The National President's address to Conference.
Key points of his speech were:
• He thanked all for making the effort to come to Dublin.
• Thanked Ian Wheatley for his time with the RNA
• Many thanks to Dublin for hosting the Conference and making the Royal Irish Yacht Club available for meetings, and the Maritime Museum. A big well done to Dublin Branch especially to Nick Purkis and Paul Stephenson.
• He thanked Ken Knight and Bob Scott for their service on the NC. He said goodbye and hello to Mike Gray, leaving the Navy News but joining the RNA as our Digital Doctor!
• He thanked Ray Barraclough for his 30 years as the Hon Treasurer. Warm thanks for a job very well done.
• S/M Ian Irvin is taking over as Hon Treas after conference.
• This is the last conference for the GS, Paul Quinn. He has been outstanding. He has the rare characteristic of being able to conceive of projects and deliver them and their funding. Examples being; Naval Service Memorial, Project Semaphore, Shipmates and Oppos, LIBOR buses. Organising meetings, conference and parades. Profile raised with the RN – mentoring, lecturing courses. Fair and frank friend and ready for a laugh.
• Captain Bill Oliphant will be taking over following a tough interview. Attending conference, don’t put him off.
• Maybe the last Conference for S/M Ivan Hunter, NCBA and former NCM12. The architect of the revision of our rules, requiring laser attention. Delighted that he has been awarded a BEM in the Birthday honours list.
• We have lost 3 ex NCMs this year. Paul Harries, Dick Ascott and recently Peter Reed. The National Standard was paraded at their funerals and will be at Peter Reed’s forthcoming funeral
• Highlights of the year:
o Project Semaphore. 550 iPads now issued, with grants from RNRMC and IEST to stretch the money out. Emphasis on volunteers and training.
o LIBOR buses. Named after gallantry award winners. NP met all at the Biennial Parade when the buses were dedicated and blessed.
o Strategy progressing well – better FB and website. RNA Clothing on line.
o New Collaboration Agreement and Charter signed at the Biennial Parade.
o Minor grants from the BCSF o Attendance at the Manchester Pride event. TY to Steve Caulfield. The RN appreciate our involvement with the LGBT community.
o Investments with RNRMC has seen a better return.
o CONA now at 83 members and doing well. Maureen Quinn of CONA Holidays is leaving us to retire. Many thanks to her.
• Annual report covers all in detail.
The RNA has a marvellous story to tell, leading the veterans’ community. Vital that we recruit otherwise we die.