HMS GANGES WA Division General Meeting 27th Sep 2018

Present: James & Cathy Sharkey, Paul Chapman, Buster & Charlotte Keating, Mary Anthony, Brenda Chitty, Alex & Liz McKinnon, Tony Richards, Dave Parry, Ian Critchley, Brian Thompson, Tony & Jan Smith, Pat Moore, Jack Warner, Les Simmons, and Gary Foley.


Apologies: Geoff Rumsey, Peter Greenfield, Jan Faulks, Karl & Morag Campbell, Barry Morgan, John Lewis, Peter Godfrey, and Len Small.



1.       President Ian welcomed attendees and called on rum bosun Alex to

”Up Spirits”.


2.       Lamp swinger Session

President Ian spoke of the Rum Appreciation Society’s recent inaugural visit to the Busselton Legacy Camp. The society members were Alex McKinnon. Ian Critchley, Tony Richards, Paul Chapman and Pat Moore. A wonderful time was had by all, enjoying great fellowship not to mention 5 bottles of pussers rum and 1 bottle of Guatemalan rum over the three-day visit. The group also managed to have a traditional pot mess during their stay. The group enjoyed themselves so much that they have already booked for the first week in September next year. New members are very welcome.

3        Acceptance of Previous Minutes


Moved Buster Keating Seconded Alex McKinnon ‘That the minutes of the meeting held on 26/07/18 be accepted as a true and correct record’ Carried.


3.1 Business arising:


  • Divisions 20th Anniversary

President Ian asked Tony Richards as head of the 20th Anniversary committee to take the floor to discuss our Division’s 20th anniversary function. Tony gave a brief outline on where we are with planning; he mentioned several suggestions he investigated such as a cruise from Fremantle or a function in the Margaret River area. Both these proved not suitable to our needs. However the committee visited Miss Maud’s Hotel and restaurant in Pier Street, Perth and were impressed with the facilities on offer. The committee has decided to hold our 20th Anniversary Function at Miss Maud’s on Saturday 1st June 2019. We will have a separate room for our dinner and permission to supply our own rum. Tony will have confirmation of room costs soon. The HMS Ganges Association will supply two bottles of pussers towards our celebration. Please inform Tony of your intentions by phone, email by 28th October 2018.


  1. President’s Report (Ian Critchley)


4.1     President Ian stated that he wished to have a commemorative item to mark the Division’s 20th anniversary. Ian suggested that we purchase 50 china mugs suitably engraved. Ian asked if the meeting would be in favour of this. The answer was in the affirmative. Gary Foley to arrange.


4.2     President Ian had a phone call from Florrie Ford the Association Certificate Secretary informing him that he had a Special Certificate that he wished to be presented to Audrey Mantle. Alex McKinnon volunteered to make arrangements for a visit to Audrey’s home and make the presentation.


4.3     The Division Management Committee are up for election at the AGM in November, current members have agreed to continue in their present positions for another year. However if any member wishes to be part of the committee please give your details to secretary James. Tony Richards as head of the 20th Anniversary Committee will be join the Management Committee.


  1. Secretary’s Report (James Sharkey)


5.1 Correspondence


  • Various information emails.
  • South African Division Newsletter “Masthead”.
  • Victoria Division Newsletter “Masthead”.
  • South Australia Division Newsletter.
  • Devonport Division minutes.
  • Devonport Division Newsletter.
  • Queensland Division Newsletter.
  • Letter from Ron Stout, president Rockingham Sub Section NAA acknowledging our donation of $100.00.



  • WA Division July Minutes.
  • Inward newsletters & minutes to Division members email list.
  • Various information and notification items to members.
  • The Western Australian Newsletter “The Hoist”.






5.2 Almoners Report


  • Alex is arranging a visit to Audrey Mantle.
  • President Ian, Tony and myself are planning a visit to Vic Humphries soon.


6. Treasurers Report (Peter Godfrey)


  • 6.1 Treasurers report was postponed until the AGM on 29th November




  • 6.2 Membership Report.

Nil Report.


  1. Other Business


7.1     Ian invited Paul to give details on the Division’s Christmas lunch.

The lunch will be held at the Navy Club Fremantle on Wednesday 12th December at 1200. Cost will be $25.00 subsidised. Paul will send out further details.



  1. Raffle Draw (Cathy Sharkey)
  • Today’s raffle raised $95.00 to our funds.



  1. Next Gatherings;
  • Social sausage sizzle: – Sunday 28th October-1200 at the Rockingham Navy Club.
  • Committee Meeting: -Thursday 15th November-1200 at the Fremantle Navy Club.
  • Annual General Meeting: – Thursday 22nd November-1200 at the Fremantle Navy Club.

HMS GANGES Western Australia Division – September Newsletter

G’day all,

Progress on planning arrangements for our 20th Anniversary is moving along at a steady pace. On the suggestion of James (or was it Cathy?); Tony Richards, James and I went in to Perth to check out Miss Maude’s. The venue has a hotel next door with both single and double rooms available and a package at a reasonable price. The food there by all accounts is excellent.


The weekend closest to our anniversary, date is Saturday 1st June and this looks to be the best option. Tony is seeking availability etc. should this be, as is likely, the chosen weekend. Discussing arrangements with a number of members indicates the favourite option is for a Friday and Saturday night stay with the anniversary dinner on Saturday night. The management committee will be discussing arrangements at the September committee meeting for presentation at the general meeting. Please let Tony know your thoughts either for or against before the committee meeting.


I have been in touch with Shep Woolley and it is very likely he will be in the West at this time. The Ganges Association will also provide the rum for the toasts.


Black Tot Day Lunch 01/08/18

Thanks to the organising skills of Paul Chapman, the Division enjoyed yet another wake for that venerable institution that was the 300-year plus Royal Navy “Up Spirits”. Medical and weather problems reduced our number from 30, but we still had a good roll up of 22. Our guests Phil & Isobel Orchard and Pusser’s envoys Neil McLellen & Mick Guissmann were welcome additions at the lunch.


The planned routine went to plan, with “Up Spirits” ably managed by Alex McKinnon commencing proceedings, followed by a great lunch, a short, long oration on Naval Rum by Paul Chapman, Toasts to the Queen & Australia, HMS Ganges and Absent friends by Tony Richards and Brian Thompson respectively and the sale and drawing of the raffles managed by Mary Anthony.


Social Sausage Sizzle 26/08/18:

Some 30odd souls turned out for the afternoon, a brilliant sunny day. Sausage sizzle proceedings were ably organised by James Sharkey, and cooked as usual by Gary Foley. Accompaniments such as salads and duff, provided by attenders, also went down very well.


It is worth noting that RRNA and the Division are interacting a lot more now than we were originally, although the RRNA disappearing for their meeting tends to split the seating arrangements into two. We have a lot in common after all.


Our own Cathy Sharkey ran very successful raffles with both groups winning prizes. However, the rum raffle went to our own Les Simmons who was most pleased. Although I did not note the exact amount both raffle taking were above $100.


Division Gatherings for 2018


Committee Meetings

3rd Thursday of odd month

Commencing 1200 @ FNC

Division Meetings

4th Thursday of odd month

Commencing 1200 @ FNC

Social Sausage Sizzles

4th Sunday of even month

Commencing 1200 @ RNC

20st September 27th September 28th October RRNA
15th November 22nd November (AGM)    
Christmas Lunch – 1200 Wednesday 12th December @ FNC




True Matelots:

True Matelots: Favourite food is train smash and piss strainers for breakfast.

True Matelots: Have served on ships that are now war memorials, dive sites or other tourist attractions.

True Matelots: Have tattoos and use Old Spice aftershave.

True Matelots: Have pictures of ships in their wallets along with their wife and kids.

True Matelots: Do not curse like fishmongers. Fishmongers curse like true matelots.

True Matelots: Can name 15 bars in Hong Kong, but know the best bars are in Kowloon.

True Matelots: Think a 7-course meal is a pie and a six-pack of beer.

