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HMS GANGES Victorian Division Meeting Jan 2018

.          KICK OFF 2018

Kick Off meeting Sunday 21st January 2018, at the Frankston Naval Memorial Club.

We decided to have our catered Lunch out on the lawns, under the tree’s, like last year, as it had been a resounding success,  with  33/34/35 members and partners attending.   It was all one long table, enabling people to move freely.  We were fortunate that we can use either the lawns or the Clubhouse itself, dependant on weather, which toward the latter part of the meeting, we decided to have sweet inside, as the Humidity was extremely high, and it was becoming uncomfortable.  The comments from members regarding the catering were very rewarding, and who does not like Sticky date pudding, Pavlova’s and Fruit Salads with complimentary Creams and Custards.

A Happy Birthday to John Horner Drake 54

A toast was carried out, with the obligatory Pussers Rum for :Up Spirits” with the able Rum Bosun Harry Thacker, including wishing one and all a Happy New Year, and for attending thus helping  our Association stay alive.We do very well  in general, and I can only thank those that contributed to the raffle in donating prizes,  especially Ann and John Horner, who work in a Charity shop in Gisborne, bringing  down some of the most unusual prizes, Binoculars, watches, plates with ropes and anchors printed on them, Ann and John travelled 118kms(73.5 miles) to get here and then return, likewise one of our very senior members John Hannant and family travelled 125kms(77.5 miles) then return. A true commitment by one and all.

So we now move on to normal meetings, and the thoughts of our getaway, again in Sept/Oct, and to all our members please put your thinking caps on, Moama, Yarrawonga, Melbourne, Warrnambool, Lakes Entrance or anywhere else, as long as we have a  general consensus when deciding. Maybe the interstaters would like to have a say, considering the response last year to Yarrawonga, so please get those brain cells functioning.

Our thanks go to the FNMC for accommodating our Association. To Mark Kinder our associate member for tending the bar, and helping in other aspects, Gordon Canty for once again conducting a very successful raffle, of which the proceeds paid for the Entrée, to keep the cost of a catered lunch at a very reasonable price and Mike Bennett, Chairman of the  R.N.A. Branch,  for the Cheese platter, and our resident photographer Rick Clarke, our youngest member who also travelled 100kms(60 miles by public transport and return, B.Z. Rick

Other Items.

Wyn Agnew Apology.     Bill Agnew has been in Hospital and had approximately 25% of one lung removed, still awaiting results.

Charles Jenkinson in Peninsula Hospital, problem with the Heart Valve

 

What is a Matelot?

What is a Matelot? A matelot is someone who joins the forces for many reasons be it financial, emotional or following family tradition.
Once a matelot takes the Queen’s shilling; he or she becomes a member of an elite group of people.
A matelot will suffer hardship both physically and mentally so their fellow countrymen don’t have to. Make a matelot your friend and they will be a friend forever, make them your enemy and they will never forget.
To the general public, many believe a matelot is a cold-hearted, loud-mouthed thug in a uniform, but a matelot is actually, quite intelligent and has feelings and emotions like everybody else.
A matelot lives life to the full because at any time they could be touched by death.
A matelot will take the mickey and make jokes about any other armed forces they come into contact with but if these same forces require their help they will give it an 110%.
So to sum it up, matelots are loud-mouthed, arrogant, mickey taking, beer swilling, party-loving fools but they are also a friend, mate, mucker, comrade and brother and … I AM PROUD TO BE A MATELOT AND FRIEND AND BROTHER TO COUNTLESS MATELOTS …. ONCE A SAILOR ALWAYS A SAILOR……

“What’s it like in the Navy?”

To all those who ask “What’s it like in the Navy?
I left home before I was legally able to drive, I left my friends and family behind. I was greeted by screaming drill instructors at Ganges. I wrote my own will before I was legally able to drink. I learnt how to run, march, shoot, take another mans life, save another mans life and run some more! I stood in the canteen at meal times eating food as fast as it was out on my plate cause we had very little time to eat. Too tired even to think how bad the food was. I kept going, every day waking at 0600 hrs for the hard day ahead. I did PT everyday and ached in places I never knew I had.
I watched videos of people with shrapnel wounds and body parts missing! I made friends like you wouldn’t believe. I have laughed, cried and been in scrapes with these people. I have lost friends in conflicts in places that I didn’t even know existed. We didn’t get much sleep and even less pay.
We fight! We fight not only for our friends and family but for our comrade next to us!
So if you want to burn this nations great flag try putting yourselves in our shoes. Try defending it before you disgrace the men and women who defend not only the flag, but you and everyone else in this country. When I deployed I didn’t know if I would be coming back. What I did know is that I was proud to wear the uniform of this great country, and I, if given the chance, know that along with thousands of others, we would stand tall and shoulder to shoulder to defend this great country.
Question is,would I do it again if given the chance?, Absolutely yes, yes I bloody would, not for the medals or the pay, but for having stood next to heroes and called them brother.

HMS GANGES AGM dated 10 Jan 2018

HMS GANGES ASSOCIATION

 

Minutes of Meeting held at

RNA TAMWORTH

Victoria Road, Tamworth B79 7HL

 

PRESENT:

10 January 2018
Colin Gent Chairman
Phil Bridge Treasurer/Webmaster
Ken Bushnell Membership Secretary
Florrie Ford Certificate Secretary
Des Kerrigan Events & Standards
Tony Willders

George Barnham

Reunion Organiser
Shep Woolley Life Vice President

 

Observers: Carol Barnham, Ron Carr, Rita Carr, Len Green, David Cross, Stuart Turner,  Bob Mason, David Evans, Grassy Meadows, Dick Binch, Stan Moody, Shelly Punshon

 

Meeting opened: 1100

 

1. Chairman’s Opening Remarks

The Chairman thanked Bob Mason and RNA Tamworth for hosting the meeting.  He explained that after holding our last meeting at Shotley so people from that area could attend, it was felt that as Tamworth was in the heart of the Midlands as many people from the surrounding areas would be able to attend.  He thanked those who had attended from Colchester, Colwyn Bay, Tamworth and other parts of Staffordshire and the Midlands.

