Appeal. Paula became one of our “groupees”. After a couple of trips Paula enquired whether she and Norman could join the branch having attended eveings in the Mess as part of RAFA. They have been outstanding supporters of our activities and fund raising work and Norman did comment that if he had to do his service time again he would have join the Royal Marines. They really enjoyed themselves. Norman will be missed but I pleased to say that when Paula feels ready she will start coming to our gatherings again.


  1. Although we have one or two who are less well generally those on our watch list are OK. As usual if there is anyone we should know about could you let me know.


Chairman’s Report:

  • Seniors Annual Lunch – Monday 4th February: Our 5th Annual seniors lunch was held in the Barnstaple Hotel. Originally arranged for some of our founder members to keep in touch, it is now felt this event should be open to the branch as a whole. To that end the Committee will look at how this will be managed next year.

  • Regimental Dinner, 15th June: The evening will commence at 1800 and Mess Beatings will be at 1830. We aim to be seated at 1900 for a 4-course dinner with a sprinkling of Mess formalities. Following the speeches and toasts at around 2200 we will have entertainment in the Main Bar, which will remain open until 0100. Further information and costings will come out in the next few months.

  • Freedom of Barnstaple, 11th April (but could slide): It is understood that the branch will be invited to take part n some way. During the branch meeting WO2 Spud Taylor confirmed that when 40 Cdo got the Freedom of Taunton the Taunton Branch of the RMA, including wheelchair veterans, marched. The chair is awaiting an invitation to discuss what part we will play in this event. But it is a one off which will not be repeated so all branch members should take advantage of this unique event and be on parade. Details as soon as.

  • Branch and RMA Membership: As we have been saying for a while this is now free. Looking through the branch membership list there are some who are branch members but have never joined the RMA. We don’t really have an issue with this but by being a member of the RMA you will gain access to the RMA Official Website and be able to get current information and access to ticketing for events. BY JOINING THE RMA IT WILL NOT MEAN YOU WILL BE EXPECTED TO DO ANYTHING AND NOTHING WILL CHANGE REGARDING YOUR CURRENT STATUS. So why not join. Sue Searsby, our branch Secretary, Tamsin Stares the Membership Secretary at Central Office and the branch Chairman will, in the coming weeks, be contacting those people to encourage them to join.

  • Branch Website: www.rmand16641664.webs.com . We now believe that all pages on the site are accessible by everyone site members or not. We aim to keep it upto date. So sections including the Calendar, Globe and Laurel articles and Central Office should have relevant information you may find useful.

  • Branch Calendar: In the past branch, regional and national events have been formulated into a monthly calendar style format, which has been sent to all branch members. To ensure we are being economic with paper and printer ink we have changed the format. All relevant dates have been listed by month. It is strongly advised that dates are transposed to whatever diary/calendar system you operate. It should also be noted that as dates may change and events come on and go of our schedule updates for the next 2 months will always appear in this bulletin under “What’s Coming Up”.


What’s Coming Up.

  • March Branch Gathering – 8th – 1800 meeting in the Ajax Bay Bar and dining.

  • March 23rd – Wilkos Challenge for the RMC .

  • April 2nd – Track Day for The RMC – Castle Coombe Motor Circuit – details to follow.

  • April 5th – Branch Gathering – This is a change of date from the 12th. Details to follow.

  • April 11th - Freedom of Barnstaple Parade – this may slide – details to follow.

  • May 12th - Graspan 2019 see RMA website for details.

  • May 28thBoxing Evening at the WO&SNCO’s Mess – details to follow.

  • June 15th -Branch Regimental Dinner – details to follow.


  • A Trip to 1 Assault Group RM, Devonport. One of our senior veterans Cliff Coates is being hosted at 1 AGRM, Devonport and it has been suggested by the co-ordinator and the CO & RSM of 1AGRM that it may be possible to extend the invitation to a group from the North Devon Branch. This is all yet to be confirmed but as soon as information will be cascaded to all.





Other Matters.

  • ESS Price Increases. It is understood the catering contractors are putting up prices and possibly changes to meal plans. When more is known and what impact there will be to the branch it will be cascaded to all.

