Chairmans Spring Newsletter
I hope this latest newsletter finds you all well,
It has been a strange start to 2022 as we all try to adapt to life after Covid and try to bring some sort of normality to our lives, after a quiet couple of years we now find ourselves trying to pull together our social activities, this is no different with the MWA which bases its foundation on social events. In this letter I would just like to highlight some of the key events in 2022 which will help us along that road.
Firstly, on the 15 March we held our 14th reunion at the Sheraton Hotel in Blackpool, while not as well attended by members that I would have liked, it was the first event after covid so I can understand the reluctance of some to travel such a distance. It was however a fantastic weekend well supplemented by our northern brethren and it was great to see some old faces that have not attended in recent years. It was particularly good to catch up with Mark “George” Coward who joined us for the Gala event. I still find it amazing that at these events we pick up conversation as though it was only yesterday. I suppose that is what reunions is all about! So, a big thank you to Polly Porter who pulled the event together.
So, moving on some events that you should have in your diary
18/19 June 22 – Armed Forces weekend. It is hoped to parade with our Standard in Weymouth. Yet to be confirmed but I hope we will have good attendance.
14/15 July 22 – Dedication of the Project Vernon Monument in Gunwharf Quays (Vernon) This is on the 15th, with an evening social on the 14th with diving associations. Our Sweep storeman will be running a stall with memorabilia, and I know would appreciate any help that’s offered. The attendance book has now closed and members who have applied should receive invites in coming weeks.
13 Nov 22 It is hoped we will have approval to parade with our standard at the cenotaph in London. Still some work to be done on this but keep this weekend clear in your diaries. It will be the first time we have done this so I would hope for a good attendance. Details idc
Mar 23 – Our 15th MWA reunion. As agreed in our constitution this will be a black-tie event to mark a milestone in the associations history which has seen membership increase annually. A popular event which I hope will be well supported.
So those are the markers in the sand but spread throughout the year of course is our regular monthly DIT sessions, there are also several regional events put together by members which also helps to break up the year. Black Tot weekend springs to mind. I do encourage you to take part in as many of these as you can, it is after all what the association is all about.
One of our key activities since the last AGM, has been to take forward the vote to place a monument to represent the MWA and Minewarfare Branch past, present and in the future at the National Arboretum is Staffordshire. I can tell you this is well underway, the site has been agreed, a MK 17 mine, an iconic symbol of the branch has been sourced, and fundraising has begun. It was good to see at the recent reunion the selling powers of our Storsey, who through the raffle and associated auction raised over £575.00 which went towards the fund. Well, done Taff B and all that contributed. We still have a long way to go so our Project Rep “Coxy” Cox has set up a “gofundme” page so we can all do our bit to contribute. Just Google Search – Minewarfare Monument to find the page. Whether a £1 or £100 donation, I am sure between all of us we can raise the amount needed to get this in place soon. More details can of course be found at our website.
So, to my final item, and possibly the hardest one for me to write. It is some 26 years since I first coordinated the Minewarfare Reunions, and since forming the association nearly 15 years ago. During this time, I have covered a multitude of roles including most recently the Chairman’s position. But like all good things they must come to an end and due to pressures of work, the bug to fit in more travel and of course the age thing. I have recently informed the committee of my desire to retire from the chairman’s post. As I am sure you all know the branch is in my blood so I am not just disappearing I will be supporting where I can, and of course attending where possible. To that end the next AGM will be looking for my successor. Can I ask all of you to dig deep, look at yourselves to see if you have the same desire to take this position on? If interested, then please contact the committee or me who will guide you through the process.
So, thank you for your continued support, I hope you all had a good easter break and I am sure I will meet up with many of you in July if not before.