 

Colin said this was a working Committee meeting and he requested that observers not interrupt during a Committee Member’s Report. but that he would welcome their input after each Report. Colin said he also wished to thank all the Committee members for turning up and giving up their time to attend at their own personal cost.

 

2. Apologies

Cliff Snelling (Secretary) who had been due back on Sunday but was stuck in America due to the bad weather;  Phil (Topsy) Turner.

 

3. Minutes of Previous Meeting

The minutes of the previous meeting held on 6 September 2017 at The Shipwreck, Shotley Gate, Ipswich had been posted on the Ganges website and sent out to Divisional Representatives; no comments had been received.  The minutes were approved as a true record and accepted.

 

Proposed: Phil Bridge (Treasurer)        Seconded: Ken Bushnell (Membership)

 

4. Matters Arising

  • Flags: Tony asked about ensigns for reunions. Shep will bring an ensign and Ken has a battle ensign and coffin cover; these will be available for Reunion.

Action: Shep Woolley/Ken Bushnell

  • Lectern: Currently in the Museum, Ron Carr will arrange to bring to Reunion.

 

5. Secretary’s Report

Colin stated that he would be giving the Secretary’s Report in Cliff’s absence.

 

  • Colin reported that the Secretary had received no further proposals for AGM. The only proposal on the table was the addition to 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 for the change’.

Proposed by Colin Gent (Chairman)      Seconded by Cliff Snelling (Secretary)

  • Phil (Topsy) Turner has volunteered to join the Committee. It was agreed that, subject to a favourable vote by the members at the AGM, he would join the committee then.

Proposed: Des Kerrigan           Seconded:  Cliff Snelling

  • Shep indicated that he will stand down at the AGM. There was nobody up for re-election this year so there would be no other changes to come at AGM.

 

Colin reported that in the last 3 or 4 days he and other members of the committee had received a number of emails from the Secretary of the Midland Division about the meeting being held in Tamworth and not at the Midlands Division venue in Birmingham. He accepted that he had previously indicated that a meeting would take place there, but said he would always be governed by the democratic decision of the committee, their commitments, travel restraints and availability. On this occasion, that had been to hold the meeting in Tamworth RNA.

 

He was very disappointed that he and the committee had been accused of sitting in an Ivory Tower and pontificating and hoped he was not pontificating now. To the contrary he felt that he and the committee had continued to work very hard to communicate, promote, and maintain a stable platform for the Association.

 

He was very pleased to see members attending from as far as Colchester, Colwyn Bay and other parts of Staffordshire, but was disappointed, that despite a Midlands division meeting the previous day, only one member was present.

 

He stated this committee has always acted without derision, but with a common theme of putting the association and members first. He went on to say, all the jobs on the Committee are open if anyone wants to take over a position on the Committee including his, the current members would be happy to stand down.

 

Colin accepted that notwithstanding the date, time and location of the meeting being put on the website there were more avenues where it could and should be promulgated.  On the Secretary’s return from his world tour he would ensure communication of committee meetings would be better advertised.

 

Shep said when DD ran the Association, committee meetings were held in GH house in Birmingham, but never went around the country. He had spoken at length to him since he had been reinstated as a member.

 

6. Treasurers Report

Phil Bridge said that, as normal, the Committee members all had copies of bank accounts and his Profit/Loss spreadsheet in front of them – please look at them!  He went onto to say that he would like to remind members that the Committee did not claim accommodation expenses for their visit to Tamworth; their stay at the Travelodge was self-funded by committee members and only fuel would be claimed for.

He advised that the Association were financially very sound and his responsibilities are for a total of:  £69,135.46 made up as follows:

Community  Account:     £8,696.26        Reunion Account:              £100.08           Tracker Account:            £60,009.51

Petty Cash:                            £55.77

Fixed Assets of:                    £273.84

 

All figures were correct as of 9 January 2018.

So far this year our income amounts to: £34,714.61, our Running Costs amount to £32,339.67, thus indicating a year profit of £2,374.94.  You will note that we are now getting SOME interest on our saving account! Phil’s predictions are that at AGM 2018, he will be reporting another Profit over Loss of some £5,000 approximately.

Since the last Committee Meeting the Association had received two donations from CTB’s amounting to £281.10.

He advised that the Grand Draw was struggling a little compared to this time last year, so far income has been £3,527.00. Taking account of costs involved, profit to the Association is £1,208.60.

There have been no extra outgoings other than those reported at the last Committee Meeting.

Phil advised that we had spent a lot of money this year:

  • The work at Mylor – which had looked very good on Remembrance Sunday
  • The medals for HMS Raleigh – 3000 had been purchased at a cost of £1,200 and 4 would be given away each week to the two class leaders and their deputies of the Ganges Division. Sir James  Burnell-Nugent, our Chairman, will take the salute at some point next year and Chairman and Treasurer will also be invited.  
  • Florrie asked if a leaflet could be devised to be given out with the medals detailing the history of HMS Ganges. Dave Cross from the Promotional Team advised that they already had a leaflet giving this information. Dave will send a copy to Florrie to see if it needs updating and then look at how to take this forward.  To bring back to next meeting. Action: Dave Cross/Florrie Ford
  • New membership cards – new cards were 38p each. There will be a notice in the next Gazette asking those who want a card to send a SAE to either the Treasurer or Membership Secretary.
  • In answer to a question from the floor it was explained that the card could be used to gain entry to the Portsmouth Dockyard for £10, also to get a discount when making a booking at the Home Club. There was also a possibility of it being used for other discounts.

