It is with great sadness that I have to report the passing of several of our Deal RMA members over recent months. Col Sgt Francis John Cowdray the 22nd October 2019; Peter ‘Tiny’ Taylor, Musician on the 19th November and Alan ‘Hooky’ Walker Musician, on the 20th December. Both Tiny and Hooky were active in the Sgt Mess Panto which takes place in January every year for charity, and will be a loss to the cast and audience alike. Philip ‘Dusty’ Miller, Marine also crossed the bar on the 20th December. Dusty was a Trustee of the RMA, a committee member, our Standard Bearer and a stalwart of the branch and club activities. All will be sadly missed by branch and club members.
The RMA standard was presented by Dusty at a number of remembrance services over recent months. The Service at Dover Cruise Terminal Western Docks was held on the 8th November at the memorial in memory of the Railway men who lost their lives in the Great War, and those who gave their lives in WW2. There were two annual Remembrance Services; on the 10th November at Deal and Walmer Hospital, where there was an excellent turnout of RMA members with both Royal Marine and Wrens contingents on parade. A service of Remembrance was also held on the 11th November at the War Grave Memorial in Hamilton Road Cemetery in Deal. There were also a significant number of children at both services which was a pleasure to see. As always refreshments were provided afterwards back at the RMA arranged by Sue Cornish Club Stewardess. Several of our branch former RMBS members also went travelled to the Cenotaph, forming part of the RMA group at the national service of Remembrance.
The 2019 Corps Dinner was held on the 31st October in the main club room, supported partly by a grant from the RMA-TRMC . The evening started with floodlit drum beatings on Walmer Green by the Dover Sea Cadets Band, closely followed by a formal dinner where wine and port flowed freely. Lt Colonel Jason Burcham from the RM Band Service took the salute on conclusion of the drum display, and the evening concluded with him giving an excellent address to the gathering.
The RMA branch and club AGMs took place at the end of October where lively debates took place on a variety of issues, and all management and committee posts were filled with some new and enthusiastic volunteers.
Activities at the RMA continue to attract both branch and club members. A new members evening was arranged for those who have joined the club or branch in the past 6 months to allow them to meet other members and get to know the facilities on offer and was a great success - this will now be repeated at regular intervals. Branch members were also invited to attend the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London in November arranged by Andy Merry our own Deal Tower Warder – they joined RMA Romford members there and attendees were then invited to the bar at the Tower at the end of the evening.
On Wednesday the 11th December the RMA had the first ‘Veterans Mess Tins and Banter’ event. This one year project is has been developed in conjunction with Dover District Council funded by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund. It is a free monthly breakfast open to all local veterans and the event attracted veterans from the Army, Royal Marines and Navy, including former Wrens who served or live in Deal. Representatives from the council and SSAFA were on hand to provide advice or support if needed. These breakfasts will now continue on the second Wednesday of each month throughout this year (photo attached).
Christmas events have also been taking place , including a children’s party, Christmas lunches, a very successful Christmas raffle and New Year’s Eve Live Band in the club.
Tracie Thomas – RMA Committee