EXETER FLOTILLA

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 19TH.MAY 2017

CHAIRMAN’S REPORT


The Membership:
Regrettably, and, I am afraid inevitably, a number of our more venerable members have ‘Crossed the Bar’ and we will be remembering them at the start of our AGM.
We currently have 184 members. This past year we have had 14 members join us, including several from the Army and two civilians of high repute who have over the years shown an interest in, and have been helpful to, the Flotilla. We must keep on recruiting. As I mentioned last year, we do offer excellent value for money. Liverpool’s equivalent – the Sea Urchins – annual membership fee is double ours and their lunches and formal dinners are considerably more expensive.

The Committee:
A considerable amount of work is done, behind the scenes, by your Committee, without which there would be no functioning Flotilla. I am most appreciative of all the work done by the various Committee members for keeping their part of ship going and, also, for the contribution they make to the general running of the Flotilla.
We are seeking new members for the Committee and would be pleased to see new volunteers.

The Lecture Programme:
Yet again we have had a wide range of subjects for our lectures this year. I trust that the subjects have provided subjects of interest to many. All have been very well attended. Subjects included: The RN Historic Flight by Lt Cdr Chris Goetke AFC; Navy Training by Rear Admiral John Clink OBE; our Member Mike Wilson told us of the remarkable Antarctic adventures of Surgeon Lt Murray Levick; HMS Raleigh was the subject of Captain Ellie Ablett; David Morris, Curator of Aircraft at the Fleet Air Arm Museum, spoke about the First Aircraft Carrier; Rear Admiral David Pulvertaft on the Devonport Figurehead Collection; the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone was put in perspective by Colonel Roland Ladley; and finally the historic junk-yacht 'Boleh' by Captain George Middleton

My ever-grateful thanks go to Dita Dixon, our Lecturer Secretary, for all her efforts in arranging the programme and venues.
Regrettably CTCRM is not always in a position to determine in advance their dining numbers during the autumn season, and we have of necessity made use of the support offered by Wyvern Barracks in Exeter. This is nobody's fault but please be aware of the possibility of last minute changes of venue after our summer recess.


HMS Defender:
Regrettably little has been heard from the ship, though we now believe that a new CO is to be appointed shortly. She is currently in ‘upkeep’ in Portsmouth. The Senior Officer is Lieutenant Commander Sean Trevethan.

Other Events:
Annual Lunch:
Our principal guest was Lieutenant Colonel Tony de Reya RM, Chief of Staff at CTCRM. Member guest was Gerald Newton.


Visit to HMS BULWARK:

We were welcomed by Commodore Andrew Burns and entertained to an excellent lunch before commencing a most interesting tour of the vessel and being briefed on its various capabilities by the Senior Officers. Many thanks to Gerald Newton for organising this event.

Annual Golf Competition and Annual Summer Dinner:

This excellent event, organised by Robert Harland at East Devon Golf Club, was, as usual, well attended. Several members even competed in the golf match. Both the standard and quantity of the jokes are improving. An evening to be recommended for both players and non-player and spouses. This year’s event is on the 20th.July.

Trafalgar Service:
Yet another well organised and well attended event. The Lessons were read by Lieutenant General Sir David Capewell KCB and Rear Admiral Tim Lowe.It was attended by a Deputy Lord Lieutenant and the High Sheriff and representatives from BRNC, HMS Raleigh, HMS Vivid and Exeter and Exmouth Sea Cadets among others. The address was given by the Venerable Ian Wheatley, Chaplain to the Fleet.

Exeter City:
At the invitation of the Lord Mayor, I represented the Flotilla at the Guild Hall for Armed Forces Day, and, also, at the Remembrance Sunday Service in Northernhay Gardens, where I laid a Wreath on behalf of the Flotilla.
At the invitation of the Lord Mayor Trevor Waddington attended the event at the Guild Hall, and then the Service in the Cathedral, to commemorate the 75th.anniversary of the Battle of the Java Sea. This was organised by the HMS Exeter Association. Our member Sir Mark Stanhope took the salute at the March Past.

Annual Dinner:
The principal guests were Rear Admiral Tim Lowe and Mrs Linda Lowe. Following the usually excellent meal organised by Sally Barlow in the dining room and her husband, Steve, in the Galley, Rear Admiral Tim gave an interesting and entertaining speech on the workings of the Hydrographic Office.
Many thanks to Angus Atherton for organising this event and the accompanying Royal Marine Drums and Bugles before the meal and the quintet during dinner.

Sea Cadets:
We continue to maintain our links with the Sea Cadets, particularly Exmouth Sea Cadets especially now their Commanding Officer and Chaplain have both joined the Flotilla. I attended their Admiralty Inspection and the opening (by Sir Mark Stanhope) of their splendid new Headquarters.

Conclusion:
I can only repeat what my predecessor wrote that, once again, it has been a full and interesting year for the Flotilla. My thanks all the members of the Committee who have aided and guided me through my second year as Chairman, and all the members who attended the lectures, helped with projectors and furniture removal!

Christopher Seaton
Chairman
March 2017.

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