The Treasurer received a vote of thanks from the Observers.

7. Membership Secretary’s Report As at 8 January 2018

 

Active Members 1262
Life Members   753
Associate Members               78
Lapsed   355 (202 Life Members)
TOTAL

 

2448
Crossed the Bar   36
New Members   17

 

Membership Secretary, Ken Bushnell advised that all the above stats were since the last Committee Meeting at Shotley in September 2017.  However, whilst looking at 2017 as a whole we have lost 99 members CTB but encouragingly we welcomed 61 new members to the Association.  This at a time when other Associations are folding due to lack of membership.  He thanked the Promotions Team and also said that the website and just word of mouth contributed to new members joining the Association.

 

Once again Ken paid tribute to our Life Members who continue to contribute by way of donations which he assured makes a huge difference to our finances.

 

8. Events and Standard Report

Des Kerrigan said as always we are deeply grateful 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, other Local Divisions’ Standards and Des himself 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, just shout.  Des advised Paddy was back up and running on all cylinders now and it is good to see him out and about with the West London Standard.

Obviously, Armistice Day and 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 he was sure that no matter where in the world you were, your Ganges blazer was worn with pride.  He took himself and Susan up to Shotley this year to be with the Shotley Division, remembering where it all started for us.  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.

The Shotley Site – As previously reported the Site is in the process of being cleaned up to commence development.  Work has started by McNicholas, the contractors, with the laying of pipework for drainage.  Good news has just reached us; the Mast is on the move!!…………Well to assume the horizontal in Nelson Hall, at least.  As previously indicated, once building starts and something like 130 properties are completed, the Developers are under obligation to commence some form of Mast work.  To that end, 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.  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 though our Mast is going nowhere!!  Joy to our Hearts.  Your Committee will monitor progress, you have our assurance. We ask that if there are any questions you have to please channel them though your 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 YOUR Committee Members.

 

The news regarding the mast was very welcome and is a credit to Des and Shep who have liaised with the developers at all times.

 

Shep pointed out, on Des’s behalf, that the Association needed somebody to take over the Mercantile Marine Standard.  Another Standard Bearer is needed!  Des has attended funerals all over the country and was applauded for his commitment.

 

Florrie felt that the Committee needs to make everyone aware who is in charge and what their responsibility is when on parade.

 

9. Certificate Secretary’s Report

Florrie Ford, Certificate Secretary, reported that 2017 had been a very busy year for Certificates, he has presented one 80th in Sunderland and 43 at the AGM.  Also, Certificates have been presented outside of the AGM – Solent, Essex Peninsular, Shotley Committee Meeting, West London, Scarborough Reunion and to some members’ homes. Florrie had also been asked by some members if they could have a replacement, which he had provided at a small cost.  So far for the AGM this year 28 Certificates are to be presented and this will increase by the time of the AGM.  The Certificate presentation at the AGM will be at the Saturday evening quarters by the Admiral only.

 

Florrie commented that photos at the AGM have been a bit of a problem as many recipients wanted photos with the Admiral. Ron Dorry will take individual photos as the Certificates are presented and Florrie would like a group photo on completion of the presentation, ie a Class Photo.

 

He advised that if a member would like a certificate presented at the AGM he would require all requests by the 31 March and said could all those members who have requested a Certificate at the AGM check with him to ensure they are on the list.

 

Junior Elephant Award – Florrie explained how the award had come about.  He had been asked if he could sort out a certificate for a young lady, Hollie, granddaughter of Crash Evans.  Hollie had helped Crash look after the Victorious Bench and more recently the Murray Dunlop Bench.  The Victorious Association had presented her with the Victorious Powder Monkey award.  So Florrie had come up with the Junior Elephant Award to make Hollie feel a bit special and for something different to take to school.  He had also been told of another young lady who was doing a kindness to another Ganges member and this award was presented at the Scarborough Weekend.  He thanked Barbara Heyward and family for their support.  The story of Hollie was in the Navy News in December and highlighted the Association’s gratitude to youngsters who show the ‘Ganges Spirit’.

 

Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity – Florrie and his lady Shelley attended a presentation to the RN/RM Charity at Trinity House, London in the presence of Princess Anne, the Princess Royal.  A short speech was given by HRH in which she praised the charity’s supporters and emphasised the importance of the Naval Service.  The Chief Executive, Robert Robson OBE said the supporters were the lifeblood of the charity and without the help of the fantastic volunteers the charity would cease to exist.

 

The Ganges Association was the only Association to attend.  In conversation with Princess Anne it appeared she was fully aware of HMS Ganges – the present and past First Sea Lords commented it was the largest single Naval Association under one cap tally!

 

My Bezzie Mate – Florrie informed the Committee this went from AGM to America, it went AWOL on the way to South Africa but was then sent to Australia and was now in Western Australia.  He was hoping for it to be returned for the AGM.

 

10. Webmaster’s Report

Webmaster, Phil Bridge, said we are now close to 850 members online! The website has been running for some 5 years and the domain hmsgangesassoc.org is due for renewal. Having our own domain is best and this one was set up a few years before we made the new website, so Phil intends to continue ownership of this domain. It is an American company and the renewal cost is $300.00 (£220.00) for a 5 year period, a good deal in Phil’s opinion.

