Last year with Covid… We expected it to be short and sweet and we would all soon be back to reality. How wrong we were. Meeting for any form of socials were put on hold as we were prevented from group gatherings. Like so many other associations we struggled with keeping ourselves together and communications vis social media became vital. Socials are embedded in our constitution as a clear objective so maintain contact was essential. Microsoft “Teams” became our friend as we held many a committee meeting online, sharing a beer from a distance. The use of our website took on a new role as we embedded our AGM into an online version so that we could keep day to day business moving along. However, unlike many other associations we have come out stronger, we continue to have a growing membership and a renewed vigour to continue to uphold our constitution.  

In 2021 we also saw several of our members cross the bar. Close to our hearts was the death of our chairman and lifelong association member Dixie Dean. It was heartening to see that despite ongoing restrictions at funerals we were still able to parade our standard with an excellent turnout of members to line the streets. All self-distanced of course.

The period of lockdown time also gave several committee members the chance to reflect on their positions. A number retired from the posts and thanks must go to stalwarts such as John (George) Turnbull and Pete Whitehead who have worked tirelessly on the committee in various positions over the life of the MWA.

As lockdown was lifted, we did manage to squeeze in at the last minute a reunion at the Maritime Club Portsmouth. While not the best attended as members cautiously came out of lockdown, it did kick start our social calendar and was an event for us to build upon. The Southern DIT sessions also commenced with monthly DIT sessions and an excellent Christmas gathering. Not to mention the Black Tot weekend on Portland courtesy of Ray Standley!

As spring 22 unfolds, focus will be very much on life after Covid.  Building up relationships, revisiting the constitution and using our well earned MW spirit to good effect as we settle back into normal life.