“It will always be now. Still tomorrow will come. If we do our best now, tomorrow will be better...”
The association continues to grow and adapt today. In recent years the annual reunion has taken to the road holding events in all regional areas from Stirling in Scotland to Weymouth in the South of England, not to mention some excellent events in Blackpool, Cardiff, Liverpool and Bristol as it tried to reach out to a growing membership now in excess of a 130 members. This includes a good mix of both serving and ex serving Officers and ratings of the Mine Warfare fraternity. While these regional reunions took the association around the UK, attendance was often limited to the dedicated few willing to travel. It fell short in achieving one of the main objectives of the MWA to promote links and maintain comradeship between members. At the 2016 AGM a decision was taken and agreed by the membership, to hold future reunions in the Portsmouth area where a large proportion of the membership was based and where many others returned on a regular basis.The annual MWA reunion continues to grow from strength to strength and numbers attending continue to increase. In 2017 at the AGM, members proposed that having a Minewarfare Association Standard would put the MWA on the same level as other associations and open new opportunities to attend remembrance parades and such like, thus raising the profile of the MWA.
This was agreed and thanks to the efforts of MWA member, Lt Cdr Bob Hawkins RN and the generosity of the Inverkeithing Masonic Lodge the MWA Standard was designed purchased under the guidance of MWA member ex CPO(MW) Sam Cook who liaised with the manufacturer. At the 2018 AGM the standard was paraded by Sam for its commissioning and associated blessing by the MWA Bish, Mrs Debbie Harvey.The MWA Standard received its first formal public parading at the 2018 Veterans parade in Weymouth and was successfully paraded by ex CPO(MW) Topsy Toner.2018 also saw the association celebrate its 10thanniversary. In true Mine Warfare style, the celebration was a lavish formal dinner held onboard HMS WARRIOR 1860 in Portsmouth. The event brought together over 100 members and partners who enjoyed a splendid evening of good food, excellent wine with Captain Roger Redwin Royal Navy, Captain Mine Warfare, Fishery Protection and Patrol Vessels (CMFP) as the VIP and guest speaker. The infamous Shep Woolley and the Cabin Buoys provided the music and entertainment. The MWA Standard was also paraded, again by Sam Cook, prior to the dinner which was its first formal parading.It proved to be an excellent evening with some old acquaintances renewed and some good dit’s told but for most it was a truly memorable evening for the good company.