  • Regional Trip to Spean Bridge and the West Highland Way. This idea is still at feasibility stage with no detailed planning in place as yet. Derek Sargent can be contacted if you are interested – his contact details are below.


  • As always if you need to make contact for any reason by phone or email; please select one of the following below:


Finally.

  • Chair and Mrs chair are on holiday – 12th Feb to 1st March. John will be monitoring emails on [email protected]


Branch Officer Contact Details


Branch Matters

Primary Contact Colin Shearsby on 07737204646 or email [email protected]

Jacko Jackson on 07821 448043 or email [email protected]

Derek Sargent on 01237475999 or email [email protected]

Welfare Matters

Primary Contact: Bruce White on 01271 346611 or email [email protected]

Phil Waites on 01271879344/07812366483 or email [email protected]

Mac Grenney on 07565 520030 or email [email protected]


Next Meeting:


    • March Branch Gathering – 8th March – SNCO’s Mess – RMB Chivenor. The format will be as usual – 1800 meet and supper (Fish and Chips) - Ajax Bay Bar/Dining Area followed by Branch Business at 1900 and some form of entertainment at 2000 – maybe a quiz or bingo or something else. As it will be a short time between The Chair returning from holidays and the meeting it would help greatly if he received early notification of your wish to attended and specifically those eating. Closing date for food orders 5th March.




Branch Meeting and Monthly News Bulletin: January 2019.


A Summary of the January Meeting at the WO&SNCO’s Mess, RMB Chivenor

  • 30 members attended the evening with 26 apologies or we know are unable to attend monthly meetings. Following the usual PAYD meal the first business of the branch commenced..
    • Previous Branch Bulletin was proposed and seconded by J.C Bowden and Dave Rowlands.

  • The Chair covered the following items:
    • Accounts: Branch Account: £2604.05 Charity Account: £0.00 Social Account: £162.73
    • Thanks from John Bigwood
    • Remembrance Parades
    • Christmas Appeal
    • Christmas Party
    • SW Regional Meeting

  • Following branch business members adjourned to the bar and then watched a DVD on the Limbang Raid at the start of the Borneo Confrontation in 1962. Present was branch member john Grebby who took part in the raid and Bob Fergie who served in 40 Cdo during the Confrontation.

  • The raffle raised £105.00 for branch funds – thanks to all.

  • What’s Coming Up.

  • The Branch website and calendar

  • Voting for a Chelsea FC Match Day collection for the RMC.

Details of everything covered can be found in the main bulletin below.



Bulletin For January 2019.


Branch Accounts:

  • Mrs Treasurer (Susan McCulloch) and the Chairman have been preparing the 2018 accounts for submission. Notification has now come through from Central Office that the years accounts will now run to March 31st 2019 (a 15 month period) as a result of the pending merger.

  • I can report we have sent a cheque for £8,476.12 to the Royal Marines Charity with requests (approved by both Chief Execs) for donations to BLESMA, SSAFA North Devon, The Royal Naval Benevolent Trust and Commando Logistic Welfare Hub. The balance will be placed in the Royal Marines Charity Benevolent Fund.

  • A £100.00 legacy donation was made to branch funds from the funeral of the late Billy Baverstock.

  • Susan McC noted the revenue from our network of “Charity Tins” raised around £1,352.00 in 2018.

  • A number of RBL wreaths were acquired by the branch for the various Remembrance Parades in November and we made a donation of £100 to the RBL for these.

  • Work on the Charity Tin process has been reviewed and although we have always been compliant the committee felt it could be refreshed and tightened up. This has been done. The Chair and Treasurer are also going to work on understand how much it costs to run the branch, creating an annual budget. This will allow us to fulfil a challenge from the CEO that money raised by members for branch must be used to benefit the members and not horded.

  • Although the Committee doesn’t print off branch account spread sheet (saving the Rain Forest) any branch member who would like to view our accounts are entitled to do so – please ask.


Taking into account the pending payment of the Charity Account cheque the accounts stand at:



        Branch Account: £2604.05        Charity Account: £0.00        Social Account: £162.73



Support:

  • We said our farewells to Bill Baverstock in December and it was a fitting send off for our “Old Soldier”

  • Although we have one or two who are less well generally those on our watch list are OK.