 

There are some problems on the website at present, these involved uploading photos from various systems, iMac/Windows 10, and storage space on our server.

 

Phil has renewed our domain and paid with his own credit card and has been reimbursed by the Association.  He is also getting our tech boys to carry out an update check on the website, this will involve about an hour’s work (£80-£100).  In general the website still plays a major role in communication amongst members.  The website is supported by HMSGA funds and donations from new members.

 

Phil said that if Members saw the names Barbara and Theresa on the website these are Barbara Hayward (Ivan’s wife) and Theresa is Rockie Rockets daughter, and her son is a serving member of the Royal Navy and an Association member also.

 

There was a vote of thanks from the Committee to Phil for fantastic work on the website.

 

11. Museum Report from the Secretary, June Lawford-Randall

Museum volunteers were pleased to receive a visit recently from the High Sheriff of Suffolk who enjoyed looking around the museum and talking to volunteers to find out more about the museum’s origins and collection.  We were all delighted to see our Treasurer, Mrs Sheila Wilson, receive a certificate of commendation for her dedicated service of more than 10 years.  During that time Sheila has been invaluable to all-comers with her knowledge, advice and support to new volunteers and she has contributed immensely to the special annual displays, not to mention her skills as treasurer, keeping the accounts in good order and demonstrating her commitment by travelling for 2 hours each way by bus!

 

The visit by the High Sheriff of Suffolk, Geoffrey Probert, was a very timely one as we were also joined by the committee of the Stowmarket Royal Naval Association who had held a fundraising event in favour of the museum.  A cheque for £357 was presented to, and gratefully received by, museum chairman, Derek Davis.

 

Repeating some of the items in our recent Newsletter to members, we can at last report good news regarding the iconic HMS Ganges mast after planning permission was granted to the developers of the site to remove the mast for it to be repaired and restored to its former glory.  The bottom part of the mast will stay in situ, while the main body will be taken down and stored in Nelson Hall during repairs.  Much of the spar work and the rigging will be carried out at Chatham dockyard by specialists based in Burnham.  The news has been welcomed not only by residents, who recognise the significance of the mast, but also by former trainees and civilians who worked at the site in Shotley Gate, Suffolk.

 

The infamous, Faith, Hope and Charity steps is another feature remembered by every former Ganges Boy.  The steps were uncovered recently by builders working on the 12 apartments being built next to the steps by the marina road.

 

With our 2017 special display having been dedicated to the WRENS the served at HMS Ganges from the World War Two days, when Ganges was a hostilities-only base, the year also marked the centenary of women being allowed to serve in the armed forces and the Women’s Royal Navy Service (WRNS) was formed.  The forthcoming special display will be the U-Boat surrender and 2018 Commemorations.  The museum would be pleased to receive any photographs, memories, or relevant old papers to enhance the display.

 

Once more the items being donated to the museum are proving interesting, as are the stories behind them.  The museum took delivery of an ensign, originally from the Royal Yacht Britannia, therefore unique in its size.  Also, found in a box of miscellaneous donated items was a real gem – a Christmas tin gift pack sent to all troops in 1914 which for some included cake, cigarettes or chocolate which was a royal treat from Her Majesty Queen Mary and King George V including a Christmas card and message.  The items in the tin now in our collection included one sealed and one opened packet of cigarettes, so a very personal link to the time, and these items are already on display.  The most recent donation was a plaque, originally donated to Babergh District Council to mark the base closing in 1976.  The plaque was handed to museum chairman Derek Davis and is now due to be displayed.

 

Are you thinking of planning a visit to the Museum? If so, please ensure that we will be open when you visit as we are closed during the colder months.  The museum is open on weekends and Bank Holidays at 11am, closing at 5pm, between Good Friday and the end of October.  Contact the Secretary on 01473 788723 to arrange a visit at any other time.

 

Without volunteers to man the museum between Easter and the end of October each year we would simply have to close.  Huge thanks go to all the volunteers who give up their time, whether for a day, a weekend or longer and we hope you can spare us more of your valuable time again.  For new volunteers wanting to join the team, training is given and you would be paired with more experienced openers.  If you have any younger family members who are interested to attend with you, they would be most welcome but kindly check with us first. The Shipwreck can now provide accommodation above the museum at very reasonable costs for those travelling long distances. Please contact either the museum chairman or secretary for more details.

 

Should you wish to become a member of the HMS Ganges Museum contact us for more details about the

£5 annual membership.  Forms can be sent to you direct by email or by post if you prefer.  Contact the

Secretary, June Lawford-Randall, on 01473 788723, by email at juneelawford1@hotmail.co.uk or write to Mrs Sheila Wilson, The Treasurer, HMS Ganges Association Museum, Shotley Marina, Shotley Gate, Suffolk IP9 1QJ.

 

Dates for 2018

Volunteers’ Training Day:                    Saturday 10 March

Seasons Opens:                                 Good Friday 30 March

Annual General Meeting:                     Saturday 21 April

Season Closes:                                  Sunday 28 October

 

Des commented that he will continue to provide a report on the Shotley site even though the museum may have different information.  He said how the Association and the Museum work together and interaction is working well.

 

12. Promotion Team Report

Dave Cross from the Team reported that they would be attending the Suffolk Show on 30/31 May and

Armed Forces Day in Llandudno on 31 June.  Martin Wilshire is intending to resign at the end of the year.  Florrie asked if there were any plans to bring the Team to the North.  Dave said they would consider any venues put forward.

