The 68th Association Newsletter is produced by John Player. It is automatically sent to all Association members twice a year and updates may not appear on this website. A security edited copy is shown below.
ISSUE NUMBER TWO DECEMBER 2001
This is is a "sanitised" version of the original sent by email of snail mail. i.e. email and real addresses etc. have been removed
Here we go guy's, the second edition of our newsletter. You should be reading this in the middle of December if I can stick to my original boast of getting two a year out. Let's make a start.
TRIENNIAL 2001 . The reunion took place on 22nd September. It was a great day, as it always is, made better by the fact that we had about 25 ex entry members present instead of the usual 10 or so. The final event of the day was the march from the swimming baths up to Henderson Square for the Twilight Parade. You'll all be glad to know that we had the largest entry banner by far. Our thanks for that go of course to the Entry's own Van Gogh, Whitey Hart. Those of you that aren't members of the H.A.A.A. have until 2004 to think about joining, let's see if we can get more of us at the next triennial.
68th ASSOCIATION . Our 50th member Graham Eves from New Zealand has just joined us, so we really are off to a racing start, so to speak. The association has a real international flavour now with members from America, Canada, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand as well of course all of us from the good old U.K.
John Nicholson who lives in Australia brought up a valid point that started us thinking about subscriptions. His difficult was getting hold of £5.00 sterling every year to pay his subs, he asked did we run a life membership scheme and if so, how much would it cost? The Chairman, treasurer and I discussed the matter and decided that it would be easier all round if we did create a life membership for a one off payment of £25.00. So far, 8 of us have taken that option. It means of course that all other members will have to stump up £20.00 to get life membership. The trick then is to live over five years to make on the deal. I'm sure you can all do that, can't you? If you do wish to go for this option, then cheques to the usual place please. I will remind you later on where that is.
TREASURER'S REPORT. The funds currently stand at £511.88, apart from a few pounds for incidentals and a donation of £25.00 to the Whittle Memorial Window Appeal there has been no other expenditure.
With regard to the 2004 reunion I am willing to take "drips" if it will ease the load of one large payment. So far only 3 members have taken this option. We can only seat 90 for dinner on the night. I have provisionally booked 45 double rooms, so it will be "First come first served". I am hoping that the cost will be £250 plus inflation and am working to keep it down.
Cheques for "drips" and upgrade to life membership should be made payable to 68th Association , and sent to me, Mike Williams. Address available from Webmaster.
REMEMBERANCE SUNDAY, 68TH ON PARADE.
We saw a piece in the "Haltonian" spring newsletter that there would be an Apprentices Flight on the parade at the Cenotaph this year so Eric Broughton and I applied and duly received tickets. We got to London at 08.30 in time to assemble on Horse Guards Parade at 09.00.
On arrival who should also turn up but Mike Williams, Ray (Whitey) Hart, Tony Parrott, and a guy from our entry at Cranwell. Lots of banter ensued. It took a while to get things sorted out, luckily Eric had brought his brandy flask with him which Williams and Hart emptied in very short order.
We formed into a flight at 09.30 and marched round to Whitehall at about 10.40, where the whole parade had mustered for the remembrance service. I thought we looked pretty good as we marched past the Cenotaph and back to Horse Guards, the Duke of Kent took the salute. There were a total of 75 apprentices on parade.
We all considered it a great day, the weather was kind, the company good. We were fortunate to attend this special event with some long-term old friends.
HOBBIES/UNUSUAL ACTIVITIES . Just over 18 months ago to keep the gray cells working I embarked (no pun intended) on a period of study of the Victorian Navy and in particular H.M.S. Warrior circa 1860. (No aircraft in Portsmouth Harbour). It has given me a fascinating insight into the workings of the navy and of course the terms and expressions they use. I currently operate on a voluntary basis as a tour guide. If any of you are in the Portsmouth area and would like a tour around the ship I would be only too willing to oblige. (Note I will be in Oz until early Jan.)
Colin Childs. (Contact address from John Player.)
ENTRY TIES. Mike Williams is currently looking at having an entry tie produced. The thinking is to have a plain coloured one with the wheel, 68 and the year's 1951- 54 on it somewhere. The idea is still in its infancy, so more about it later.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW? I have had an 'E' mail from Mark Ballamy ex 70th Entry who is trying to locate two of our brethren. They are Fred Marshall and "Bert" Brain. If anyone has any ideas then please let me know and I'll pass it on.
If you are looking for anybody then a couple of places you may not know of are: -
1) T.V Channel 4 teletext page 172 . The section title is Service Pals. It's worth a browse if you have a spare 15 minutes and if you wish to use their services they are free and all the info you'll need is on the screen. I used it to try and find members of our entry, I had no responses in that field but an old friend from the RAF and Saudi Arabia got in contact with me, so it does work, albeit in my case, in reverse.
2) The Internet WWW.vimart.co.uk this is a web site run by one Ian Martin (Royal Navy 1964 - 1989). He has had 4,400 entries on the site since May, as he says, "These are from all walks of life" so if you are looking for anyone give it a try. You can even put your own info on the site if you wish.
If you use either of these sites and have any luck, or more importantly know of anywhere else where we may find friends or acquaintances let me know and I'll get it into a future newsletter.
ENTRY WEBPAGE. For those of you who can't remember the address is: -
Before I say anything else about the site I must give a big vote of thanks to Brian McCarthy for all the work he has put into developing it. I can't pretend to understand how he did it but sufficient to say it couldn't have been a 5-minute job. Thank-you Brian, on behalf of all of us.
I have just been into the site and it has had 1134 visitors since it was opened on the 21st May this year. However, like this newsletter, it will only get better if we have input from you. Most of you will have a photo from the old days that we would all love to see or a little story that is worthy of retelling so let's be having you guy's.
EPILOGUE I currently have Email addresses for 24 of you, which means that I will have to send the rest of the copies of the newsletter by "snail mail". If you have recently gone onto the Internet and have an Email address please let me know. The more copies I can distribute electronically the less the cost to us all.
Finally I wish you a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, may you and your families have a wonderful time.
The next newsletter is due for publication in June of next year.
News Letter Editor, John Player