The Association met for its annual reunion at the Wokefield Park Hotel Reading from Friday 10 June to Sunday 12 June. 300 Shipmates booked into the Hotel and met on the Friday night for a ‘meet and greet’ – which really meant several beers in the bar with the footy on the large screen TV. The main
Conference room was available, but the layout of the hotel meant that there were plenty of quiet corners for shipmates to have a good natter and catch-up.
Shipmates arriving on Friday afternoon were met by the Area 3 team led by S/M Bob Scott (Area Chair) and the tireless S/M Soapy Watson.
The Conference got underway promptly at 1000 with 71 delegates registered for attendance. The Conference room was ideal for the job,being roomy well-lit and quiet (except when the motions were being discussed)! Bob Coburn marched in the National Standard and Rev Ian Wheatley opened with a prayer and brief reflection that included an excellent joke. Councillor Quentin Webb opened conference and welcomed the RNA to West Berkshire as the Chair of the West Berks District Council. He stayed for the first hour of Conference and left with the traditional flask of 54% Pussers Rum!
We had only heard on the previous Tuesday that the Commandant General of the Royal Marines,newly in post, had been called at short notice to Brussels, and could not deliver the key note speech and update on the Royal Navy and Royal Marines. It was sadly too late to find a replacement. So S/M Ivan Hunter the new Chair of the Standing Orders Committee got us going with the approval of the standing orders for Conference.
Assistant General Secretary Lt Cdr Nigel Huxtable RN