  • As usual if there is anyone we should know about could you let me know.


Chairman’s Report:

  • John Bigwoods visit.
    • John sent a “Thank You” to the branch for our hospitality to him during his November visit.

  • December Christmas Support Appeal.
    • Money raised – £6,326.71
    • Thanks to all who supported our efforts or volunteered but who’s services weren’t required this time.
    • A great public response, particularly from Veterans from all the services and the staff at all venues want us back.

  • The Branch Christmas Party.
    • 60+ attended
    • CO enjoyed the evening
    • A great raffle. Thanks to all who procured prizes, bought raffle tickets which help support our branch. The best yet with over £700 being raised to benefit the branch. Well done Fran and Jacky.

  • SW Regional AGM and Central Office Business.
    • The Chair and Branch President, Derek Sargent – who is also the Regional Trustee and Chair attended.
    • Phil Gilby, the new Regional Ops Manager and Richard Spencer, the RMA CEO were in attendance.
    • A letter from the CE, Richard Spencer has been published on the branch Website and the Committee are aware that those without access to a computer (postal Members) received a Christmas card with the shorter version from of this letter.
    • Because of the ending of Membership Subscriptions - don’t forget to cancel your Standing Order. All Direct Debits have already been cancelled. Please consider making your old membership fee an annual donation to the RMC instead.
    • It can be confirmed that a new category of membership for anyone joining going forward and is not RM related will be classed as “Supporting Member”. They will have the same benefits as Associate members.
    • All future fund raising will be sent to the RMC Benevolent Fund.
    • There is a new logo which will be introduced on the merger date:
    • General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) – New regs were brought into force in May 2018. The statement form Central Office was read out at the branch meeting and a copy has been placed on the branch website under Central Office section. In summary data isn’t being used for anything it should be.
    • There was a brief discussion about the funds currently held in the Regional Account and whether a Regional trip to the Spean Bridge Parade in July would be an option to include a walk on the West Highland Way. The branch is waiting for further details.


What’s Coming Up.

  • February Branch Gathering – 8th February - A Mini Burns Supper – so looking at 1800 meet, 1830 Branch Business, 1900 Eat – kilts and other tartan welcome. Full details at the end of this bulletin.

  • March Branch Gathering – 8th – details to follow.

  • March 23rd – Wilkos Challenge for the RMC – To be confirmed

  • April 2nd – Track Day for The RMC – Castle Coombe Motor Circuit – details to follow.

  • April 11th - Freedom of Barnstaple Parade – It is understood that the branch will be invited to take part n some way. During the branch meeting WO2 Spud Taylor confirmed that when 40 Cdo got the Freedom of Taunton the Taunton Branch of the RMA, including wheelchair veterans, marched. The chair is awaiting an invitation to discuss what part we will play in this event. But it is a one off which will not be repeated so all branch members should take advantage of this unique event and be on parade. Details as soon as.

  • April 12th – Branch Gathering – details to follow.

  • Branch Regimental Dinner in May/June – this is a key event and once we have discussed possible dates with the Mess the Committee will be able to update the branch calendar.

Other Matters.

  • Branch Websitewww.rmand16641664.webs.com
    • Work to refresh and create a user-friendly sight is underway. It is felt this should not necessarily be a membership site but more of a News and Information site – accessible by anyone.
    • Those with access to the Internet please try “Googling” the above website address and have a look at what we are trying to create. Feedback is very welcome and encouraged.

  • Branch Display Cabinet in the Mess – we have a small display cabinet opposite the Ajax Bay Bar and will soon populate it with relevant items. The size of the cabinet will restrict what goes in it so we will be unable to use it to display items that are too historical. The aim is for that Serving Mess Members can see at a glance what we do.

  • Branch Calendar This year in an attempt to save on printer ink, paper etc we are changing how we produce the branch calendar. To that end Sue is in the throws of putting together a one page events Calendar for the year for you to transpose onto your own calendar. BUT PLEASE REMEMBER THESE DATES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE

For those with computer access to the calendar on our branch website will be kept up to date and can easily be accessed by “Googling” the link above. We will continue to publish changes in the monthly bulletin and any key events will be highlighted as a ‘news item’ in the minutes. The committee is committed to ensure you are aware of branch meetings, functions and events that are both branch and national and any updates and changes. We cannot emphasis enough that to keep up to date please read your monthly bulletin or view the calendar on line then please check and update your own calendars as and when.



