Welcome to our September Circular. Its been a busy few weeks for the Central Office team, but I’ve been off on leave in the Lake District, visiting the sunny stormy harbour of Maryport. It was good to see the HMS Queen Elizabeth sailing safely for her fixed wing trials in the Western Atlantic. Having been fully certified for rotary aircraft, the time has come to try out our new fast jets, the F35 (Lightening 2) or Sea Lightening as Admiral West likes to call it! Lets wish them the best of luck.
A huge thank you and BZ to all those who made the Royal Navy’s temporary custodianship of the Lamplight of Peace such a success. Please read Andy’s great article. This was our first gig with the new Chaplain of the Fleet, Rev Martyn Gough (soon to be a venerable). Our beloved National Chairman gave a moving speech in Westminster Abbey on the RN’s contribution to the 1WW. The National Museum of the RN hosted the Lamp in their gallery and provided a rum- soaked breakfast buffet for the participating shipmates. So many thanks to the great turn out of standard bearers and shipmates, it really showed the Army and the RAF how it can be done!
An important date for the diary. After marvellous support for the Jutland Wood, the time has come to plant it! Shipmates, families, cadets etc are all warmly invited to the planting event on 16 March 19 at Langley Vale. The Woodland Trust provides guidance and equipment, and we’ll put on a buffet and a tot. We’ll provide more details in due course but get booking the LIBOR bus to come and join in the fun. We’ll be inviting our Phase 2 friends from COLLINGWOOD and SULTAN and the Sea Cadet HQ. Let us know in good time if those who can’t walk 500 metres over rough ground want to come and we’ll hire a 4x4 for the day. Royal Marines can do the Commando Crawl.
We are coming up to the Remembrance season. We have a bid in the Circular for branches to review placing a cross in our Field of Remembrance plot at Westminster Abbey. As the senior association we get pride of place, but only a few crosses, which are dwarfed by the Merchant Navy, Royal Marines even the WRNS! Please consider having a cross placed in our plot. We have a lovely mini-Service after the senior Royal has visited our plot and you are welcome to join us. Nigel is the contact for tickets.
Some important matters of business:
• We have now put the dates of the Open Day into the Longcast, so please start booking up with Andy and Nigel, good chance to meet the new GS and have a great day out. Made event better by the fact that our lift is now working!
• Christmas Card order forms are at the back of this Circular, get ordering!
• There won’t be an October Circular, due to staff leave, so next edition will be November.
• We’ll be having our branch motion forms in the Nov Circular, so if you want to raise anything at Wyboston Lakes, please start the ball rolling in the branch.
The National Council has decided that from 1 January 2020 that the RNA will move to metal beret badges. This allows easier transfer for those who are members of more than one association, and also aligns more closely with the Royal Navy. We have been working with Forever Jack on adapting the design of the 10 Area badge and we have now taken delivery of our first 1,000. The NC has decided that there will be a free issue to all Area and Branch Standard bearers and that SB should wear the metal badge from 1 January 2019. Those Areas and branches with an appointed Deputy SB may also apply for a grat issue. The remaining 700 or so badges will be available at the highly discounted rate of £2.00 plus postage. Subsequent orders will be at the cost price plus postage of about £4.50. Non standard bearer members may continue to wear the cloth badge until 1 Jan 2020, but then must move across. Applications for the badges to Nigel please.
The Chair of the Standing Orders Committee and National Advisor on the Charter (NCBA), Shipmate Ivan Hunter BEM, has expressed his intention to retire due to ill health. This is a very important, independent appointment that supports the democracy and integrity of the RNA Conference and our Royal Charter. The NCBA sits on the National Council, but not as a trustee, to advise on Charter and Rules matters – and is the National President’s right-hand man at conference. NCBA attends the AMC and FAC as business dictates. If you are interested, please give me a ring or send me an email. Applications by 5 November please to me at email@example.com
Captain Bill Oliphant will be arriving at Semaphore Tower on 7 November to start training and handover – assuming the duties after the National Council meeting on 8 December. I will be remaining for a couple of weeks to write the annual report, as best I can, and go on leave and draft as the Central Office shuts for Christmas on 21 December 18. Finally, I had a wonderful visit yesterday to the Royal Alfred Seafarers home at Esher in Surrey. The Project Semaphore Team have issued 9 iPads and I had the pleasure of meeting some of the candidates who have benefited. It was humbling to hear the difference it makes to them to be on line for the first time. A great reminder of this Project. We have:
• Issued over 670 iPads to date (Aug 18)
• Reached Shipmates from 114 RNA Branches
• Collaborated with over 50 services related Charities and organisations
• Engaged with 10 service specific Care Homes and Housing
• The Project is managed by a team of 3 but supported by over 65 Volunteers and Ambassadors.
Thanks and best wishes from
the Central Office team