True Matelots: Think their last ship was always better.

True Matelots: Think excessive modesty is their only fault.


HMAS Stirling and Henderson Upgrade:

The West is to get a new Hunter Class frigate training and capability centre at HMAS Stirling and in Henderson. With the landmark $35-billion SEA 5000 program winner announced, Western Australia will enjoy a major financial boost with a $670-million redevelopment of Fleet Base West, HMAS Stirling to support the development of a crew training centre to be known as ‘Ship Zero’. The new frigates will provide Australia with one of the most advanced anti-submarine warships in the world – a maritime combat capability that will underpin its security for decades to come. The warships will also be larger and have more complex systems than the existing ANZAC Class frigates, and will require new and upgraded facilities at HMAS Stirling.


As stated ‘Ship Zero’ will be located at both HMAS Stirling and Henderson and will include; a headquarters, through-life test centre, ship and capability specific training school, and potentially a land based test site for platform systems. ‘Ship Zero’ will transfer an increasing amount of the training that has traditionally been done at sea to land. This will mean each of the new frigates will be able to spend more time on operations and exercising with Australia’s allies and partners, and less time in port for crew training. Parliamentary consideration (If polititions ever get their act together!!!) of this project is expected early next year, with construction to commence in 2019.


We were Lucky!

We recognise the sad loss of the “Tot” in 1970 with our Black Tot Day Lunch, but sad as the loss of the tot was, the beer issue remained. The US Navy was not so lucky;

Inheriting Britain’s Royal Navy tradition of providing sailors with a daily ration of rum in the 18th century, the U.S. Navy established in 1794 that sailors were to receive “one half-pint of distilled spirits” a day. In 1806, the Navy encouraged the sailors to accept whiskey as a substitute for the more expensive rum. Sailors who did not wish to imbibe or were under age were paid an extra three to six cents a day. The ration was reduced to one gill (four ounces) in 1842 and eliminated 1862 during the Civil War. The Confederate Navy continued to provide crews with rum rations, believing that the tradition would help recruit much-needed experienced sailors from other nations. U.S. Navy sailors were allowed to keep their own stock of beers and undistilled spirits at the discretion of their commander until 1899, when even the sale of alcohol was banned to “enlisted men, either on board ship, or within the limits of navy yards, naval stations, or marine barracks, except in the medical department.”


On July 1, 1914, the ships of the U.S. Navy officially became dry under General Order No. 99. “The use or introduction for drinking purposes of alcoholic liquors on board any naval vessel, or within any navy yard or station, is strictly prohibited, and commanding officers will be held directly responsible for the enforcement of this order”, reads the hundred and four year-old order. Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels issued the order. Daniels, a teetotaller, former newspaper publisher, and supporter of the temperance movement, had already become unpopular with many of those in the sea services. When the order was announced, on April 16, 1914, it was met with derision and mockery in the press, which regarded the policy as an attempt to make the Navy softer. The US Navy only formally banned alcohol until the advent of Prohibition, but it is memorable in that it created in American sailors an insatiable appetite for ice cream. They went wild for ice cream, and it has stayed that way for generations. Ice cream only gained more cultural significance as a salve for low troop morale during the long overseas deployments World War II.



Why ‘At Loggerheads’

To be at Loggerheads is to be in a state of serious disagreement, a sort of metaphysical butting of heads! A loggerhead was an implement used aboard ship in caulking seams in deck timbers. It consisted of a hollow iron sphere at the end of a shaft. The sphere was heated in a fire and then plunged into a bucket of pitch. This melted the pitch, was then applied to the deck timber seams. A hot loggerhead was definitely something to keep away from and it is likely that the use of these tools as weapons was what was being referred to when rivals were first said to be ‘at loggerheads’.


Exercise Kakadu, the largest maritime drill off its kind in the Australian Northern Territory, began on Sunday 2nd September. Held biennially, Exercise Kakadu is a joint exercise hosted by the Royal Australian Navy and supported by the Royal Australian Air Force.


More countries are attending this year than ever before, with 23 ships, 21 aircraft, a submarine and more than 3,000 personnel from 27 nations participating in a range of activities both ashore in Darwin and at sea.


Participating nations include Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Cook Islands, Fiji, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, The People’s Republic of China, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, United Arab Emirates, United States of America and Vietnam.


Exercise Kakadu


As was reported earlier, China will take part in Kakadu for the first time by sending one of its warships. Australia has invited China to join the drill in an effort to ease tensions between the two countries, intensified by China’s growing assertiveness in the South China and East China Seas and sporadic altercations at sea between the two sides


Why ‘Jury Rig’?

A jury rig is something assembled in a makeshift manner. In sailing ships, it was sometimes necessary to improvise a temporary replacement for an item such as a damaged mast or disabled rudder and thus enable the vessel to keep going until the nearest port was made and the stopgap replaced. The origin of ‘jury’ is not known, but it has been suggested that sailors coined it as a shortened form of ‘injury rigged’


RN Snippets:

PHM Atlantico (A140)

Once the flagship of the Royal Navy, “The Mighty ‘O’ “, ex-HMS Ocean left Devonport in July flying the Brazilian flag over a courtesy Union Jack.

At a bargain price of £84 million, she is now the Marinha do Brasil’s helicopter carrier PHM Atlantico (A140. Before handing over, she was given a complete overhaul, and was fitted out with new search and surveillance radars, four remote controlled weapons systems and four MK5B landing craft.

Her new homeport will be Rio.



HMS Queen Elizabeth:

On 19 August HMS Queen Elizabeth left HMNB Portsmouth for her first-of-class F-35B flight trials.

F-35B trials are an important step in the Royal Navy’s path to achieving a carrier strike group.

The deployment, dubbed Westlant 18, will see the carrier spend four months off the Eastern Seaboard of the United States with the aim of developing the parameters for safe operations of the F-35.

Prior to her departure, HMS Queen Elizabeth was joined by Merlin Mk2 helicopters, aircrew and support personnel from 820 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) who embarked the carrier to support her forthcoming trials.



Royal Navy sailors recognized:

The crew of Royal Navy Type 45 destroyer HMS Daring are to be awarded a new medal clasp for bravery shown during Bab al-Mandeb strait escort missions in 2016. Announcing the recognition, the Royal Navy said HMS Daring sailors braved the threat of missile attack to protect merchant ships in the Middle East.


The new medal, named the Gulf of Aden Clasp, has been approved by Her Majesty the Queen and will be introduced for those who served on board Type 45 destroyer HMS Daring during the missions.



Point to ponder!

Politicians and nappies have one thing in common. They should both be changed regularly, and for the same reason.



That’s all folks;

HMS GANGES Association Queensland Division Newsletter 61 (Aug/Sep 2018)


Queensland Division

Newsletter No 61

August / September 2018


 Welcome aboard everyone,


The first newsletter in over a year, my apologies to all, no excuse just slack….



For those wishing to renew their membership the following details were provided by the Treasurer

Account is H.M.S.Ganges Association Queensland.

Westpac Capalaba  034080 380466.


Members $20.00.    Associate members $5.


In an effort to find material for this newsletter I have been scouring the pages of modern Naval magazines and hopefully you will find these interesting …


HMS Victory ‘collapsing under own weight’

Britain’s most celebrated warship needs 136 metal props fitted to stop it slowly collapsing under its own weight like a “squashed football”, a hi-tech structural survey has found.

HMS Victory’s deck is sinking towards the keel by a fifth of an inch (0.5cm) each year, while the warship’s sides are bulging out. Two years of precise measurements have found Nelson’s flagship at Trafalgar is also falling backwards, away from the bowsprit and water is getting into the hull.

Metal struts will now be put in to hold the 251-year-old ship up at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard as part of a multimillion pound project to stabilise the deteriorating structure. Once the sagging has been halted, work will start on a £35m conservation project set to last 12 years.

Andrew Baines, head of historic ships at the National Museum of the Royal Navy, said: “For the past 40-odd years, the ship has been slowly moving.