  • Regional Trip to Spean Bridge and the West Highland Way - Derek Sargent, Branch President and Regional Chairman is proposing RMA SW Region trip to the Spean Bridge Parade on 7th July preceded by walking the West Highland Way – a 96 mile off road walk from Glasgow to Fort William. The following itinerary is proposed:

27th June 2019                   Travel to Glasgow

28 June to 4th July             Walk the West Highland Way

5th  July                                Climb Ben Nevis or day in Fort William

6th July                                 Visit Spean Bridge Memorial, Spean Bridge Commando Museum, Visit Achnacarrie

7th July                                 Attend the RMA Spean Bridge Parade and Reception

8th July                                 Travel back to West Country.


If you are interested in taking part (you can do as much or as little as you feel able to do) please contact the Branch Chairman or Derek Sargent who can provide further information initially by February 11th. Derek requires final numbers by the end of February to make the necessary arrangements . Please note the cost of travel to Scotland and the Spean Bridge Commemoration Ceremony and the social activities will be covered by the Region. During the walk you can camp or for a more comfortable nights sleep B&B - the cost of which (including all meals) will be at your own expense. This is a regional event and not being organised by the branch.


As always if you need to make contact for any reason by phone or email; please select one of the following below:


Branch Matters

Primary Contact: John Peel on 01237477438/07845989377 or email [email protected]

Colin Shearsby on 07737204646 or email [email protected]

Jacko Jackson on 07821 448043 or email [email protected]

Derek Sargent on 01237475999 or email [email protected]

Welfare Matters

Primary Contact: Bruce White on 01271 346611 or email [email protected]

Phil Waites on 01271879344/07812366483 or email [email protected]

Mac Grenney on 07565 520030 or email [email protected]



Next Meeting:


    • February Branch Gathering – 8th February – SNCO’s Mess – RMB Chivenor. It is planned to have a Mini Burns Supper (Kilts are not mandatory but welcome or any other tartan attire) so meet as usual at 1800, very brief Branch Business at 1830, piped into the Mess at 1900 followed by:
    • Welcome and Selkirk Grace
    • Pipe in and “Address and Toast” to the Haggis.
    • Self-service first course – Cottage Pie and Veg with a small potion of Haggis for those who want.
    • Address and Toast to the Lassies
    • Hot Dessert
    • Reply and Toast to the Laddies
    • Final words/toast to Robbie Burns.
    • Retire to bar.


Branch Meeting and Monthly News Bulletin: November 2018.

 

A Summary of the November Meeting at the WO&SNCO’s Mess,  RMB Chivenor

  • 27 members attended the evening with 25 apologies.  The evening started with the usual PAYD meal and branch business was started with Jenny Staines carrying out her “Crate Fine” for having her picture in the Globe and Laurel.  Although the suggestion Jenny should carry out the fine was for humour only it was a very pleasant surprise when Jenny and Roger turned up with a bottle of Pussers Rum.  Never wanting to refuse we accepted Jenny’s forfeit and Roger Staines used the occasion to recite the extract from Binyon’s “The Fallen”.
    • Previous Branch Bulletin was proposed and seconded by JC Bowden and Dave Rowland
    •  There were a couple of welcomes –
      • John and Liz Gingell were over from Bournemouth for Remembrance Weekend and it is always a pleasure to see our good friends.
      • John Grebby has fully recovered from his little medical emergency the previous meeting with the expected cracks as “falling over on the job”.
      • USMCL and Associate members – John Bigwood – had come over from the US for a week and joined our merry band for the evening.  Great to see John.
  • The Chair covered the following items:
    • Unit Remembrance Parade – Crow Point
    • The Remembrance Weekend Events in North Devon.
    • The ending of RMA membership fees.
    • The work of the RM Charity including the letter of acknowledgment for the work of the branch from the Commandant General.
    • What’s Coming Up.
    • The “Pages in the Sand” event at Saunton Sands
    • Veterans United Against Suicide.
  • Following the formalities the membership filled their glasses and moved to the main bar area a short film about the US Assualt Training Centre in North Devon in preparation to the D Day Landings.
  • The raffle raised £90 for branch funds – and thanks to all.

