July/Aug 2019

Bob Davies writes:

We begin this report with the sad news that our former Vice President, Capt Jack McNulty RM crossed the bar on the morning of 13 July 2019 at the grand age of 94. Jack was a long time member of the Branch, a man who was liked and respected by all and he will be sorely missed. Never was the expression ‘an officer and a gentleman’ more appropriate than when used to describe this fine man. ‘Rest in peace Royal, your duty’s done’.

Several members, including ‘Dusty’ Miller, Gerry Bowers, Chris Wiltshire, Ben Stones and Andy Merry attended this year’s Graspan Parade in London on 12 May.  They reported that there appeared to be an increase in those attending, which is very good news.  The reception in the UJC was excellent as usual and they all enjoyed the buffet and catching up with many old friends and oppos.

A very special service in St Mary’s Church was held at 1800hrs on Sunday 19 May to mark the 100 years since the closing of the WWI Walmer Aerodrome, which was situated behind Walmer Castle and where a memorial plaque has been placed.  Several members attended to represent our Branch.

Many members travelled to Dover Cruise Terminal on the afternoon of Sunday 2 June to send the D-Day Veterans off on their way to Normandy aboard the liner MV ‘Boudicca’. A wonderful occasion full of emotion and pride in what they did for us all on 6 June 1944.

On Saturday 15 June the local Breast Cancer Charity event, the ‘Clifftop Challenge’ ended on Walmer Green with one of the runners, Branch member and almoner Gary Moore, finishing in true Bootneck fashion, if not a little out of breath!  The club opened its doors for anyone to use our facilities with a suggested voluntary donation of £1, and in doing so raised £468 for the RMC.  We send a big thank you to all those who gave up their time to man the doors during the day.

It’s an odd conundrum that although our number of Branch and club members continues to increase the numbers using the club on a regular basis seems to be falling! In an effort to find out why, and to get some ideas how to increase the use of our premises, a temporary suggestion box has been placed in the bar area and we await the opening to see what members have to say.  In the meantime the club committee have arranged over the last month, a Saturday night live group, with basket meals available, an afternoon tea session with fresh cream cakes and a cuppa, a book sale and an ‘Epsom’ race night, where members were encouraged to dress up for a day at the races. We await discussion on these events and more at the next Branch meeting.  

At 1030hrs on Monday 24 June Bob represented the Branch at the raising of the Armed Forces Week Flag on the mast next to the War Memorial to the side of Dover Town Hall. After a short service and reflections on our Forces now and in the past, the flag was raised to the Bugle calls given by a former member of the Royal Artillery. The event concluded with tea and biscuits in the council offices.  We now look forward to Armed Forces Day itself, which here in Deal which will be held on Sunday 30 June on the apron of Deal Pier. Full report in the next edition.

With some regret this will be my last report for the G&L Magazine, as it’s now time to hand over my ‘quill’ to someone new and fresh.  It’s been an honour over the last eight years or so to report on some of the activities of our Branch and club and to mark the crossing of the bar of many loyal members.  I wish all members of the RMA and to everyone involved with the production of our excellent magazine every success in the future.  OAMAAM.