National Chairman Shipmate Keith RidleyNational Chairman Shipmate Keith Ridley

Chairman's Chat

Hello again Shipmates,

A brief Chat this month, so short and sweet, but a few important pointers.
High on the list of S/m’s priorities is the Up-and-Coming F40 & National Conference Weekend being held over Friday – Sunday 17th – 19th June with the F40 Commemoration Ceremony on the Sunday. As previously mentioned in the recent Semaphore Circular this will be a major Naval Veterans Event, so please do your utmost to support the weekend.

Sick Bay Ranger News: As I mentioned last month, Covid is still prevalent and affecting our families, so please do not be complacent and continue to be alert and take precautions.

HMS MARS Memorial Restoration Appeal: My sincere thanks to those Branches and individuals who have so far responded to RNA Cork Branch ‘s HMS MARS Memorial Restoration Appeal. A special mention and Thank You goes to RNA Aldershot Branch for its most generous donation of £1000. The rededication of the renovated Memorial & Headstones took place at the Cobh Cemetery just outside Cork on Sunday 24th April. My thanks to S/m Robert Buchanan of RNA Londonderry who sent me a video of the very moving ceremony attended by 4 RNA Branch Standards supported by the Irish Naval Association and British Legion Standards. A most unfortunate Naval Gun Explosion on the 14th April 1902 killing 11 of the Ship’s Company. Although 100 years ago, our Shipmates of RNA Cork have ensured that those killed have not been forgotten – Lest we Forget. BZ to RNA Cork Branch for organising the fund raising and renovation.

Membership: Can you believe it? A Branch rejected new members because the existing Branch membership was low! If a Branch is beginning to experience membership problems please alert your Area Secretary, and the National Branch Recruitment & Retention Adviser to enlist support and advice, or at least contact Central Office. DO NOT simply allow your Ship to sink.

Area & Branch Admin: Read on…….

Area & Branch AGMs: As mentioned last month all Areas & Branches should now have held their AGM’s and submitted their Year End Accounts to Central Office by 30th April. It is most important with regards Branches if a Branch intended to send a Delegate to National Conference. I have no intention of quoting the Association Bye-Laws to prevent being labelled a Lower Deck Lawyer. If in doubt, settle down for a comfortable evening with a Tot in one hand and a copy of the Royal Charter, Rules and Bye-Laws in the other hand. And by the way, Trustees of individually registered Branch Charity’s please remember to ensure you submit your Annual Charity Commission Return.

Branch Committees: As a gentle reminder, ideally, 50% of Branch Officers and Committee Members should be elected for a two-year period, and not the entire Committee serving for two and certainly not a THREE Year period. It is all there in the RNA Bible which you should be holding in one hand while drinking your Tot with the other hand.

National Committee Meeting hits the Deck: The Association Management Committee, commonly known as the AMC will be holding its quarterly meeting on Friday 6th May at Gosport RNA Club with the National Vice Chairman S/m Paul Stephenson at the Helm. This will be the second AMC Meeting held outside CO, the last being at Cleethorpes in November 2021. Those Shipmates, who are in striking distance are invited to attend to see RNA Democracy in action. Next to venture out is my Finance Administration Committee (FAC) who welcomes an invitation from an RNA Club.

Out and about: As I write this, 78 Shipmates countrywide (Tot Timers) and their partners of the renowned Saturday evenings Tot Time Zoom Meetings will, on the evening of Friday 29th April will descend on Leith to visit HMY Britannia, to participate in refreshments and hopefully, a brief tour of this famous Ship. This will be followed on the Saturday by an evening of entertainment in the Edinburgh Taxi Drivers Club, Rig of the Day being Banyan Rig. The weekend will be completed with a Sunday morning Kirk Service in the Kirk of Canongate, Edinburgh City Centre. On behalf of all those who will and have attended I would like to thank S/m’s Geoffrey Hughes & Andy Fletcher - both ex-Yachties - for organising this event, and S/m Karen Elliot supported by her husband Stephen of RNA Edinburgh for organising the Saturday evening Social and the Kirk Service. This is an exemplary example of bringing S/m’s together, many of whom have never met each other had it not been for Tot time. It should be and will have been a great weekend Run Ashore. For those of you who have never dared to join in the Tot Time evenings, please see the Semaphore Short for the Zoom sign in details. Be warned, Banter is plentiful. I very much look forward to my visit north of the border.

Finally, we have the National Standard & Novices Competition on Saturday 7th May @ HMS COLLINGWOOD. I think S/m Andy Christie is pulling my leg saying as an Adjudicator, I must report at 0830. Come on Andy, we all know Greenies do not rise from their Pits until at least 1000. With that I shall say cheerio Shipmates.

To all our serving Shipmates including reservists maintaining the peace, and keeping the sea lanes open, keep up the good work, we are thinking of you. To all Shipmates and your families in the UK and throughout the world keep safe. For those at sea, a safe return.


Stay safe everyone.

Yours aye,   
Keith Ridley