 

13. Reunion 2018 Update

Reunion Organiser Tony Willders advised that we had 415 confirmed bookings and this may rise before April.  He advised that:

 

  • The Ganges Membership card will get you entry into the Dockyard for £10. Tony to contact Dockyard to clarify what attractions in the Dockyard are included.
  • The Admiral has been invited and will be presenting the Certificates following Saturday evening quarters
  • He will update Daily Orders and correspond with Shirley from IOW
  • There was no need for a pre-meet before reunion. He would be meeting with Shirley at the end of March if anyone else from the Committee would like to come along
  • Reunion will start from Friday lunchtime, the Committee to meet at Mill Rythe at 9.30 am to put up final touches.
  • Those Committee Members who have far to travel to come on Thursday night. and IOW will advise what accommodation is available. Committee members to advise Tony if accommodation required and any cost will be at their own expense.   Action: Tony Willders
  • Shep advised that he had a Pipe and Drum band available for evening quarters and the Committee agreed that they would pay £250 for the band. Action: Shep Woolley
  • It was also agreed that longevity awards would be presented to Dick Lloyd and Baz Downing-

Waite (with a bouquet for Val) at the AGM. Action: Tony Willders

  • Bishop Bomber Mills, who is officiating at the Church Service would receive £100 for this service.
  • Cadets have received £200 in the past – Tony Crisp and his cadets to be invited; if unavailable (Tony has been having health problems) Shep has another bugler and cadet unit who would stand in. Bugler would be paid £50.  Action: Shep Woolley
  • Shep to email order of service. Action: Shep Woolley

 

Shep also advised that the bell which had been presented to Lisabeth, our Chaplain, will now be resited by George Barnham next week and fixed by Alan Hudspeth.

 

14. Grand Draw Update

George Barnham said that the sale of tickets was going well although he wished people didn’t put ‘ditto’ on their tickets as it meant he and Carol and to fill them in!!!!  It was expected that more tickets would be sold at the Reunion.

 

15. Any Other Business

  • The Chairman thanked Annette Bushnell for stepping in and taking the Minutes in the Secretary’s absence.
  • Mylor Church – Shep said we could not have done what was done at the Mylor Memorial Garden without the help of the vicar. There is an appeal ongoing for the repair of the church, and would the Association consider a donation?  After further discussion it was agreed that an initial donation of £500 would be made, to be presented at the St. Nazaire commemoration in March.

The fund will be monitored and a further donation may be made if needed.

  • Field Gun Training School – Dave Worrell had set up training with 25 schools in Devon using field-gun to help and encourage children’s wellbeing. It was agreed that Dave should send his proposal plan and then the Association will see what support we may give.  It was felt that we should see what support other organisations were giving before committing ourselves.

            Action: Shep Woolley

  • Nazaire Commemoration Falmouth – Des was aware that some members of the Solent Division were attending and he would put names forward of anyone else who would be attending.
  • Florrie informed the meeting that he was getting married on 26 May and all were invited.
  • Phil had received an email from John Youngman that Jim Gitsham had resigned as Chairman of the Shotley Division due to ill health. The new Chairman is John Adams who has taken over immediately.  Jim has also had to give up organising the scattering of the ashes on Remembrance Sunday and this has now been taken up by John Youngman of the Shotley Division – Contact: 01206 298873 email: johnyoungman@tysours.plus.com.
  • Ivan Haywards Bench – Following Ivan’s passing money had been raised at the Scarborough weekend for a memorial bench made by Stan Moody. Stan passed round a photograph of the finished bench.  This will presented to Ivan’s wife.

 

16. Chairman’s Closing Remarks

Colin said he was glad we had come to Tamworth, hospitality had been great and he hoped observers had enjoyed themselves and thanked them for their attendance.

 

A tot had been presented by RNA Tamworth and the Chairman asked everyone to ‘Up Spirits’ and observe a minutes silence for absent friends.

 

  1. Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held at RNA Uxbridge on 9 May 2018 commencing at 11:15am.

 

 

Meeting closed:  1410

Vale Jean Rees

I regret to say that I have just received a phone call from Jean Rees’s, son-in-law that Jean Crost The Bar last Saturday. The funeral details is for Friday 5th. January at 10:00hrs. at St Thomas’s RC church 313 Canadien Bay Road Mount Eliza.
                                       Vale Jean
                    Regards HarryH

Request for assistance – Richard Richardson

I need a bit of help.  Do we have any seaman out there somewhere?  As a communications rating I have helped hoist the
sea boat many times but I just can’t remember if the griping spar goes inboard or outboard of the boat.  I am making a model of
HMS Campanula  (the corvette which Nicholas Monsarrat served in during the second world war) and I need this information
for historical accuracy.  Any help would be appreciated.
Regards
Dik 
r.h.richardson@bigpond.com

HMS GANGES Victorian Division Masthead No 231

Victoria Australia

Chairman: David Lines.   Secretary: Harry Harrison 36 Barretts Road Langwarrin South Vic 3911

Telephone Harry 03-9728-3200  Email:rodneyharrison@bigpond.com

 

MASTHEAD No. 231

Chairman David Lines     Came to the lunch from hospital after an angiogram which indicated he will require a pacemaker be fitted at a later date. BZ David. Secretary:- Opened the meeting and welcomed John and Ann Horner for making the trip from Gisborn. A warm welcome was extended to Owen and Carmen Dingle and to John Hannant very good to see John after quite a while.A warm welcome to all.

Birthdays   November Winfrede Agnew, Winifred Harrison, Mike Bennett, John Hillman and Pat Vary Best wishes to all. Also our congratulations to Owen and Carmel, who celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on the 18th. October Bravo Zulu Owen and Carmel.

