Royal Naval Association Monthly Meeting Report January 2020

Those present:  S/M Carol Gowing Chairman, S/M Ted Rasell Vice Chairman, S/M John Gowing Treasurer plus 24 Shipmates

There was the usual Exhortation and silence to remember those Shipmates who had Crossed the Bar.

Our Chaplain, S/M Anthony Chandler opened the meeting with a prayer.

  • Apologies for Absence. S/Ms Bill and Lynda Barry, S/M Maureen Davis, S/M Peter Stephens, S/Ms Janette and Sarah Eastwood, S/Ms Colin and Ellen Ovenden, S/Ms Jane and Roger Mungham, S/M Jean Parker, S/M Brian Phillips, S/M Andrew Pugh.
  • Any New Members. Geraldine Felstead will be joining, wife of Steve, once the form had been completed.
  • Minutes of the Last Meeting. Minutes of the last meeting held 12th December 2019 were read out and those who had attended that Meeting agreed it was a true record and the Chairman signed them off.
  • Any matters arising. S/M Paul Bennett thanked the submariner among us, S/M Ted Rasell, for the spare computer system he gave for the Wisbech Sea Cadets. S/M John Gowing said he had a monitor to hand over for the Sea Cadets too.
  • Secretary’s Report. The cheque sent off to Pembroke House, one of the charities this Branch supports, had been acknowledged with a letter which S/M Carol Gowing read out. The latest edition of the Homefront magazine was available to read and would be left on the top table. There was also an RNBT 2020 dairy, keyring and 3 handbag sized laminated calendars still available for members to help themselves to.
  • Treasurer’s Report. S/M John Gowing gave his usual update on the three Branch accounts. £250 had been transferred from the George Brewin Welfare Fund so that we were able to send our usual annual charitable payments. A cheque for £70 had been written out to the wrong account for the Pickles evening, so the Treasurer had transferred this into the correct one. S/M John continues to put a graph on the reverse of the Agenda each month to show how much is put into the Gangway Box. This should give us enough money to cover the costs of running the Branch.
  • Welfare Report. S/M Tina Perrin our Welfare Officer gave a shorter Report this month, meaning more Members were obviously in better health – always good to know. S/M Brian Phillips had fallen again and had a bruised chest. Tina continues to visit him on a weekly basis. S/M William Evans out at Manea was out when Tina called and she would try again another time. Lionel who is in a Home in Wisbech will get a visit before Christmas.
  • Social Report. The Chairman started this Agenda item by introducing our new Branch Social Secretary, S/M Steve Felstead. She thanked him for taking on this role for us and said we all looked forward to the functions he will be able to arrange. S/M Steve advised us of the usual New Year meal we enjoy going to. It would be at The Golden Lion out in Stonea. Questions were asked about transport being laid on and music which is usually a feature after the meal. Our Chairman said this year it was unfortunate, but felt the Branch could not afford to put on free transport or music on this occasion. Steve would be taking names after the Meeting and that there would be a minimum number needed for the function to go ahead. S/M Ann Coomber made the suggestion about hiring a mini bus for a party of 8. She told us that FACT have a minibus which can be hired by an organisation and that costs £10 a year to join. S/M John Gowing said he would look into this and report back next month.
  • PRO’s Report. S/M Bill Barry who had sent his apologies and was therefore unable to give us his usual Report. S/M John Gowing was able to tell us that both local papers had again printed the Report he’d sent in on Bill’s behalf and that our details were in the Discovering March magazine.
  • Any other business. S/M David Addington had to tell the Meeting that his birthday was not this month as printed out at the bottom of the Agenda, but rather than a January birthday, his was actually in July.

S/M Terry Strawson informed us that S/M Maurice Sheldrake, Chairman of the Wisbech Branch for 12 years had died on Xmas Eve. His funeral was to take place at Fenland Crematorium om 21st January at 13.30. Our older Members would remember his support of our Branch. S/M Mervin Nicholas of the former City of Ely Branch had also passed away on Xmas Eve. He was also Chairman of that Branch for a considerable number of years and again, a great support to this Branch in its earlier years. His funeral was to be at St Mary’s Church, Ely followed by a private family cremation at the Fenland Crematorium.

  • There being no other business the Chairman closed the meeting at 20.30.

The Rum Raffle was won by S/M Debbie Bennett. on 21st

Light refreshments were provided by S/M Carol Gowing.

S/M Shirley-Anne Wilson has given a generous donation towards refreshments which was put into the Gangway Box later that evening.


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