“The upper deck has been getting close to the keel at a rate that currently stands at around half a centimetre a year and as the upper deck moves down, the ship’s sides bulge out like squashing down on a football. “The whole ship herself is falling very, very slowly backwards away from the bowsprit, the front end of the ship.


“Half a centimetre doesn’t sound a lot, but when it’s been going on for 40 years and it’s accelerating each year it’s concerning. “Eventually it will get to a point when that’s unsustainable. No one is sure if that’s next Tuesday or in 100 years.”

The National Museum of the Royal Navy took custody of the warship on 2012 and engineers using laser scanning have built up a detailed picture of the ship from 89 billion different measurements.

Mr Baines said: “We now have a structural model of Victory and from the model we have been able to understand what is causing the ship to move – to collapse, if you like.


“From that finding we know how to stop the problem and arrest the movement and that is where the 136 new struts come in.

“Once we have got her stabilised on this new support system, the conservation programme is going to take us about 12 years and cost £35m. “The most important thing for us to do is work on the ship’s structure to stop water getting in, stop the rot and stop us losing any more really valuable historical material in the ship.”



More news

Wartime submariner George honoured for missions off occupied France


Veteran submariner George Crawley became the latest member of our greatest generation to be honoured by the French for his deeds 75 years ago.

Crew from today’s HMS Victorious and Vengeance joined the 93-year-old and his family at HMS Calliope in Gateshead, where the wartime ‘deep’ was presented with the Légion d’Honneur by Brigadier General Herbé Bizeul on behalf of France’s President Macron. George, who lives in nearby Whitley Bay, joined the RN in 1941 at the age of 17 and joined battleship HMS Rodney after completing his training as a signaller at HMS Collingwood. He subsequently volunteered for the Submarine Service and underwent a two-day crash-course – very different from the intensive 25-week training taken by 21st-Century submariners – before thrust into action with HMS Talbot, based in Malta, in October 1943.

He subsequently switched to the Free French Submarine Curie. The boat – complete with canine mascot Radium on board – patrolled off Nazi-occupied French ports in 1943 and 1944. These were, understandably, highly-dangerous missions; Curie was depth charged and, on the surface, engaged enemy vessels with her gun, which George helped man.

Later in the war, he returned to British boats, serving in HM Submarines Universal, Medway and Upstart. He was also posted to HMS Elfin at Blyth where, over Christmas 1944, he got to know Freda while delivering signals to her office. In August 1945, the couple tied the knot.

He received the French decoration for his service aboard the Curie – and like most men of his generation is modest about his wartime service. “This honour is not just for me, but for all of Her Majesty’s Submariners,” he told everyone present, who loudly applauded the veteran off the Calliope parade ground as he left for a private celebration with family, friends and fellow submariners.

“We are in awe of George’s achievements as a submariner, as were all who attended. It was also a great opportunity to meet the people of Tyneside and raise the profile of the Submarine Service,” said Lieutenant Commander Simon Barr of HMS Vengeance, who formed part of the ceremonial guard for the medal presentation.


And.. to all our stokers (notice I didn’t say ‘ex stokers’) as I am of the belief that once you’re a matelot, your always a matelot…


Happy Birthday !!!!


Yes July 2018 is the anniversary of RN Marine Engineering


HMS Collingwood celebrates Engineering birthday


Personnel from across HMS Collingwood came together recently to celebrate the ‘birth’ of the Engineering Branch of the Royal Navy.

Although steam propulsion was introduced to the Royal Navy in 1812, the early ships were manned by civilian engineers employed on an ad hoc basis.

By 1837 with 27 steam vessels in the Fleet it was clear that more formal management arrangements for engineers were needed and so early that year the post of Comptroller of the Steam Machinery and Packet Department was created.

Then on 19 July 1837 an Order in Council was issued placing engineers onto a permanent footing, “with such rank and pay as appears to be fitting for persons charged with the performance of such important and responsible duties.”

It was felt appropriate, especially in the Year of Engineering, that the Engineering section within HMS Collingwood, join with other bases to celebrate the 181st Birthday of the Engineering Branch on 19 July 2018.

The Year of Engineering is an initiative of the Cabinet Office to counteract the potential future shortfall of engineers and specialists in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects and these birthday celebrations seek to raise the profile of engineers and engineering careers within the Royal Navy.


“I’m really enjoying my course and I’m proud to have been chosen to cut the cake. I’m delighted to represent the Royal Navy today and I’m looking forward to a rewarding engineering career”

AB Elliott Baird


Lieutenant Commander Tim Laurenson organised the event and said, “The UK, home of the Industrial Revolution, finds itself facing a potential shortage of engineers and the Royal Navy, as a main trainer of engineers, has aligned itself to the Year of Engineering initiative. “HMS Collingwood is the main school for Royal Navy Weapons Engineers and this is just a simple little acknowledgment. Today is a celebration of the formation of the Engineering Branch within the Royal Navy and an acknowledgement that these engineers need to be recognised. Let’s celebrate our birthday!”

The event was marked with a splendid cake iced with Engineering sections’ badges and it was cut by the youngest trainee present.

The event culminated in a rousing chorus of ‘Happy Birthday’


And to finish on more good news (don’t get used to it)

Royal Marines cuts U-turn: 1,500 troops and assault vessels SAVED

BRITAIN is to retain its ability to land troops on enemy shores by sea after plans to cripple the Royal Marines and axe two amphibious landing craft were shelved.


PUBLISHED: 00:01, Sun, Apr 8, 2018 | UPDATED: 12:16, Sun, Apr 8, 2018

The plans, leaked last year, would have seen the Commando regiment reduced by up to 1,500 troops and assault vessels Albion and Bulwark scrapped as part of £20billion cost-saving measures. According to senior sources, Ministry of Defence mandarins have now accepted a new plan, endorsed by Admiral Sir Philip Jones, which promises to deliver the same savings but result in only 450 Royal Marines being axed.

Last night a senior source said: “The Royal Navy has found a way of ensuring the Royal Marines can maintain their operability and amphibious vessels remain in service, for the time being.” The cost will be high, however, and will include the withdrawal of six warships, three of them Type 23 frigates, from frontline service.

These Duke class frigates will be put into “operational readiness” awaiting early retirement, while their critical components are stripped and fitted to the new Type 26 frigates replacing them. A leaked memo seen by the Sunday Express laid bare the extent to which the Royal Navy is having to “make do and mend” due to budgetary constraints.

In one example, it cites the Northumberland, currently in the final stages of a multi-million pound service. Because the upgrading of its weapons systems has taken priority, there has been no money to fix defects in its four diesel engines.

“As is typical of our refits, headline upgrades to weapons systems use the bulk of the available budget,” said the memo. The budgets are so constrained a lot of engineering defects are largely ignored purely due to a lack of funding.


That’s it for this newsletter my fine collection of matelots wherever you are in Queensland or the rest of the world, stay safe and somewhat soberish….






To contact Scotty

Graham Slaney

1 Harlequin Court


 Phone  0434896017

e-mail scottyslaney@gmail.com




P.S. If you no longer wish to receive newsletters from sunny Queensland, please advise and I will remove your details from the list. Until we meet again, fair winds to you all..


HMS Ganges (Victorian Division) Masthead No 237

Victoria Australia

Chairman: David Lines.   Secretary: Harry Harrison 54, Tamworth Road, KilsythVic 3137

Telephone Harry 03-9728-3200 Mob. 0418809712 Email:rodneyharrison831@gmail.com


Chairman David Lines Opened the meeting, and welcomed all to the meeting.

Birthdays  July Carmel Dingle with whom the Americans share a birthday and David Lines our birthday wishes. A Happy 90th.Birthday to Marj Collins widow of the Reverend Vern Collins who was our Chaplain for a number of years.

Apologies Owen and Carmel Dingle, John and Maureen Hannant, Charles Jenkinson, Albie Cunliffe, and Mark Kinder.