Apologies Pat Vary, Jean Rees, Maureen Hannant, , Mary Stephens. Jane Clark sends her apologies but is in the process of finalising her late sisters affairs at Yackandandah, Jane hopes to be at the Kick Off meeting.

Sick List. Albie Cunliffe had another visit to Knox hospital with respiratory problems. Also Harry Thacker and Bill Agnew were hospitalised with respiratory problems.  David Lines has cardiac problems as detailed.

Interstate Ted Lavendar has a brain aneurism, also in SA Derek and Judy Ernst havebeen quite ill. Ric Broniman reported that Tich Oulds is suffering from a number of medical complaints including prostate cancer Tich is refusing treatment and is quite ill. Contact is by telephone or snail mail as Tich’s wife Maureen does not use the internet. The Victorian Division wishes all a positive outcome. The Division also extends our best wishes to Ian Critchley and family on Ian’s wife Gail Crossing the Bar.  Vale Gail.

Treasurers Report  Total in account b$3,387:73. The BBQ held at the Yarrawonga get together was paid for out of  Divisional funds

Correspondence  Bank Statement.WA Hoist, Shotley Buzz 55,Queensland News Letter

UK Association   The Association is moving along positively. Members will receive a membership card through Brenda Chitty the Australian Financial Administrator for the Association.

Treasurer Phil Bridge has had a hip replacement and is doing fine.

Secretary Cliff Snelling and his wife Christine are still progressing on their Grand Tour.

We the Victorian Division wish the Chairman Colin Gent the committee and all members a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

General Business   1) The kick off meeting will be held on Sunday 21st. December 2017 At the FNMC. Due to the high price and availability of seafood the seafood entrée will not be available this year. Discussion was held as to the catering arrangements. Information on another caterer was tabled. As we have the kick off meeting fully catered for so our members do not have to cater or wash up the meeting felt this caterer would mean dishing up and washing up it was decided to get a quote from Gourmet Catering for three course meal with no seafood entrée.The date decide on is Sunday 21st. January 2018. Those wishing to attend please contact Chairman David or Secretary HarryH  with numbers guests are welcome.

2) There was a good turn out for Remembrance day. The service included the dedication of plaques to Ron Benton an associate member of the Victorian Division and Alan Guthrie both members of the RNA. Some Ganges members wore mauve/purple? poppies which signifies remembrance for the animals that have been involved in wars and conflicts. The poppies were a gift from the Mulwala RSL .

Our thanks to the President and Committee of the FNMC for organising the occasion.

3) Get Together 2017   The members at the meeting who had attended Yarrawonga Mulwala 2017 get together were asked for any comment all agreed it was an enjoyable occasion and the Club and accommodation first class.

2018 get together  members were asked if they wished for a get together be organised for 2018. All agreed that a get together be held.

Location of the event. There was considerable discussion as to the location. Places put forward were NZ, WA, interstate. A number of members put forward that we hold it in Melbourne either mid week or a weekend. Then those who find it difficult  to travel in Victorian country or interstate can attend various events if not the whole get together. Secretary said we could incorporate a service at the club to Remember all who have crossed the Bar and include the book of Remembrance held at the Cerberus museum and lunch at the FNMC. Chairman and secretary to investigate accommodation in the City such as the Ibis, Jasper or other suitable accommodation. Members should have a think as to suitable venues and attractions that are available locally for the event. Ideas and an outline to be discussed at February meeting.

 

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Chairman David Lines Thanked Ann and John Horner for donating the home made Christmas pudding, brandy sauce, shortbreads and mince pies. Thank you John and Ann.

A Big Thank you to Joan Kime, Flo Livingston and Harry Thacker for preparing and serving the delicious lunch. Harry Kime and Mark kinder for bar service. Janet and David Lines for supplying the turkey and ham, and all who donated ingredients for lunch.

Gordon Canty for selling the raffle tickets and conducting the raffle draw.

.Chairman Thanked everyone for attending and making it an enjoyable occasion, and declared Up Spirits for a Christmas Tot or drink

Secretary Closed the Meeting

There is no meeting in December so we hope to see you all and any guests at the Kick off Meeting at the FNMC  Seven Bells (11:30hrs.)on  Sunday 21st. January 2018

Regards – Harry Harrison

The Chairman’s Christmas message: – To all Victorian members, I thank you for your support throughout 2017 to both myself and Harry Harrison, as we have said before, it is you the members that make this Association, and it is you that have helped us make the decisions we have needed to make throughout the year, and this includes the get together held at Club Mulwala . Everybody had a say in this, and I think that those who attended not only from Victoria, but also Australia Wide and N.Z. made this a worthwhile A laugh and a bit of fun go a long way to enjoying yourselves. We look forward to 2018, and planning a getaway later in the year, to wherever YOU decide. It leaves me to say, I hope you All have a very Merry Christmas and a Healthy, Happy New Year. See you all on the 21st.. January 2018 for lunch at the FNMC. From David and Janet

As me move into the festive season and approach a brand New Year we remember those who CTB during the last year and all those suffering medical problems So when you raise a glass or two remember the good health to all and our absent friends. Harry Harrison Secretary

 

 

 

 

HMS GANGES Victorian Division – Special Masthead

Victoria Australia

Special Masthead

 

MASTHEAD Special Get Together Edition

As there was no meeting in October and no Masthead this Special Masthead is for a report on the get together. As Chairman David Lines has prepared an article for the Spring Gazette it will be brief so as not to encroach on the writings of Our Great Helmsman.

