National Chairman Shipmate Keith RidleyNational Chairman Shipmate Keith Ridley

Chairman's Chat

Dear Shipmates

Yet another Lockdown since last month, and like most parts of the UK, most of us are no doubt having difficulty in keeping up with what and where we can do or go. Now I can understand where the phrase from ‘I don’t know whether I am coming or going’.
I will start by thanking all Shipmates for paying their respects during the Remembrance Period. From our National President to the lonely Standard Bearers be they RNA Branch or Ship’s Associations who turned out you are to be commended for showing your respect for the fallen and you all looked very smart. In reading through the various Facebook posts it became evident that some local Councils, may have mis-interpreted the Regulations that stated Remembrance Observance Services were exempt, but certain safety precautions had to be observed. No doubt those of you like myself who was involved with planning, noticed how many members of the public who just happened to be passing by the War Memorial between 1045 – 1105 on Sunday 8th & Wednesday 11th November – ‘Lest we Forget’ and we will not forget.
High on my list of priorities is still Covid-19 and the continuing need for us all to take safety precautions and observe the guidance we are given. I would like to make a special mention here of S/M Geoff Apperley our Deputy National Welfare Adviser who has and continues to send out excellent advice to us all via Branch Secretaries. BZ Geoff. I have heard it said that some amongst us have expressed the view ‘Oh no, not another email’. Shipmates, the Association has a Duty of Care to all Members, and Geoff is simply the messenger to share information with us and not be scorned for his dedication, more so, as a volunteer. What we are all missing is the chance to meet up within our Branches for camaraderie, banter, and a pint. If you are feeling lonely, in need of cheering up, or curious and just want to listen, or take part in some good humorous banter, then the Saturday evening virtual Tot is for you. You will be amazed how many new Oppos you will make. The downside is you must provide your own Tot, Dram, or can/bottle (we do have some uncouth Shipmates). Checkout the RNA-Community website on a Thursday or Friday for Zoom access details under Events. Access ID & Password change weekly. Sign on from 1830 for the 1900 toasts and stay on until the Sun sets.
My congratulations to S/M Karl Web at my neighbouring RNA Huntingdon & District Branch on being elected Mayor of Huntingdon. A fine photograph of Karl in his refinery appeared in last month’s Circular – section 15. BZ Karl on becoming your Town’s No 1 Citizen.
I am convinced that the Royal Navy Fleet today comprises totally of Submarines ‘Gone Deep’ because as members of this Association we never hear any news or Dits from you. So please,
send something into Andy Christie’s man cave at to arrive no later than the 22nd of each month. The first serving Shipmate who sends in a sensible & reasonable dit will receive a bottle of PUSSER’S Gunpowder 54.5% Rum personally donated by me. So now is the time to get scribing.
With the festive season fast approaching I hope as many of us as possible will spend time with our families. To all our serving Shipmates including reservists, who continue to support the frontline against Covid-19, keep up the good work, to Shipmates and your families in the UK and throughout the world keep safe and adhere to all the advice being given to you, to all Shipmates who because of Duty will not be with your families, we will be thinking of you and thank you for keeping us safe.
On behalf of my wife Maureen and myself, we wish you all Season’s Greetings, a Happy, Prosperous and Healthy New Year.
Stay safe, we will overcome Covid, and we will all emerge to share a Tot together.


Yours aye,   
Keith Ridley