EXETER FLOTILLA

 

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING  8TH.MAY 2018

 

CHAIRMAN’S REPORT

 

 

The Membership:

Once again I have to report a drop in membership. Over the past year we have lost 16 members for a variety of reasons, we will be remembering those who Crossed the Bar at start of our AGM.

We currently have 172 members. This past year we have had 4 members join us. I do urge all members to the step up the recruiting, I am sure that none of us want the Flotilla to disappear as London did.

The Committee:

An enormous amount of work is done by your Committee, without which the Flotilla would not function. I am most appreciative of all that is 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. This year Angus Atherton is standing down as Treasurer, a role he has held for 10 years, we are very fortunate to have a volunteer, Ian Yule, to take over that position. Angus will remain on the Committee for the time being to act as Liaison with the Camp. Trevor Waddington’s term as Trafalgar Secretary was supposed to end this year, but, for family reasons, his appointed successor, Michael Croxford is moving later this year out of our immediate area. Trevor has agreed to remain in post for this year, but we do urgently need an understudy to take over. Our Secretary’s post has been temporarily filled (very ably) by the Chairman elect, James Luard. It is not really satisfactory that he should have to fulfil both functions.

The Lecture Programme:

The lecturer evenings are the backbone of the Flotilla meetings this year. I trust that the subjects have provided subjects of interest to many. All have been very well attended. Subjects covered were: The Exeter Ship Canal by Earl Connolly; Trinity House by Captain Roger Francis MN; Martin Roper brought us up to date on the World Land Speed Record ‘Bloodhound’ project; Colonel Tony de Reya RM covered the NATO training mission in Afghanistan; Captain Christopher Williams covered Ice Sailing (which I unfortunately missed); Commodore Andrew Burns presented our always eagerly awaited Patron’s Lecture.

My ever-grateful thanks go to Dita Dixon, our Lecturer Secretary, for all her efforts in arranging a most interesting programme. We have been very lucky this year that CTCRM has been available for all our lectures. My thanks go to the Mess Staff there for being so helpful.

HMS Defender:

The Commanding Officer has been appointed, he is Commander Richard Hewitt and he was appointed MBE in the New Year’s Honours.

 

Annual Lunch:

Our principal guests were the Commandant, Colonel Mike Tanner and WO1(RSM) Doug Davitt. The Flotilla Guests were Lieutenant Dick Trafford & Sheila. After lunch Colonel Tanner and Doug Davitt gave an excellent presentation in the Anti-room

 

Visit to HMS RALEIGH

At the invitation of Captain Ellie Ablett a visit was arranged by Gerald Newton. The group was met at the entrance and briefed on the days programme, coffee, presentation and tours. An excellent lunch was served.

After lunch we were escorted to the drill shed to witness a “ wet-routine” passing out parade performed with exemplary drill and enthusiasm.  Prizes were awarded and received with pride..  On dispersal we were able to thank the First Lieutenant, Lt Cdr Chris Hogg who despite his demanding day had ensured that we received the best of attention throughout our visit.

Acting as Chairman, Trevor Waddington succeeded in calling on Ellie Ablett to thank her for our visit and also to brief her on Sir Walter Raleigh’s birthplace, East Budleigh plans for 2018 ‘Raleigh 400’   .

 

Annual Golf Competition and Summer Dinner:

This excellent event, organised by Robert Harland at East Devon Golf Club, was, as usual, well attended. Unfortunately, due to unforseem circumstances the golf match did not take place. However, the evening was most congenial with good food matched and punctuated by a flow of amusing jokes from Robert. It is an evening to be recommended for both players and non-player and spouses. This year’s event on Thursday 19th. July.

 

Trafalgar Service:

Yet another well organised and well attended event. The Lessons were read by Rear Admiral John Clink CBE and Brigadier Graeme Fraser MBE RM. It was attended by the 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 Very Reverend Dr David Ison, Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral

 

Exeter City:

At the ivitation 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.

Trevor Waddington represented the Flotilla at the Dining Out of Commodore Jamie Miller on his retirement as Regional Naval Officer and at the Civic lunch to welcome Commander Richard Hewitt as C.O. of HMS Defender.

 

Annual Dinner:

The principal guest was Commodore Annette Picton. Following the usually excellent meal oranised by Sally Barlow in the dining room and her husband, Steve, in the Galley, Commodore Annette gave an interesting and entertaining speech on the Centuary of the WRNS and her experiences.

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 particularly now their Commanding Officer and Chaplain have both joined the Flotilla. Trevor Waddington represented the Flotilla at their Annual Prize Giving.

 

Conclusion:

Again it has been a full and interesting year for the Flotilla. I thanks all the members of the Committee who have aided and guided me through my final year as Chairman, and all the members who attended the lectures, helped with projectors and furniture removal! I reiterate the need for members to aid with recruiting and,also, to put themselves forward to serve on the Committee.

 

Christopher Seaton

Chairman

March 2018.