 

Accounts:  Branch Account: £3093.78                     Charity Account: £1406.26                          Social Account: £54.98

 

Chairman’s Report:

  • Unit Remembrance Parade – Crow Point – Braunton Burrows.  A good turn out of branch, which was appreciated by the CO, 2 I/C, RSM and Unit personnel. The standard was on parade but sadly as there had been no provision due to time constraints for the laying of branch and USMCL wreaths these were laid at the Memorial Garden at RMB Chivenor following the service.
  • Remembrance Parades – North Devon.  The branch was represented at a number of Remembrance Parades across North Devon, laying wreaths at Barnstaple, Ilfracombe, Marwood, South Molton, Torrington and Bideford.  The Branch focussed on the parade at Bideford where there was an excellent turnout.  It was good to see our more senior members Cliff (Coates), Len (Husband) and Sheila (Parker).  Also great see a few “youngsters” with their Green Lids - Simon Cobb, Keith Owen, Bill Milster and Neil Gibbet.  Wreaths were layed by Derek Sargent for the Branch and John Bigwood, ably assisted by Nita Marshall and Liz Gingell, for the USMCL.  2 standards were paraded – the branch and the USMCL standard carried by Bob Martin. Following the church service some of us partook in a “swift half” at the reception.
  • The 100th Anniversary of the WW1 Armistice Beacon Lighting Event.  As part of the 100th Anniversary - Pipes paraded at 0600 playing The Battles O’er.  2 branch members – Bob Fergie and Bob Winslow attended.  At 1500 the main event at the Pollyfields Centre got under way.  The branch had a Military Book stall, Tombola for the kids and branch stand with a WW1 significance.  The build up to the beacon lighting started around 1800 with the reading of the names fallen from Bideford.  Last Post sounded at 1855 with the beacon lit at 1900 followed by a proclamation by the Town Crier.  Bob Fergie recited the Exaltation.  The event closed with a reception.  A huge well done to Pat Fergie ably assisted by Bob and the team from Pollyfields.  It should be noted this was the only major WW1 event held in Bideford.  A total of £125.05 was raised from our activities.

 

  • The Ending of RMA Membership Subscriptions.  It has been widely publicised that membership fees ended 9th November.  At the branch meeting the chairman summarised the thinking behind this and encouraged as many as possible to continue their support for the RMA/RMC by consider making their current fee an annual donation to the charity as suggested by Central Office.  This can be done by visiting www.royalmarineassociation.org.uk - Click on “Support Us”. If you need help or advise contact John Peel.
    • All were advised that DDR’s will be cancelled by Central Office but those paying their subs by STO should cancel with immediate effect.
    • The Chair also said, from a branch perspective, it will be business as usual with no changes to the way the branch operated and the benefits available through the RMA/RMC.
    • One of the big wins would be the ending of VAT through membership fees which will allow the transition, from two charities to one, to be completed on schedule December 31st/January 1st.  This merger is seen as a very positive step for the future of both organisations.

So to clarify – if and when you receive a letter from Central Office, which some will have done already, advising you that your DDR has been cancelled there is nothing you need to do.  Your membership status hasn’t changed and will continue.  When your card is due for renewal you will receive a new card, which will have a 10 year expiry date.  Similarly if you have a Standing Order, which you must cancel – your membership status will not be affected and again when your card is due for renewal you will receive a new card with a 10 year  expiry date.

 

  • RM Charity Presentation Event at Stonehouse Barracks. The chair reported on this event and highlighted a few key points.
    • Over 1000 individuals and families were supported in 2017.  Every day 3 new cases are referred to the Support Team. 
    • Invictus Games was again a huge success for former RM’s
    • £1.9 million was given out in support in 2017.  Out of every £1 donated - £0.93 went directly in benevolence – this achievement is enviable by other major charities who cannot meet these levels.
    • Research suggests that PTSD manifests over 7-10 years.  This is now becoming evident post Afghan. 

