RFAA SOLENT BRANCH
CHAIRMAN’S REPORT AGM 2012
* Good Morning and welcome. Thank you to you all for coming today and, as always, a special welcome to those we see less frequently. We hope you continue to find this venue on the waterfront convenient.
* The Solent Branch of the RFA Association has had another active year and all our gatherings were well-supported and we continue to raise useful money for the charity. I’m sure Alan and Ivor will give us some people and money stats in a minute. Later on the committee will put forward proposals for the programme for the coming year.
* At this time we recall to mind all those members who have gone aloft : John McLoughlin, Peter Otway, David Marsden. At the same time, we welcome a number of new Association members in our branch area, including Steve Talbot, Geoff Hattersly, Ian Mclean, Ray Bennett & Norman Harrison. John & Ann Coombs, both stalwart supporters of the branch have recently moved. John is currently facing some headwinds with his health. We wish them both well and send our thanks again to Anne whose craft cards raised considerable funds for the Association.
* We had a good turn outs for all our regular events : the wreath-laying at Marchwood last Remembrance Sunday, as well as our social lunches around the patch which remain popular. The Summer Banyan at Winchester in July was blessed with reasonable weather and seems to have been enjoyed by all, including those members of the St Cross community who joined in and lent us splendid support. The Great Solent Summer Cruise turned out to be a pleasant day afloat on the Solent (much as you might expect) and we much enjoyed the antics of accompanying pirate craft trying to keep up!
* This time last year I made an SOS appeal to make our hosting of the Annual Reunion another Solent Outstanding Success. It was. Indeed it must surely rank as the best RFA Reunion yet and in terms of fund raising alone it will take some beating. My thanks to the committee of course (they know that) but also to all those other members who chipped in with ideas and time (these represent all those unquantifiable contributions which added to the whole success).
* We have continued our efforts to keep in touch with those we see less often through the good offices of our Almoner, Jack Harrison-Jones and I know many are grateful to hear Jack on the line checking them out. He talks to most of our members every couple of months or so. We have continued, too, to point those we hear of in specific need towards the Grant-giving Charities or other services who can assist them. Please let Jack know if you know of anyone we ought to be contacting.
* This brings me to my thanks to all those who make me proud of the Solent Branch.
Firstly, thanks to all the committee and spouses and friends who help make it all happen and in particular very special thanks, as ever, to Alan and Maureen who do so much for us, in so many ways, and not always seen. Thanks to Ivor who counts the money; I’m pleased to say he has had an exceptionally busy year! (he will tell us just how busy in a minute) and thanks to all of you who come along and give your dosh so generously. Thanks to Jack for his work as almoner and Thanks to Ann Coombs for the handmade craft cards she sold for the charity funds and also to everyone who brings along prizes for the raffles, Thanks to all the committee’s ladies who continue to let us meet in their homes and then feed and water us, and finally thanks to all those I haven’t mentioned especially today but whose contribution, I can assure you, is much valued.
Thank you everyone, for all your support in so many ways.
Brian Waters Chairman, RFAA Solent Branch. 12 September 2012