The get together was held at the Club Mulwala and accommodation at the Club Mulwala Resort. We were informed by the Mulwala RSL Chairman that although the Mulwala RSL owns the land the establishment is on and has an RSL branch the Club and Resort are owned by Clubs NSW. Which considering the tanks and artillery pieces and the Dakota at the club  entrance was a surprise.

Due to illness and various other reasons there were 21 people attended from Queensland, NZ and Victoria. Bette and Mike Barron from Auckland attended and the Victorian Division organised their transport to Mulwala. It was good to see Bette and Mike after a considerable time. During the deliberations for a location suitable for a get together is it’s accessibility to

Melbourne, two hours driving was a criteria. Ian and Joy Thomson (no P Jock) travel from Rockhampton a round trip of approximately 4, 900 kilometres. Charlie and Lorna Greensmith travelled from Brisbane with medical equipment required by Charlie equal to a medical ward. However all made the effort to get together a tribute to the Ganges spirit and Rudyard Kiplings poem “If” we all remember on the gymnasium bulkhead.

A number arrived on the Sunday and were welcomed with friendly efficiency. There was a get together and a run down by Ian and Joy Tompson who had arrived on the Saturday.

Breakfast was part of the tariff and was a very adequate menu. I understood that a continental breakfast “was a roll in bed with honey” the continental breakfast and cooked breakfast was extensive. Monday evening was a tot and get together in the BBQ area and discussion as to the program for the week. The Victorian Treasurer was on hand with his handbag collecting for the bus trip on the Wednesday.

Tuesday was a day for members to explore the area. Some were detailed off to purchase the food for the BBQ on the Wednesday night others went afield, to such places as the Olive Grove farmshop with provender associated with an Olive Grove available. Others went to Byramine Homestead and Brewery. The homestead afternoon tea is a delight with the largest and tastiest scones available. After the Tot time and drinks it was to the club for a drink and meal. The meals were varied and tasty. A point of interest was that a schooner was cheaper than a middie not many places where it is cheaper to consume large quantities of ale. Life is tough.

Wednesday was a bus trip to Rutherglen starting off with a stop for morning tea at the Corowa Chocolate and Whisky factory the “Head Distiller” was a 23 year old dreadlocked fellow but very knowledgeable as to his craft. One item of interest was that the spirit cannot be called whisky until it has aged at least 2 years in wooden barrels until then it is Bourbon. The first release of whisky is for November/December. This raised an interesting point as people had seen a TV show touting Corowa Whisky.

The Chocolate factory next door was very popular. At least they had samples.

Then it was on to Bullers and then Cambell’s wineries.With a generous samples of their wares. It was the town of Rutherglen next with a wander round the shops and lunch at a well known pie shop. On the way back to the accommodation a stop at a bush pub the Bundalong Tavern was made. With a bus load of thirsty people the bar maid made a frantic call for help to serve. A ute screeched up and the publican fronted up interrupted in his building work. It was then back to the accommodation after a good day things started to go a little awry. It was found that the BBQ’s had been booked by two golf teams knocking the planned BBQ and Trivia night into a cocked hat. The BBQ’s were then booked for lunch and tea on Thursday. After a Tot and discussion it was back the club for the evening meal some went for Chinese others the Diggers restaurant. The fine weather was broken by a deluge of some 46mm of rain overnight with more forecast for the evening. A decision was made for a BBQ lunch which was held and enjoyed. Linda Anderson and Janet lines were presented with birthday cards and some Corowa chocolates by Chairman David. A raffle was held and the first prize went to Bette Barron from NZ and second prize to Albie Cunliffe’s ex neighbour at South Oakleigh now living in Mulwala. All attendees were thanked by Chairman David for making the considerable effort to attend the get together. He assured everyone that consideration for next year would be on the agenda for the November meeting of the Victorian division.

Evening meal some attended the Chinese and seafood buffet and others the Diggers restaurant. Ken and Linda Anderson, Ian and Joy Tompson headed off early the rest said adieus at breakfast. Then it was hands to stations for leaving harbour.

There were a couple of things that did not go according to plan but were dealt with without any dramas. The reception and house staff were helpful and friendly, the housekeepers were efficient and helpful. In all a good place for a group of people to relax and enjoy themselves in a friendly environment. Our Thanks to all who attended and hope to see you all in the future.

 

 

Regards Harry Harrison

Vicdiv Secretary         .

 

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HMS GANGES Queensland Division – Newsletter Sep-Oct 2017

 

HMS GANGES ASSOCIATION

Queensland Division

Newsletter No 60

 

September – October 2017

 

 Welcome aboard everyone,

 

Unfortunately I start this newsletter with sad news of the passing of ex Ganges man Gerry Hughes, I have been advised by his partner that Gerry passed away earlier this year. RIP Shipmate

 

Also apologies for the lateness of this newsletter, I have now moved to Burrum Heads and purchased a new computer as my old one was KIA on the way up here.

 

MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL

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.

 

Last newsletter Ship Quiz.

 

Only correct answer was Geoff Dann of Cairns Qld. As Geoff correctly emailed me it was HMS NELSON departing Portland.

Due to the lack of support I won’t be including this segment in future newsletters. Thanks to all those who participated. Instead I will highlight one of our amazing members.

 

 

 

This month: Richard Richardson

 

Richard was born in Hastings Sussex on the 21st July 1938, and lived throughout the war and right up to when I joined the navy in a little village called Ringmer, about 8 miles East of Brighton.