Sick Parade Albie Cunliffe is in ST John of God hospital Berwick he requests no visitors. Ian Thomson Rockhampton Queensland is having medical tests we wish Albie and Ian our very best.

Treasurers Report   $3,762:48

Correspondence Bank Statement. Queensland newsletter, the Buzz from Guzz, WA Hoist. All circulated by email or hard copies. Out: – sympathy cards to Judith Ernst and family.

.   UK Association   Reading the latest minutes all appears to be going well. Gazette is on its way. Frank Raine Jim Reed’s son in law contacted us with a new email address. It was good to hear that Frank and his family are all well.

General Business 1) October Get Together update Chairman David is finalising accommodation with Michelle and Ben. Secretary has put a hold of $200 for the Tuesday and Thursday bus trips. Chairman David explained that all outstanding monies will be collected at the venue.

AOB Harry Kime invited Members to the FNMC Annual dinner cost $40 which includes all drinks.

2) Mike Bennett invited all to the August RNA Bah Humbug it Ain’t Christmas lunch August 12th. Bill of Fare is a Ham and Lamb with special Champagne Christmas puddings for female attendees.

The September lunch will be a Pre- Grand Final lunch 11:30 hrs.Sunday 9th. September2018. Bill of Fare footie pies mushy peas and mash. Cost $15 members $20 nonmembers. Wear your team’s colours .Entertainment by the popular Déjà Vu Bookings  on 0359431967

The Chairman then: – Thanked Joan for a tasty lunch and Barbara Canty for a delicious dessert. Harry Kime for attending the bar. There being no further business the meeting closed12:45hrs

Next Meeting     September 22nd. 2018 at seven bells (11:30hrs.) at FNMC

Thought for the month: – A lot of us would look more spick if we had less span.

Vale Derek Ernst

Ganges 1951

Derek Ernst Crost the Bar after a lengthy fight against cancer. Derek was President, secretary, and treasurer of the South Australian Division at various times and simultaneously on occasions. Derek was a stalwart of the HMS Ganges Association and detertiminedly kept the branch viable despite many obstacles. Derek was born in Norfolk. He had a straight forward approach and expressed strong views in a straight forward East Anglian manner.

Derek played football for Ganges and followed the football especially Norwich. There was always an email or phone call to discuss the football.  Derek qualified as a telegraphist was an instructor at Mercury. He served on a variety of ships including Saint Kitts which was present at the American reenactment of the landings on Guam in 1954.

Our sympathies and condolences are extended to his wife Judith and family.

Derek may the wind be always at your back, the rain gentle on your face and may you find safe harbours.

Vale Derek Ernst..


HMS GANGES Victorian Division Newsletter (Masthead 236)

Victoria Australia

Chairman: David Lines.   Secretary: Harry Harrison 54, Tamworth Road, Kilsyth, Vic 3137

Telephone Harry 03-9728-3200 mob. +61418809712 Email:rodneyharrison831@gmail.com



Chairman David Lines. Stood down from chairing the meeting, due to a medical adversity. Secretary  HarryH Opened the meeting and Welcomed all. David was wished a speedy recovery.

Birthdays Joan Kime, Harry Kime and Harry Thacker Happy Birthday to all.

Apologies Winifred Harrison, Owen and Carmel Dingle, Harry Thacker, Charles Jenkinson, Sally Briscoe, John and Maureen Hannant,

Sick List.  John Hillman, John has been in hospital and was gravely ill, but has once again rallied and it was really good to see him at the meeting almost hale and hearty again. All our very best John.

Since the meeting in a telephone conversation with Derek Ernst he informed me that he is now in Palliative care at home. The chemotherapy is no longer effective. He plans to step down as President of the South Australian Division. Derek has worked tirelessly for the SA division ably supported by his good wife Judy, who also has medical problems. The Victorian Division wishes Judy Derek and family our very best wishes for the difficult coming days.

Treasurers Report The Divisional general account stands at $3,897.48. With one un-cashed cheque of $200 for TS Tingara. Chairman David explained that due to circumstances the cheque has not been handed over to date. Available monies $3,697.48

 Correspondence Bank Statements. The Buzz from Guzz. South African Division Masthead. All commented on the professional presentation of the news letter.

UK Association   All quiet on the Northern Front. From press reports all are enjoying a warm summer, hottest for a number of years. Enjoy shipmates.

General Business 1) The October get together. Chairman David has paid a deposit on16 rooms at Cadell on the Murray Resort Moama.  David has paid it personally, so please pay $50 deposit to David at the venue. Secretary has organised bus trips a full day tour oh Tuesday 2nd. October to place of interest with lunch at Morison’s winery inclusive cost $93pp. Also a half day tour of local scenic attractions including the Great Aussie Beer Shed Folk Museum. Cost $73pp  A full itinerary of both tours will be promulgated. The tours are orgsnised by Ross and Jill Young of Echuca Maoma Bus Tours. Treasurer asked approval from meeting for $200 be transferred from Divisional funds to the operators as a deposit. Approval was given. Contact details are in the letterhead. A program of all activities is being formulated and will be circulated at the next meeting.

AOB 1) Mike Bennett Chairman RNA: – Said the June birthday lunch was a success and enjoyed by all. The July lunch will have a Mamma Mia Italian theme and the lunch an Italian cuisine flavour. Cost id $10 and this month for $2 you can purchase a thermal soup mug with heater to have a hot Minestrone soup. August lunch will be the Bah Humbug it Ain’t Christmas lunch will be. With the menu lamb and ham Christmas pudding and Champagne and Brandy Christmas cake. $10 for members.

Mike went into great detail of how he and his wife Sue have been hacked resulting in considerable stress. They now only have a mobile and no landline. Mike has had a message service set up for RNA bookings it is purely a message service, if people wish a reply please leave their number. The number is 5931647.

Mike stressed the importance of being aware of scam if you do not recognize the number delete the same for emails. Members should remember that government agencies and banks do not cold call requesting details. Hang up and call your local bank or the government agency to verify bona fides.

Harry Kime President of the FNMC gave a run down on the successful sausage sizzle held at Bunnings Frankston it realised about $2,000 for FNMC funds. He thanked all those volunteers who worked hard to ensure the success of the day.

The FNMC annual dinner will be held at the FNMC on Saturday the 25th.August at 1900hrs. Cost $40 for members and $50 for guests cost includes a bottle of white and red wine per table. It is a formal dinner to celebrate 27 years of the FNMC.

David Lines requested that the screen used at RNA lunches be moved back to enable the end tables to see the screen without having to move tables. Harry said he will investigate.

Harry also explained that funding has been provided to build a proper archive storage facility. For a fee associated Associations will be able to store archives. Secretary Victorian Division HMSGA HarryH said that there are documents and albums that the division would like to store. Secretary to collate and when appropriate, store them.

Reading different newsletters of the difficulty some Divisions are experiencing in finding suitable meeting venues we are fortunate to have the facilities of the FNMC available.

There was no further business Secretary HarryH Thanked Joan Kime for a delicious lunch and Ann Hillman for a delicious Pavlova and Trifle Thank you Joan and Ann and Thank you Harry Kime for tending the bar.

Next Meeting Seven Bells (11:30) Wednesday July 25th. 2018

Regards – Harry Harrison

Thought for the month: – If at first you don’t succeed— you’re like most other people.



HMS GANGES Victorian Division Newsletter (Masthead 235)

Victoria Australia

Chairman: David Lines.   Secretary: Harry Harrison 54, Tamworth Road, Kilsyth, Vic 3137

Telephone Harry 03-9728-3200 mob. +61418809712 Email:rodneyharrison831@gmail.com



Chairman David Lines. Opened the meeting and Welcomed all.

Birthdays John Hannant, Flo Livingston Happy Birthday

Apologies Mary Stephens, John and Maureen Hannant, Charles Jenkinson having a make and mend, Albie and Brian Cunliffe Albie is fine Brian the flu, John Hillman, Pat Vary medical appointment, Owen and Carmel Dingle on holiday.

