Welcome to the March Circular, I hope you enjoy the picture of HMS OCEAN and HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH together, a unique event with the OCEAN on her final trip before entering Plymouth to decommission. A great picture by Nigel from the roof of Semaphore Tower. The QE sailed shortly afterwards on flying trials and embarked two Chinook helicopters alongside, with Merlins and a wildcat joining later.
I had the great privilege of representing the RNA at the Centenary commemoration of the Battle of May Island. This service was planned and managed by the Scottish Area on the request of the Second Sea Lord. There was a wonderful turn out by RNA and Vice Admiral Sir Jonathan Woodcock and Lady Woodcock were very touched by the care and organisation of the event. A particular BZ to S/M Karen Elliott for her meticulous planning and best wishes for recovery after an unpleasant car accident.
I was able to visit the HMS Prince of Wales at Rosyth dockyard thanks to the EWO, WO1 Nicholson. I was taken round the Ship by a Seaman Spec Leading Hand and after 3 and a half hours of long and steep ladders my knees were wrecked. The ship is well advanced in build with the fit-out phase now starting. The bottom picture shows the hangar, which is vast and can be divided into 3 separate areas by rapidly deployable curtains.
Some gentle remainders please:
• End of Year reports should be coming in along with 2018 membership subscriptions.
• Don’t forget to register your Conference Delegate and book accommodation with CONA travel. The National Council has agreed a £100 subsidy per voting delegate to help with expenses, this might be more depending on the uptake. Remember that the Conference decides on where Conference is and not the National Council or Central Office staff!!
• Do please book up for Open Days, we have vacancies on all our dates.
• We have updated the website so that is now user-friendly for mobiles and tablets.
• Do try and come to the Welfare Seminar, we have an excellent programme of speakers – and it’s a cheap weekend rate close to the National Memorial Arboretum.
• I hope all Branch Sec have read Nigel’s brief on protecting data.
• The LIBOR buses are there to be used and can be booked for longer periods by Areas or branches. Only cost is fuel and a car licence to drive. Give it a go.
Finally, The April Circ will be the hard copy post out of the annual report and accounts, Conference Agenda, raffle tickets etc.
Best wishes from the Central Office team