 

  • The Commandant General’s Letter to the Branch. As reported last month the key extracts from the letter were “the branches fund raising achievements makes the North Devon branch the most generous geographical branch donor to the charity” - “The branch continues to set a high bar and is the epitomy of what an Association Branch should be” -  “You should be rightly proud of this magnificent achievement.”  These were the words of The Commandant General, Major General Charlie Stickland RM. 

 

  • Hosting John Bigwood, USMCL and Branch Member.  After week of hosting visits to CTC, CLR and 11 ATT Instow not to mention the Remembrance events we said a fond farewell to John.  It was a pleasure having him with us and we look forward to his next trip across the water – Semper Fe and Per Mare Per Terram.

 

  • SW Regional AGM .  This was held on the 25th November, attended by branch representatives from the regions branches.  With Phil Gilby, the new West Regional Ops Manager and the RMA CEO Brig. Richard Spencer present the future of the RMA in it’s new merged role with the RMC was the main focus of the meeting.  Once the Chairman has absorbed what was discussed he will report back to the branch.

 

  • What’s Coming Up.

 

  • December:
    • Branch Christmas Appeal – various dates locations from the 3rd to 18th as follows: 
      • 3rd/4th – Tesco Braunton: 5th/6th/7th – Morrisons, Bideford: 10th/11th/12th/13th – Barnstaple –Pannier Market/High Street: 17th/18th – Tesco Ilfracombe
      • We now have a happy band of helpers and Unit Support from serving personnel.  However if you would like to help out for a couple of hours or go on the stand-by list please contact the John Peel with location, date and time you would be available.

 

 

 


    • Branch Christmas Party – 14th Officers Mess
      • The raffle plays a key role in funding this festive evening. We have at least 20 excellent prizes on offer with current top prizes being a holiday voucher for £100, a portable DVD player and a Luxury Christmas Hamper.  So as always raffle tickets are now available at £5.00 per book and will be available on the night.  If you would like to order a book or two please contact John Peel.
      • Anyone who is planning to attend and has either stated this but not sent the form or money back or who hasn’t yet done anything we have an absolute cut off of the 5th December.

 


    • THERE WILL BE NO DECEMBER MEETING

 

  • January
    • 11th – Branch Evening – WO&SNCO’s Mess. Meal Orders by 8th Jan.  Info at the bottom of this bulletin.

 

Other Business.

  • Veterans United Against Suicide.
    • The chairman has received a request for an on line campaign to vote for funding for Veterans United Against Suicide.  This group was started by a former RM in support of veterans suffering PTSD and the request is that people cast an on line vote for funding from Aviva Community Fund.  The link is below:
    • www.community-fund.aviva.co.uk/voting/project/view/4-901
    • Please take a minute to have a look at this.  Also note we are not asking for donations.
  • RMA Chief Executive’s Letter regarding the future of the RMA – What was covered.
    • The Merger a Timeline
    • RMA Central Office Financial Procedures & Consolidating of Branch Accounting
    • New Branding of the Merged Charities
    • Events 2019
    • RM Branded Goods/Products
    • Future Communication
    • GDPR
    • Fund Raising and Branch Funds
    • The Membership Categories
    • Honouring Members
    • Functions of the Operations Managers

Following the AGM the chairman will summaries at the next branch meeting and in future branch communications all relevant points.

 

If you need to make contact for any reason by phone or email; please select one of the following below:

 

Branch Matters

Primary Contact: John Peel on 01237477438/07845989377 or email [email protected]

Colin Shearsby on 07737204646 or email [email protected] 

Jacko Jackson on 07821 448043 or email [email protected]

Derek Sargent on 01237475999 or email [email protected]

Welfare Matters

Primary Contact: Bruce White on 01271 346611 or email [email protected]

Phil Waites on 01271879344/07812366483 or email [email protected]

Mac Grenney on 07565 520030 or email [email protected]

 

Next Meeting: 11th January – WO&SNCO’s Mess – meet in the Ajax Bay Bar.  Eating at 1800 to 1900 – Home Made Chicken Kiev, Chips and Peas + cold dessert at £4.25.  Branch Business 1900-1930’ish followed by a DVD on  “The Limbang Raid at the start of the Borneo Conflict by L Coy, 42 Cdo” + a Q&A on the Confrontation from 2 veterans who were there.