Sick List. John Hillman has had some medical problems and has been in hospital he is now at home and recuperating. We send our best wishes that you are recovering well John. Also our best wishes to our barman Mark Kinder who is ill with pneumonia. It is the season of colds and flu so we urge you all to take good care of yourselves. Our very best wishes.

Treasurers Report The Divisional general account stands at $3,867.48. An uncashed cheque a donation to TS Tingara of $200 available monies $3,667.48

Correspondence Bank Statements. Minutes from May COM meeting, A letter from Mary Stephens to say she is now in an aged care facility and cannot attend meetings. She extends her best wishes to all.

UK Association  Steaming in smooth waters.

General Business 1) The October get together.16 Rooms are on hold at Cadell on the Murray Resort Moama. Chairman David explained costs are $105 for a double room, $100 for a single this an increase of $5 since our last stay 2016. There is also a large family room available contact David for details. Chairman David will pay the deposit on all rooms at $50 and pay David at the get together.

A bus tour with Echuca  Maoma bus tours has been arranged a full day tour on the Tuesday. Those present intending to attend voted  and with the preferences of those who contacted the secretary the second option which includes lunch at Morrisons winery for a cost of $93pp was decided on by a majority vote. The half day tour on Thursday was accepted. A program for the 5days will be formulated later. A copy of the bus tours will be forwarded to all who have indicated they will attend.

We have 21 attendees to date if anyone is interested but not sure of whether or not they can make it please contact either Chairman David or Secretary HarryH.

AOB  1) Mike Bennett  Chairman RNA:-    June 10th. birthday  lunch will celebrate the clubs birthday, the official Queen’s Birthday  and the 97’th birthday of HRH Prince Phillip Duke of Edinburgh. Requested that those attending wear 50’s attire.  “Mike stressed that those in un-ironed birthday suits will not be admitted.”

Birthday Entertainment will be provided by De JaVue and lunch catered for. For catering purposes those wishing to attend please contact Mike.

2) Harry Kime FNMC explained it has been a busy time for the club. There were 97 attended the HMAS Sydney lunch.

Chairman David thanked Harry Kime and Joan the Masked Chef for Lunch and Barbara Canty for a delicious dessert. Harry Kime for attending the bar.

Next Meeting Seven Bells (11:30) Wednesday 27th June. 2018

Regards – Harry Harrison

Thought for the month: – A little nonsense now and then , is relished by the wisest men Anon





HMS GANGES WA Division Hoist May 2018

G’day all,

This hoist will be a bit later than usual as I returned from the UK to find a lightning strike during a storm fried my modem and I am only just back on line, are well, thems the breaks!

Brian Thompson and I had a great trip, besides the Ganges Reunion we also managed to visit Shotley and Plymouth. We are booked in as the lamp swingers at our meeting of the 24th May so I will just include a couple of photos so as not to pre-empt the talk. However, the reunion itself was very well run and a credit to the Association, BZ to all involved.



Brian and I visited the Ganges site. This was taken by the security guard who should have kicked us out after we wandered in but took a photo for us instead. If restoration work isn’t commenced soon it will all be on the deck. During our chat he did tell us the Nelson Hall is also to be refurbished.


As stokers, whilst in Plymouth we got the opportunity to visit HMS Raleigh, although she was closed for Easter the gatekeeper allowed us in for a photo after checking with his superior. No idea what’s under the canvas covers either side of the figurehead.





Sausage Sizzle at Tony Smiths 15/03/18:


A great time was had at Tony Smiths whilst checking out his mast. The photo says it all. For other than members Tony Smith is 3rd from left in back row with camera.



Social Sausage Sizzle 22/04/18:

I was in the air when this was taking place but the reports are it was another successful outing.



Division Gatherings for 2018

Committee Meetings

3rd Thursday of odd month

Commencing 1200

Fremantle Navy Club

Division Meetings

4th Thursday of odd month

Commencing 1200

Fremantle Navy Club

Social Sausage Sizzles

4th Sunday of even month

Commencing 1200

Rockingham Navy Club

17th May 24th May 24th June RRNA
19th July 26th July 26th August Ganges
20st September 27th September 28th October RRNA
15th November 22nd November (AGM)
Annual Black Tot Day Lunch

1200 Wednesday 1st August

at Fremantle Navy Club

Christmas Lunch

1200 Wednesday 12th December

at Fremantle Navy Club


Ever wondered why ‘Tattoos’?

The word tattoo, or tattow in the 18th century, is a loanword from the Samoan word tatau, meaning “to strike”. The Oxford English Dictionary gives the etymology of tattoo as “In 18th c. tattaow, tattow. From Polynesian (Samoan, Tahitian, Tongan, etc.) tatau. In Marquesan, tatu.” Before the importation of the Polynesian word, the practice of tattooing had been described in the West as painting, scarring, or staining.

This is not to be confused with the origins of the word for the military drumbeat or performance In this case, the English word tattoo is derived from the Dutch word taptoe.

The first written reference to the word tattoo (or tatau) appears in the journal of Joseph Banks (24 February 1743 – 19 June 1820), the naturalist aboard explorer Captain Cook’s ship the HMS Endeavour: “I shall now mention the way they mark themselves indelibly, each of them is so marked by their humour or disposition”. The word tattoo was brought to Europe by Cook, when he returned in 1769 from his first voyage to Tahiti and New Zealand. In his narrative of the voyage, he refers to an operation called “tattaw”.

tattoo is a military performance of music or display of armed forces in general. The term comes from the early 17th century Dutch phrase doe den tap toe (“turn off the tap”), a signal sounded by drummers or trumpeters to instruct innkeepers near military garrisons to stop serving beer and for soldiers to return to their barracks, and is unrelated to the Tahitian origins of an ink tattoo.

The tattoo was originally a form of military music, but the practice has evolved into more elaborate shows involving theatrics and musical performances.

RN Snippits:

The Royal Navy’s growth:

Technically the RN is growing, just not any larger than it was four years ago. Statements made by the government explicitly claim that the Royal Navy is growing, but are those claims accurate? Ministers often spoke in Parliament last year of “a growing Royal Navy” but official figures appear to disagree with those claims. According to the UK Armed Forces Equipment and Formations document released by the Government detailing statistics on vessels, land equipment and aircraft of the armed forces. It states:
“At 1 April 2017 there were 73 vessels in the UK Armed Forces: 64 vessels in the Royal Navy and nine in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA). This is a reduction of three vessels since 2016 following the withdrawal of three RFA vessels: two Small Fleet Tankers and one Forward Repair Ship (RFA Diligence).”
It gets a little muddier though as Guto Bebb, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, recently responded to a written question in Parliament, outlining the fleet size. “Based on the records held, the number of Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary surface vessels in each of the last five years was:

Year Number of Vessels
2013 78
2014 77
2015 75
2016 73
2017 72

This would appear to show a sharp decrease in hulls since 2013 and in the period when claims of “a
growing Royal Navy” were shouted from the rooftops however Bebb added that current planning will see the number of hulls in the fleet increase: “On current planning assumptions the number of Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary surface vessels in the next five years is:

