Welcome to the November Circular, this is a bumper edition – our biggest yet with lots of branch
news, Central Office dits and preparation stuff for the End of Year and next Year’s Conference.
Now that Andy is back from leave the groan-worthy jokes are back!
First off, we are all getting used to Queen Elizabeth in the Dockyard – we had our last Open Day
of the year and the Shipmates got a great view of the size and look of our biggest ever warship.
She sails for the second phase of build sea trials very soon and is out until early December when
she is back in to commission and become HMS Queen Elizabeth. So have a look for the Open
Days next year – no guarantee of course that QEZ will be in – she has her first of class flying trials and meeting up with her
F35 aircraft in the USA later in the year.
Most important of all may I ask that you start to book your accommodation for the Dublin Conference. The hotel will
start the release of rooms we have reserved very soon, and you may miss out on being in the Conference Hotel and the
great deal CONA travel has done. This is a very nice 4* hotel and makes a nice ‘treat’ visit. If you would like details of B&B
options that CONA Travel have arranged nearby then email firstname.lastname@example.org . Their great brochure also has details of ferries etc.
Can I ask you please to get cracking on other preps for Conference particularly:
• Delegate registration forms – attached
• Election forms for NCM/DNCM and SOC members – attached.
Remember the deadline for branch motions is 16 February 18.
A huge thank you to all the Shipmates who turned out for the Biennial Parade. A great day, I
have written a report for you to see what happened. The higher levels of security did not get in
the way too much, and the new arrangements means we can tighten the timings next time to
reduce the ‘standing time’. It was such a privilege to meet 3 highly decorated gallantry award
holders for the dedication of our LIBOR buses. The buses are now in Base Port (like QEZ) so
please book them and get them on the road – details in the circular. The National Chairman
covers the CONA cruise, which I hear was made very special by a great comradely effort by
Dublin Branch – BZ to them!!
As we approach the season of Remembrance there are some details to take account of please:
• Field of Remembrance tickets are being issued now.
• You must have a ticket for the Cenotaph to march – please talk to Nigel.
• Don’t forget your RNA poppy pin – they have sold really well. Nigel will get them to you in time!
• Standard bearers should wear the cloth beret badge, other shipmates may wear either cloth or metal beret badges.
• Don’t forget that this is a great time to be commemorating a shipmate with the Jutland
Wood. Details at: http://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/support-us/support-anappeal/centenary-woods/jutland/
Nigel is looking forward to your orders for our excellent QE Christmas cards and the 2018 diary
with the Royal Yacht featured.
Project Semaphore – bringing digitally isolated veterans into the wonderful on-line world is
moving along very well and this month we have seen our 400th iPad go out. The Project
Manager’s report makes very encouraging reading. She is looking for dedicated volunteers for
this important work to form part of her A-Team. Please give her an email if you are interested.
We don’t need Computer geeks (not that anyone in the RNA can be a geek), since total experts
can forget how hard it is to start, so a reasonable working knowledge of Google, emails and
Skype/FaceTime is a great starter for 10. This is all about getting lonely and isolated people
back in contact with friends and family and looking up old ships and shipmates. I was at a
Conference this week and learned that being lonely has the same health effect as smoking 15
cigarettes a day!
Please see the article about Cdr Jane Allen who is walking around the UK for Naval Charities –
she may be passing your branch – she needs parking for her motorhome – water (and I suspect
a tot would go down well!!) Please be in contact or through Central Office. Our beloved Hon Treasurer S/M Ray Barraclough is standing down after 30 years service in that role at the Dublin Conference. The National Council will be looking to appoint a Hon Treasurer in his place. If you would like to learn more please give the GS a ring, or to put yourself forward
please email GS with your CV and reasons for wanting to take on the role. On that subject, I have informed the National Council that I intend to retire in September 18 after the post- Conference NC meeting. The search for a new GS will start in the New Year.
Finally, the National President and the Second Sea Lord signed our new Collaboration
Agreement and Charter. The Charter is new and is a one-page summary of the relationship
between the Royal Navy and the RNA and is available on the website. Feel free to print and
have at your meeting venue.
Kindest regards from me and all at Central Office