S&N News

Captain John Roddis RFA (Retd)

John Roddis, seen here with Angela, his wife of 50 years, has stood down as Chairman of the Scottish and Newcastle Branch after many years of service to the RFAA, as former and founding Chairman of the Midlands Branch and following his move to Dunblane, Chairman of the S&N Branch. On behalf of the RFA Association I offer our heartfelt thanks for all their stalwart efforts and of course fair winds and following seas.



To the RFAA Scottish & Newcastle Branch

Last February I advised you of my intention to stand down as Branch Chairman at the end of this year. Last Sunday’s lunch at the Dryburgh Abbey Hotel was my swansong and the rest of the year will be spent dealing with outstanding Branch matters and preparing the ground for my successor, whoever he or she may be.

In the past seven and a half years as Chairman I have enjoyed not only your company but the enormous support in many different ways from you all. The Branch has not been a one-man band because of the huge wealth of talent and help you have all offered when called upon, particularly in the choice of venues, new ideas, the way ahead and especially when it came to being our turn to host the RFA Reunion in Edinburgh in 2008.

Although invidious to mention names, particular thanks are due to David and Helena Cameron, Alasdhair Silcock, Peter and Margaret Daniels and John & Sue Lindsay, plus many more too numerous to name. Thanks to the Tyneside team, this help and support is already manifest with the booking of the Ramside Hall Hotel, Durham, for the RFA Reunion to be held on the 17th May 2014. Particular thanks for this go to Tam and Carol Adam. I would also like to thank Angela for all her unfailing support and encouragement which has been invaluable over the years.

The thirty-four of us who shared lunch at Dryburgh last Sunday had a thoroughly enjoyable day when everything seemed to conspire to please – it was even blessed by blue skies and brilliant sunshine – an extra not provided by the S&N organiser! After lunch I gave a short thank-you address to all members, much in the vein of the above paragraphs.

Rex then stood up and completely caught me by surprise. It was then that I was made aware of the subterfuge going on behind my back in muttered phone calls between Rex and Angela. I was both humbled and very touched by your kind and generous ‘tarpaulin muster’ which amounted to a huge sum which enabled Angela to suggest that it went towards my lifelong dream of becoming the proud possessor of an *Admiral Fitzroy barometer – hitherto an unachievable wish! I thank you for all your kind thoughts and wishes and your extreme generosity which I hardly deserve.

Thanks to you all, my tenure of the Chair has been a pleasant and rewarding experience which will be forever memorable. I am proud to have been of service to the RFA – a tremendous organisation which was blessed by the dedicated efforts, trials and expertise of people like you which made it tick and from which the Scottish and Newcastle Branch of the RFA Association has gained such great benefit and strength..

It has been a huge privilege to have served you all in my humble capacity as Chairman. I know my successor, whoever he or she may be, will enjoy the same confidence and support which has been your gift to me. God Bless you All.

With my kindest thoughts and best wishes to you all.

John Roddis

*Vice Admiral Robert Fitzroy (1805-1865) is the founder of modern weather forecasting. As Captain of HMS ‘Beagle’ during Charles Darwin’s famous voyage he made accurate weather forecasting a reality. In 1854 He was appointed to head a new department for the collection of weather data at sea and on land. He set up 15 weather stations, equipped with his special barometer, around the British coast and data was passed by the new telegraph system to the central Meteorlogical Office. His barometer is still produced to this day.