Year Number of Vessels
2018 & 2019 76
2020 to 2022 77


All this does however is highlight that the fleet size is only playing catch-up with where it was five years ago and even then, isn’t going to surpass the 2013 figure. Mark Lancaster, Minister of State at the Ministry of Defence, said: “For the first time in a generation, the Royal Navy is actually growing. It grew in manpower last year and will continue to grow over the next couple of years, and not just in manpower—the size of its surface fleet is also growing. The latest of the offshore patrol vessels arrived in Portsmouth only this weekend.”
According to the Defence Select Committee, the UK has a “woefully low” number of vessels. Chair of the committee Dr Julian Lewis advised earlier in the year that the Government risked leaving the country with fewer than 19 frigates and destroyers. “The United Kingdom will then lack the maritime strength to deal with the threats we face right now, let alone in the future. We are putting the MoD on notice that it must not let this happen.”
Additionally, Sir John Parker the author of an independent report on the National Shipbuilding Strategy, has indicated that the frigate fleet will fall below 13 frigates unless the Type 31 Frigate build starts soon,
something that appears unlikely for a project described by a minister as still in “early pre-concept phase”
with no design having yet been chosen.
Julian Lewis asked during a Defence Select Committee session on the National Shipbuilding Strategy: “So what you are saying—and this is a critical point—is that unless we start building the Type 31e frigates in parallel with the Type 26s, there is little chance of not reducing below our existing figure of 13 frigates all told. That, I must say, fits in with the projections I have seen and it follows from that, therefore, that we have to consider the best way of building two classes of frigates in parallel, rather than in succession.” Sir John Parker responded with one word: “Correct.”
In conclusion, the Royal Navy technically is growing if you can only remember as far back as a couple of years ago but this ignores that the numbers are playing catch up to where they were five years ago and aren’t going to exceed the 2013 fleet size. All the figures show is that the Royal Navy, overall, has shrunk in the last five years. (Source: SA’s Maritime News via UK Defence Journal)


BAE Systems Showcasing Type 31e Frigate Design for the 1st Time
At DIMDEX 2018, the Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition & Conference currently held in Doha, Qatar, BAE Systems is show-casing for the very first time the proposed design for the Type 31e frigate competition in the UK. BAE Systems has brought together its warship design and engineering capability and combat systems expertise with Cammell Laird, the commercial shipbuilder, in a Teaming Agreement to bid for the contract to deliver Type 31e, the UK’s adaptable general purpose frigate.


A key part of the Type 31e programme is configuring the new frigate and its Combat Management System to be attractive to potential international customers. BAE Systems’ design of this highly capable multi-mission warship demonstrates the flexibility of the ship to meet all warfare roles. Using a flexible mission bay that can be reconfigured at short notice it can perform constabulary, disaster relief, maritime interdiction, counter-piracy and joint taskforce operations.


With a proposed top speed in excess of 25 knots and a range of more than 7,500 miles, BAE Systems’
design is equipped with some of the most modern and effective weapons systems available, and has been designed to operate in international waters, including the Gulf. It is capable of operating both independently for significant periods and as part of a task group, offering enormous value in bringing together allied maritime nations.
The Type 31e design being proposed for the UK Royal Navy will also feature an enhanced BAE Systems
combat system. Building on the pedigree of the systems installed across the UK Royal Navy’s fleet this
combat system will add enhanced features through its open, secure, flexible and extensive architecture,
ensuring it can be upgraded as new technology develops, adapting to ever-evolving threats.
Angus Holt, BAE Systems’ Type 31e Programme Director, said: “We are proud to be displaying our Type 31e design at DIMDEX, the first opportunity for international audiences to see this highly capable ship. Our Type 31e design builds on the proven design and quality of our ships, including Type 45, Offshore Patrol Vessels and the Khareef vessels delivered to the Royal Navy of Oman. It also draws upon the invaluable experience of our Type 26 Global Combat Ship programme, giving us the confidence that we are able to offer a highly advanced ship that can be deployed for a variety of purposes around the world”.
According to BAE Systems, the Type 31e will be a highly capable multi-mission warship, designed to deliver the full range of warfare from complex combat operations to maritime security and humanitarian assistance. The flexible mission bay means these ships can be adapted to support different missions within a short space of time. The ship will be equipped with some of the most modern and effective weapons systems available and will take full advantage of open systems architecture so it can easily be upgraded as new technology develops, ensuring it is adaptable to the evolving threats of tomorrow. It will be capable of operating independently for significant periods or as part of a task group. With the potential to accommodate sub-systems to meet individual country needs, the design offers enormous value in bringing together allied maritime nations. (source SA’s Marine News via Navy Recognition)


Type 31e


Point to ponder!

That’s all folks;

Cheers aye – Ian 







HMS GANGES Association AGM Minutes


Established 1982
Page 1 of 9
held at Mill Rythe, Hayling Island
14 April 2018


Colin Gent Chairman
Cliff Snelling Secretary
Phil Bridge Treasurer
Ken Bushnell Membership Secretary
Des Kerrigan Events & Standards
Charles (Florrie) Ford Certificate Secretary
Tony Willders Reunion Secretary
Shep Woolley Life Vice President
George Barnham

