Charles Baker, after suffering a stroke earlier in the year, took his rightful place at the head of the table. He brought the meeting to order at 10.40am and called on the Rev. Grahame Berridge to give the opening prayers. We prayed for the peace of the world. We remembered all our C.F. comrades and paid a silent tribute to all shipmates who paid the ultimate sacrifice together with those who have since crossed the bar — L.C. Reynolds OBE DSC. National Ex-President, and S/M Doug Hylands. Also to our members who are unwell at this time — S/M`s Colin Dean, George Lane. Stan Read. Mrs Gretta Attrill and Dulcie Riley. Grahame recited the British Legion Prayer — we spent a few quiet moments in reflection remembering Mrs Peggy Hylands at this sad time.
Chairman S/M Charles said how delighted he was to be present today. Today was only the 2nd time he had been able to leave his house after 4 months and thanked S/M Cyril Mabin for the lift. S/M Charles welcomed everyone for attending the meeting, it was a pleasure to see you all again.
Apologies for absence
S/M’s C. Dean. G. Lane. S. Read and Mrs. G Attrill, P. Hylands and D. Riley.
Minutes of the meeting held on Sunday 24th February 20I3
These were read. There being no matters arising S/M Reg Ellis proposed and Ex Wren Mrs Edith Sykes seconded that those minutes be accepted as a true record. Proposition was carried and minutes duly signed by the Chairman.
Secretary's Annual Report
Year 20I2 reduced our number to 37. Having lost S/M’s Marcus Lewis No. 20l4 on 8/3/I2 and S/M Bill Seaman No. 3l28 on 4/I0/I2. Of that number only I2 members of C.F. remain - which are of 2 ladies and 1 country member residing in Lincolnshire.
Due to bad weather on February I2th, the meeting was eventually cancelled, so we attended 5 meetings in all with an average of 23 at each.
The officers and cadets continue to look after us well and the ladies of the unit produce a very enjoyable buffet which we are able to help down with a glass or two!
The Chairman and myself accompanied by June and Wyn attended the unit prize giving evening on the 22nd July [last]. We had the privilege of presenting two of the prizes to cadets. We held the annual social on the 21st Oct 2012. No Grahame Jenkins available to get our disco dancers in the mood! The attendance not as one would wish; however we managed a smooch, a drink and a chat.
Heroes Return phase 2 is available. Any veteran wishing to return to theatre of war in which they served in World War 2 can apply for a grant towards cost of visit at the Heroes Return 2 website or via the Heroes Return 2 helpline on 0845 0000121 for application pack.
The Newsletter from London Branch Secretary is on table for your perusal. Thank you all for your attendance and comradeship. Hope we are able to continue our meetings in 2013.
Treasurer still confident all is well on the financial front.
Welfare Officer's Report
S/M`s Colin Dean. Reg Ellis, George Lane, Stan Read and Mrs, Dulcie Riley have all been unwell of late. It’s a case of survival of the fittest now that we are all getting older. All we have left is to keep taking the tablets. The funeral for S/M Doug Hylands is on Wednesday 15th May at St Andrews Church, Cobham, Surrey. The members have been advised and it is hoped we have a representation to support the family on this sad occasion.
Charity is Dementia UK. Donation of £25 will be sent from Branch.
Social Secretary's Report
June again thanked the members for their donations towards the by-monthly raffle. June said "it’s the Queen’s birthday today and next week it will be St Georges Day. What about a drink??" Not turned down by the Treasurer — well! Well!
Date of next Branch Meeting
This has been arranged for Sunday 23rd June 2013 at 10.30am.
Proceeds realised £77.00 — excellent!
Any other business
S/M Alf Solomon, on behalf of the members, wished to express appreciation for the work carried out by the officers in their respective roles. Too many pats on the back we will be looking for a rise! Don't forget to apply for Heroes Return phase 2 pack. Rev. Grahame advised the meeting that the local R.N.A. were laying up their standard at the Trafalgar. This will take place immediately after this meeting and will only take 15 mins or so. Therefore the buffet will be on hold for a while — just tighten your belts in the meantime.
There being no further business the Rev Grahame rendered the closing prayers. The Chairman closed the meeting at 11.35am and wished all a safe journey home. The usual well presented buffet was enjoyed as usual and all the better for the free drink!!
On Wednesday 15th May, eleven members of the branch joined Peggy and her family at a very moving church service in Cobham, in memory of our shipmate Doug Hylands. Thank you Peggy for the welcome refreshment, in the Church Hall, that followed.
Late sad news
Our respected S/M George Lane crossed the Bar to calmer waters on 16th May 2013. Cremation service will be held on 6th June 2013 at 3 30 pm at Guildford Crematorium. Our Padre Grahame will officiate. Donations to The Coastal Forces Heritage Trust. Medals please.