It may be remembered that the July meeting last year was made a bit special. We took the opportunity to invite family to bring along those London Branch members who normally are unable to make the journey by themselves, due to the ailments that accompany the passing of the years (a nice way of putting it). It was a great success, aided by the fact that the Sea Cadet's Parents and Supporters Association (PASA) looked after the arrangements for the buffet.
So we decided to do the same thing this year if possible, and consulted with PASA to see if they would undertake the buffet again. They very kindly agreed to do so – a nice gesture on their part.
The father of one of the Sea Cadets, a Mr Gearoid O'Caoimh, a Director of Transworld Travel Solutions Ltd heard about our forthcoming social, and presumably the reason behind it, and had come forward and consulted with PASA prior to the event, on a proposal that his company sponsor the meeting and thus relieve the branch of any financial outlay.
All this went on without anyone in the Branch knowing about it. So out of the blue, Mr. O'Caoimh – whom we had never met – was there to greet us on arrival with a splendid buffet already laid out. It was a bit touching really –although we would never admit it, of course. Family members had brought along those who could not make it alone. Wallis and Edna Randall's wheelchairs made another successful run albeit slowly, along the upper deck to the Gunroom. Everything went well. Our thanks go to the Sea Cadets (PASA) to Mr. O’Caoimh and Transworld Travel Solutions Ltd whose offices are at Bayham St, London, to the Imperial War Museum for allowing us the use of the Gunroom, and to all those who came along and made the day so worthwhile. There are still a lot of kind people about, aren't there?
As the July meeting took the form of a social occasion, the discussions, first started in May on the future of the Branch, have had to be held over until we meet again in September. The gradual reduction in the number of members who attend or are involved in the running of the Branch has been a cause of some concern. Proposals to be put forward for discussion at the September meeting by a number of members could provide the answer to the concerns that are held at present.
And now for the sad news –
We received information from the family that our former Treasurer, John Williamson had died after many months of ill health during which time he had frequent spells in hospital. It would be difficult to find anyone in the London Branch who did not get on well with John. He was that sort of person and will be remembered with great affection. A funeral service will be held on Friday, the 22nd of August, at St. Mary's Church, Fawkham Road, Hartley, Kent (DA3 SEQ) commencing at 11.00 hrs and members of the branch will be present on this sad occasion.
We have also been notified that one of our former Associate Members, Eddie Kendrick had passed away. The information was given to us by his son. Eddie had not renewed his membership earlier in the year and we had consequently lost touch, and were unaware of this sad happening.
Last – but by no means least – there is reason for concern as our Chairman, Charlie Smorthit is currently in hospital with a serious underlying condition that few (if any) of us knew about. We are in touch with Tina, his daughter who will keep us informed. Charlie is very weak, his condition is quite serious.