The Chairman, Colin Gent, opened the meeting at 10:00.
The National Standard (Tony Cooke), together with Standards from West London (Paddy
Minns), Dorset (Ray Fraser), Fulham & Chelsea (Glenn (Jacko) Jack), Shotley (John Yougman),
Solent (Alan Hudspeth), Devonport (Les Raspisson) and Mercantile Marine (John Clarke) were
paraded under Standards Marshall Des Kerrigan, and inspected by Eddie Seaborne and John
1. To remember those who Crossed the Bar
Mac Brodie, Life Vice President, stated that the Association had been notified of 134 members
who had crossed the bar since the last AGM. Standards were dipped as he read out the names
of the 27 Members who had crossed the bar since the last issue of the Gazette. A silence was
observed in remembrance.
Established 1982
Page 2 of 9
2. Chairman’s opening address
The Chairman, Colin Gent, welcomed everyone to the 35th Annual Reunion and AGM, and
acknowledged the presence of founding members and Life Vice Presidents Peter Taylor, Mac
Brodie, and Shep Woolley.
Colin thanked everyone for making the effort to travel the length and breadth of the country to
be here, and in particular those members who had travelled from abroad. He invited the
overseas members to come up and announce themselves.
Ian Critchley – Western Australia; Brian Thompson – Western Australia; Michael Kerr – USA;
Ken Marjoram – Canada; David Pegg – France; Colin Pearce – Jersey.
They were warmly applauded by all those present.
Colin said he was pleased to report to members on a very positive note. We, as an
Association, are now in an enviable position amongst the family of Naval Associations. We are
stable financially for now and in the future; we are still recruiting new members; we have a
first class website; we have attendance at many events, promoting the Association. Colin
thanked everyone for the terrific attendance at this Reunion, long may it continue.
Of course, none of this would be possible without the dedication and hard work, all given in
their own time, of the people sat at the table as your elected committee. Colin said members
would hear today, and hoped everyone would agree, of positive reports from each committee
member, and said he was very proud to commend them to the members. Colin said it
continued to astound him the personal time members of the committee give up to make sure
this Association thrives and he gave his personal thanks to each and every one of them, and
hoped members would too.
During the year Committee Meetings have been held in Shotley and Tamworth, both well
attended, with in the main positive comments afterwards, and Colin thanked all those who
made it happen. He said however, that the overriding decision as to the location of meetings
must be governed by the personal time, availability, cost and distance travelled by committee
members as, other than mileage, all other costs are borne by the individual.
Colin said that it is a fact that we continue to lose members as they “cross the bar”, sadly in
far too many numbers; unfortunately, with the gates of our “Alma mater” closing in 1976 it is
inevitable, as age takes it toll.
Tony Cooke, our National Standard Bearer, is a testament to that as he travels the length and
breadth of the country attending funerals at the request of members family’s and on behalf of
the Association. Colin said, let me add again, in his own time, continually supported by his
wife Pauline, sometimes spending a week away going from one funeral service to another.
Tony is of course supported by the divisional standard bearers and many of the members
whenever they can, and it brings great comfort and appreciation to the bereaved families. We
should all be proud of that.
Some members may be aware that on 25 May 2018 the new General Data Protection Act
(GDPA) comes into force. This legislates how organisations deal with the data they collect and
is a tightening up of the present controls, but mainly aimed at large businesses and charities.
We, as an Association, have a task to look at it, assess it, and see how the new legislation
affects us. We are already working on this, but let me assure you that HMSGA, in the way it
already conducts itself, is 98% of the way there. We may need to amend membership forms,
and send forms to members but when the Committee meets in May we will have formulated
what we, as an Association, need to do to conform to the new Act, and we will then notify all
Established 1982
Page 3 of 9
Colin said that towards the end of this AGM we would, he hoped, be welcoming a new
committee member to the team in Phillip (Topsy) Turner. Of course this means we would be
losing one of the most influential driving forces of the Committee and the Association in John
(Shep) Woolley who, he says, still has so many diverse things he wants to do and achieve.
No-one can deny the dogged determination, time and hard work that Shep has put into
making this Association, not only survive, but move on and go from strength to strength, both
in his tenure as Chairman and subsequently as a committee member, particularly in the
organisation of the Reunions and many other Association events. He will be sorely missed, but
as a Life Vice President Colin said no doubt Shep would be offering wise counsel where and
whenever needed. Colin said he would personally like to thank Shep for all the help, support
and guidance Shep had given him during his term as Chairman. A gift of a Bosun’s Call
mounted on a carved block of wood was presented to Shep.
Finally, Colin said he hoped everyone had a terrific weekend, renewing the comeradery of old
shipmates, and making some new ones along the way.
3. Minutes of 2017 AGM
The Secretary, Cliff Snelling, asked for a vote to approve the Minutes of the 2017 AGM. The
proposal was carried. There were no matters arising.
4. Association Accounts
The Secretary asked for a vote to approve the Association Accounts for the period 1st April
2016 to 31st March 2017. The proposal was carried.
5. Secretary Report
Secretary, Cliff Snelling, said that no correspondence has been received since the last AGM.
He went on to say that, whilst vacationing in the southern hemisphere at the end of last year,
he was fortunate enough to meet up with members from some of our Australian Divisions.
In Western Australia Jim Sharkey invited Cliff and his wife Christine to their meeting at the
Perth & Fremantle Navy Club. They were made very welcome by everybody, the meeting was
entertaining, and followed by a great lunch.
In Victoria David Lines and his wife collected Cliff and Christine from their hotel in Melbourne
and drove them to Langwarrin, where they had been invited to join the RNA for Trafalgar
Lunch. There was a special table for the Ganges boys, and they enjoyed good food, good
company, and a generous supply of rum. David then returned them to our hotel which was
very much appreciated as it was over an hour’s drive each way.
In South Australia Derek Ernst invited Cliff and Christine to join them for their meeting and
lunch at the Eagles Bistro in Adelaide. Once again they were made extremely welcome and
had a very enjoyable time.
At all of the meetings Cliff said he was asked to give a short overview of the state of the
Association and answer the many questions that were asked; this was generally well received
by all of the members.
Cliff said that he found that the members of the divisions he met were full of good cheer, and
still very enthusiastic and pro-active in their get-togethers, considering their advancing age
and the distances that many of them travel to attend meetings.
Cliff said that he and Christine were extremely well looked after and were made very welcome
at all the meetings they attended. It was a pleasure to meet some of our Australian members,
and finally be able to put faces to names.
Established 1982
Page 4 of 9
Cliff said that he had been asked by the HMS Ganges Association Museum to remind members
that the Museum AGM will be held next Saturday, 21st April, at 10.30am, at the Shotley
Sailing Club.
Don’t forget, the Museum would benefit from having more members – it’s only £5 per year!
Contact the Secretary, June Lawford-Randall, if you would like to join. Details on the Museum
6. Treasurer Report
The Treasurer, Phil Bridge, said that it gave him great pleasure to say to you that the
Association Funds are 10 times better than when he took over 7/8 years ago.
The Association has assets of £68,613.72, made up as follows:
Community Account £8,199.89
Reunion Account £44.63
Tracker Account £60,039.43
Petty Cash Box £55.93
Fixed Assets £342.30 (Laptop x 2 and Voice Recorder)
All figures correct as of 31 March 2018.
Major Income
Subscriptions & Donations £37,540.11 (£38,261.07)
Grand Draw £5,332.00 (£5,845.00)
Major Outgoings (above £500.00)
Gazette x 3 £13,267.76 (£13,792.46)
N.S.B Expenses £4,442.51 (£3,068.58)
Committee Travel £2,467.99 (£1,401.30)
GA Promotion Team £743.91 (£1,129.30)
Stationery/Postage £1,813.04 (£1,192.86)
Xmas Draw £900.00 (£900.00)
Membership Cards £1,139.09
Mylor Refurbishment £2,717.09 (£182.95)
Raleigh Medals £1,353.60
Charities/Donations £3,000.89 (£1,728.00)
Total Income £42,872.11 (£44,106.07)
Total Expenditure £40,963.46 (£31,748.20)
Figures in brackets are last year’s amounts
Thus, this year our profit over loss is £1,908.65
Phil thanked members for their support and trust, and also Liz Macleod and Dave & Ann Fagg
for their time in examining his books.
Established 1982
Page 5 of 9
7. Membership Secretary Report
The Membership Secretary, Ken Bushnell, stated that total membership is 2,423 and consists
of a number of facets.
Active Members 1250
Life Members 733
Associate Members 77
Lapsed Members 363
We have two categories of Lapsed Members:
1. Where Gazettes and correspondence has been returned to MemSec ‘Address not Known’
– 231 – mainly Life Members.
2. Where a member continues to pay the incorrect subs although they have been contacted
on at least three occasions, all to no avail – 132.
Lapsed Members do not receive the Gazette.
95 members CTB during the period April 2017 to March 2018. During the same period 46 new
members have joined the Association.
Ken stated that this was the 5th MemSec report he had made at AGM, which he said was an
honour and a pleasure. We continue to attract new members, and long may that last.
Ken said that, as at all reunions, joining us this weekend we have a number of ‘guests’ – family
and friends of Ganges Boys, and possibly some Ganges Boys who are not members of the GA.
He said he would like to extend the warm hand of friendship to those guests, and especially
the ex-Ganges Boys. ‘Come and join this fine Association, you are more than welcome’
A courteous reminder to members – when moving house of if you have any change of
circumstances, please inform the MemSec.
Ken said that MemSec Station would be in operation all day to receive subs, donations and
membership enquiries; come and say hello and maybe join the Association if you are not
already a member.
Finally, on behalf of MemSec and Co, Ken said he would like to thank his wife Annette who
contributes a great deal of work in assisting him, and further he wished everyone a fantastic
Reunion 2018 and hoped to see everyone again in 2019.
8. Certificate Secretary Report
Certificate Secretary, Florrie Ford, said that all who expected certificates in the evening could
they please check with him beforehand to make sure they were on the list. Also, photographs