He joined HMS Ganges on the 13th October 1953 and served for 25 years, retiring on the 21st July 1978. I was a “from here to the right” communication rating in that at one stage in the annexe the whole recruitment was fallen in and informed that they required more volunteers for communications. Several people volunteered but not enough so they decided to detail some of us off.  An officer went along and said “3, 6, 9, 12 from here to the right communicators’. I wanted to be a gunner!!!

I am glad that it worked out like that though as it was probably the best thing that ever happened to me. As a visual signalman I was always on the bridge and always knew what was going on.  I felt sorry for the stokers stuck down below and always in the dark and I tried to keep them in the picture as far as legally possible.  Of course a lot of the stuff that I dealt with was secret and definitely not allowed to be released to anybody.

My sea going started with an 18 month commission in HMS Newfoundland and was probably the best commission that a young boy could possibly have. We left Portsmouth and did our work up in the Med. based on Malta. Then through the Suez canal and on to the Far East, visiting Singapore, Australia, Japan, Korea, Subic Bay, Hong Kong and several places that I can’t remember now. At one stage I was loaned to HMS Comus when some of her people were on advancement courses.  When it came time to come back home we were the first cruiser to recommission by air, 14 flights out and 14 flights back.  I was on flight 10 and we crashed at Karachi.  The pilot couldn’t get the wheels down and so we left a lot of the aircraft strewn along the runway. It was a Handley Page Hermes belonging to Britavia.

 

I also spent a couple of years at Whitehall wireless station and nearly a year with 43 CDO Royal Marines. Our watch had just gone on for the all night on at Whitehall Wireless and the chief of the watch came round just to make sure that everyone was there and suitably briefed during the takeover.

When he got to my desk he said

 

“There you are Dick, there is a draft chit for you”.

 

When I said “Where to Chief” he replied, “43 Commando Royal Marines”.  I just laughed and said, “O.K. where is it really to” As it turned out he was absolutely right and he wasn’t joking.  I complained bitterly and slapped in to see the boss but he pointed out that the Royal Marines are part of the Navy and if they are short of personnel they can draw on the Navy to make up numbers.  I had to go, needless to say kicking and screaming, but the funny thing is that after I had been there a few weeks I didn’t want to come back to gens again. I thoroughly enjoyed myself after I got over the initial shock. When they had enough people again I had to go back to the navy and I didn’t want to do that either.It’s a strange thing, human nature …

 

Other ships include Liverpool and Boxer (HMS Bellerophon reserve ships Portsmouth) which then moved on to HMS Vanguard, a wonderful ship, then HMS Agincourt for a commission in the Med.

Several times I went to HMS Mercury, the signal school at East Meon, for advancement courses and finished my time there as a Quartermaster. Shore bases included Commodore Naval Drafting at Lythe Hill House, Haslemere, Windmill Hill Signal Station, Gibraltar married accompanied, HMS Mauritius married accompanied, and Ricasoli Signal School, Malta for Killicks course.

I served in HMS Nurton as a killick and HMS Carron as a killick (yeoman) I did another commission in the F.E.S. in HMS Dido (the fourth of the Leander class) and served two years in HMS Apollo (the 25th of the Leander class) which we collected from the builders yard on the Clyde and took away on her first commission. I also served a short spell in HMS Dolphin MSO.

 

Richard’s hobbies include model making, here is a quick history and his current project..

My interest in model making started about ten years ago with aircraft, tanks and armour and ships.  Since then my trophy cabinet has steadily filled up and some of my models have already featured in the news letter. It keeps me out of the pub …….(and broke!!)

HMS Compass Rose

Just before the start of WWII the Admiralty in London realised that in the event of a war they were going to be desperately short of escort vessels.  They needed something that could be built quickly and cheaply and mainly in civilian dockyards.  They had six options and the one chosen was based loosely on a whale catcher called the Southern Pride that was already in existence at Smiths dockyard.  It was a strong, sturdy little ship designed for use in the Southern Atlantic and the Antarctic.  With a lot of modifications this would do admirably for coastal escort work.  As it turned out the flower class served in every theatre of operations, including on the notorious Russian convoys in some of the worst weather in the world.

   

They were operated by many nations including Britain, France, Canada, America, Australia, New Zealand, Greece, India, even Germany.

The British ones were all named after flowers and the first one was HMS Gladiolus launched on the 24th. January 1940.  269 were built during the war, 42 in Canada, 4 in France, although the French ones were captured and operated by the Germans after the fall of France.

The flower class were not only used for convoy escorts, at least 54 were fitted out as minesweepers and some even served as ocean going tugs to bring damaged merchant ships into port. 25 were lent to the U.S. Navy.

 

 As the design evolved many variations came into being and no two were exactly alike.  Some differed slightly, and some had major differences like longer forecastles, more sheer and flair to their hulls for better sea keeping, forced draft ventilation instead of mushroom vents and many other improvements such as putting the mast behind the bridge instead in front of it. Six different variations of bridges were fitted starting with the merchant ship type on the early ones.

 

 This model is of HMS Compass Rose from the book and film “The Cruel Sea” by Nicholas Montsarrat who served as an officer in corvettes (HMS Campanula) during WWII.

 

 

 

To contact Scotty

Graham Slaney

1 Harlequin Close, Burrum Heads Qld 4659

 Phone  0434896017.

e-mail scottyslaney@gmail.com

skype: G50raham@hotmail.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..

 

 

Ted Lavender

This is the second message this morning regarding an ill member, Ted rang me to say that he has been diagnosed with a large  aneurysmin his head, he is waiting to be told when to travel to Adelaide for the delicate surgery. I will keep members informed and of course all of our wishes are with Ted for a successful operation.
Yours aye
Derek
Southtrade International