Annual Area 4 Reunion Rally at Bideford March 2017~ Chairmans Report

Shipmates
Over the weekend 3-6 March 2017 more than 200 members attended the 42nd Area Reunion Rally, and the 13th at the Durrant House Hotel in Bideford (with an E).  Our area covers some 10,000 square miles and most of us travel a fair distance to get to Bideford, so well done in supporting those who work very hard on our behalf throughout the year. Thus ensuring we remain one of the more dynamic areas in the RNA.  On the subject of attendance we should pay tribute to a Portland couple who have attended 41 of the 42 rallies held, they are  Dot and Tony Elliott, they hope they might win a raffle prize next year! Bravo Zulu.
Once again the hotel Management and staff pulled out all the stops to ensure our 13th visit was again most memorable.  So much so that the Hotel owner Parm Bahia and Head Chef Richard Copp were both awarded associate membership to No. 4 Area for services rendered.
The tried and tested format for the weekend events were once again put to the test and proved sound, ensuring everyone had a most enjoyable time, the organisers and committee should be congratulated for a great result.
In the absence of our President David White,  Charles H Thompson took charge and proved that he has not lost his presenting skills honed over many many years.
The acceptance by the Chaplain of the Fleet the Venerable Ian Wheatley CB. QHC  RN, accompanied by his good lady wife Deborah to be our Guests of honour, proved to be an excellent move.  Resulting in one of the better speakers we have had for many a year, his background knowledge of the lower deck and wardroom humour stood him in good stead to deliver his message in a very unique way for us all to enjoy.  Can we have him back please!
Chairman’s Concert Report:
This year the bar was raised very high with contributions from some very skilful and enjoyable acts who kept us fully entertained.
Of note – Tug Wilson must have misplaced his compering suit this year as he conducted the Concert in his patriotic underwear!  even after all these years he can still hold an audience, thanks Tug.
The 2017 Associate members awards are as follows:
Jackie Ward trophy – Helen Day Chard
Vic Cornwell trophy – David Newman Saltash (accepted by Jim Patterson)
Results from the Chairman’s concert competition were close run but the winners were:
Best individual – Rose bowl – Malcolm Day.
Best effort – Liskeard Branch
Overall winner – Charles H cup – Axminster Branch.
The church service this year was once again very well attended, eleven standards were paraded and Ben Cartwright had his first proud outing as our Area standard bearer.  The large church service attendance collection of around £240 went a long way to boost the overall takings from the weekend to nearly £2000.
Well done to the hard working ladies who continue to extract our hard earned cash from us and also the raffle draw team who persevere, no matter what.
Yours Aye
Dan Sherren MSM
Area 4 PRO
NB
Just in case you would like to extend your social calendar there is another opportunity to join with the Chard branch in celebrating their 30th anniversary and Trafalgar night Saturday 21st October 2017.  Contact the branch for more details. (webmasters note – all the details can be found in the Events Calendar here )
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