would only be taken by the official photographer.
Florrie said that last September he was asked to instigate a Junior Award for young people who
get involved with the HMSGA. He said details had been published in the last Gazette. Florrie
asked that if any member knew of a young person who they felt was deserving of the award,
for example by helping a group of members or an individual, could they please let him know
and he would send them a certificate which they could present to that young person on behalf
Florrie said that ‘My Bessie Mate’ had visited the USA, South Africa, and Australia over the last
12 months, and this year it was his intention to visit all the local UK divisions.
Florrie also said that he was selling raffle tickets for a Rum Maiden which would be drawn on
Sunday evening. All the money raised would be going to Scarborough, for the Sea Cadet fund.
Established 1982
Page 6 of 9
9. Events & Standards Report
Des said that the bulk of this AGM 2018 Report was fully covered in the Spring Edition of the
Ganges Gazette, which he was sure that members had all digested.
He said he could only repeat his ongoing sentiment and say how grateful we are to all the
Standard Bearers that make the effort and turn out. Please remember these Boys that give up
their own time, both at Reunion and locally.
Attendance at Funerals throughout the UK by our National Standard Bearer, Tony Cooke,
supporting the Ganges Families in their time of grief, remains paramount. Paddy Minns, Alan
Hudspeth, Martin Wiltshire with other Local Divisions’ Standards and Des support where they
can which is all part of our Association’s being. Please remember that Des now holds a stock
of HMS Ganges wreaths, if a family specially request one for a member’s funeral.
Des said that Paddy is back up and running on all cylinders now and it is good to see him out
and about with the West London Standard. On a personal note, in spite of his recent Gazette
notification and due to unforeseen circumstances, Des said he will remain custodian of the
Mercantile Marine Division Standard until a willing volunteer steps up.
Obviously, Armistice Day and our Remembrance Sunday featured most recently for all of us,
with both local Parades and the Cenotaph at Whitehall being attended. The turn-out in London
was well supported, as always, with Shep and Topsy managing to keep control. The
Association was acknowledged by the BBC as being on Parade, but no mug shots this year!!
Des said that he was sure that no matter where in the world you were, your Ganges blazer
was worn with pride. Des and Susan went to Shotley this year to be with the Shotley Division,
remembering where it all started for us. He said it was an honour to join them and to carry
the Mercantile Marine Division Standard along with Tony Cooke, our NSB, John Youngman from
Shotley and others.
More recently, last month, 20 plus members, wives and partners travelled down to Falmouth
to once again take part in the anniversary parade of the St. Nazaire raid of March 1942. The
parade, and our Association’s participation in it, has now become an annual highlight for both
Falmouth Borough Council and the St. Nazaire Association, with our Association’s attendance
warmly welcomed. Our members were honoured with a Civic Reception on the Saturday and
full Parade participation on the Sunday morning, with the parading of the Solent Division’s
HMSGA Standard by Martin Wiltshire and the laying of our wreath by Shep. The Sunday
afternoon took us to out to Mylor to the Ganges Memorial and a very moving service in the
Mylor Church, with local dignitaries in attendance. John Clarke laid the wreath. Our thanks
must go to all who continue to keep our Mylor Memorial in such a fitting condition. We must
never forget our Boys who are remembered at Mylor. David Rye (Mousey) has submitted a
more comprehensive article covering the weekend for the Summer Gazette. Des thanked all
who supported the weekend; a great time was had by all, with the snow on Sunday doing its
best to cocoon everyone in Cornwall. Des thought that they were not too keen on us
The Site is still in the process of being cleaned up to commence development. Work has
started by McNicholas, the contractors, with the laying of pipework for drainage. Positive news
is that Full Consent has been granted by Babergh Council and it appears it is the Developers
that are dragging their feet. As previously indicated, once building starts and something like
130 properties completed, the developers are under obligation to commence some form of
Mast work. To that end, the indications are that TS Rigging Ltd of Maldon in Essex have been
appointed for the ‘Visual Restoration of the Mast’ and will shortly commence the three-phase
project. To date, they await official instructions from the developers. We are assuming that
the bulk of the work will take place on site at Shotley. Phase 1 will be to ‘Make Safe and
Document’; Phase 2 will be the ‘Restoration’; and Phase 3 the ‘Installation’. So it looks as
Established 1982
Page 7 of 9
though our Mast is going nowhere!! Joy to our Hearts. The Committee will monitor progress,
you have our assurance.
Des said that if members have any questions to please channel them though the Committee.
We would not want to antagonise the contractors with questions from all directions.
If there are ever any issues which you, as a Member, wish to discuss please feel free to call or
email Des, or indeed any of the Committee Members.
10. PR Team Report
Martin Wiltshire said that PR Team costs for 2017 were as follows:
Market Traders Insurance 50.00
Suffolk County Show
• Mileage 237.60
• Accommodation – provided by George & Carol Barnham
• Entry fee – paid by MoD as we are in the military set up
Weymouth Armed Forces Weekend
• Mileage 94.95
• Accommodation (2 nights) 276.96
RAF Northolt Open Day – mileage only 77.40
Total £736.91
Estimated costs for 2018 are:
Market Traders Insurance 57.00
Suffolk County Show
• Mileage 237.60
• Accommodation – provided by George & Carol Barnham
• Entry fee – paid by MoD as we are in the military set up
Weymouth Armed Forces Weekend
• Mileage 94.95
• Accommodation (approximately) 280.00
Martin said that at this stage they had not booked any other events as both he and Dave Cross
have other commitments. They felt that there was no point travelling to areas which have no
RN or HMS Ganges connections. Normal costs for County Shows are extremely high, plus the
further they travel the greater the mileage costs and the need for accommodation.
Martin asked if members could please let him or Dave know if they could suggest a place for
them to visit which would promote the Ganges message and of course, encourage ex-Ganges
personnel to sign up.
Martin said, as he had mentioned before, both Suffolk and Weymouth have proved to be by far
the most successful venues, attracting large crowds. The mini-mast and the albums are very
popular as many visitors have past family connections. One lady was thrilled to find her
uncle’s photograph of when he was a Divisional Officer as she had no other photographs of
him. The team have also managed to press gang new members into the Association. As
always Martin said they appreciate help from Association members. The Suffolk Show and
Weymouth are always well supported, and he thanked them for their help.
Established 1982
Page 8 of 9
11. Reunion Secretary Report
Tony Willders, Reunion Secretary, thanked everyone for attending, and said we had 410
attendees this year. He also thanked IOW Tours for their invaluable assistance in organising
our Reunion.
Tony said he would also like to thank the wives of the Committee Members who were running
the Table Top and Win your Weekend Raffles. He said that members may not be aware that
the money raised from these raffles provide a valuable contribution to the weekend’s finances,
providing extras which are financed outside of the main association accounts.
Tony reminded everyone that the weekend programme of events was as per their Daily
Orders. Members visiting Portsmouth Dockyard would enjoy a reduced entry fee on production
of their HMS Ganges membership card. For those members remaining on site various
activities were available, provided by Mill Rythe, and Dave Poyser would be organising the
Uckers competition during Saturday afternoon. This year special Ganges Association boards
had been commissioned for the event.
Tony announced that Reunion and AGM 2019 will be taking place at Gunton Hall on 12-15th
April. In order to undertake the various Reunion activities during the weekend we need to
ensure that we have sole exclusivity of a site. Several venues have been considered, and as all
came in at a similar cost, Gunton Hall was selected. Unfortunately, as Warners have not
increased their price to us over the last five years, 2019 would see the cost of the weekend
rise to £255 per person. Tony said he hoped members would appreciate the reason for the
increase. IOW Tours will once again be handling the bookings and arrangements on our behalf
as this negates the risk entirely should we not meet the minimum number of guests required
to break even, and would not, therefore, impact association funds. IOW tours will accept
Direct Debits or part payments throughout to year to spread the cost of the Reunion.
12. Address by Chief Scrutineer, Basil Downing-Waite
Basil Downing-Waite said that he had only received two voting forms from members unable to
attend AGM.
Basil read out each proposal, and asked members to raise their hands, For or Against.
3. To elect Phil Turner to the Committee for the electoral period as of 2018
This was carried unanimously.
4. To make an addition to the current Rule 11(b):
Anyone submitting a proposal for voting at AGM must attend or be represented at AGM,
and all proposals must be supported by a Statement of Rationale, explaining the reason
This was carried unanimously.
13. Mylor
Shep said that HMSGA donated some money to assist with the restoration of the church at
Mylor as they have been very accommodating to the Association with regard to the Mylor
Memorial. He encouraged members when visiting the Memorial to also go inside the church
where they can see the results of the restoration work carried out.
14. ‘Perky’ Mellow Award (Smartest Standard Bearer)
The Chairman said that this year the award was not only for smartness, but also for due
diligence during the last 12 months, and therefore was awarded to our NSB Tony Cooke. He
asked Shep Woolley to present the Perky Mellow Award.
Established 1982
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15. Chairman’s Closing Remarks
The Chairman said that the Committee believed that we should recognise those members who
give a great deal of their time and commitment to the Association, and who are not always
members of the committee. This year the Committee chose two members who they thought
deserved a special thank you, recognised with a small gift that acknowledges our appreciation
of their services to the HMSGA. Gifts were presented to Dick Lloyd, and to Basil DowningWaite.
Colin said he was nominating Florrie Ford for the Bone of Contention this year, because he
failed to keep track of our gnome, ‘My Bessie Mate’, who was AWOL for three months during
his round the world trip.
The meeting closed at 11:25 and ‘Up Spirits’ was piped.
Cliff Snelling
Hon Sec

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