FOREWORD

                           Lieutenant Commander Keith Davies

 

                                    State of the Association

                                   Presidents Address 2015

 

Another year has passed by since I last sat down to compose the annual State of the Association address.  My fourth full year as your president seems to have flown past and our 11th reunion and AGM was reasonably well supported, but after listening to your comments  during the AGM, a June  reunion has been booked at a new venue the Aztec Hotel in Bristol, 26/27/28 June 2015, the mid year seems popular with most of our members to look forward to, so if you have not already made your reservation, then may I suggest to avoid disappointment, you do it very soon.

We have sadly seen several of members “pass over the bar” all will be missed greatly and a particularly huge loss to the Association were those of Joe Cross and Barry Dunn. Our membership numbers still continue to decline, but we would very much like to see our association membership numbers increase, so please try to encourage anyone you know, not already a member, to join our association and anyone who is already a member and doesn’t normally attend the reunions to join us at our next reunion in June.

This year we have a general election in May and Defence spending is likely to suffer yet again, but the call on our servicemen and servicewomen continues. Afghanistan has gone, but Iraq is looming  and of course our Medics are fighting the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and we now have more servicemen and women in Africa than Afghanistan. HMS Illustrious has gone, but she may avoid the fate of her sister ships and become a floating museum in Portsmouth? This leaves just HMS Ocean until the first of the new aircraft carriers enter service in 2016, hopefully by then  we will have aircraft to fly from them.  The second carrier may now enter service after all, but I am very sceptical on that issue. We are now seeing the effects of service redundancies and the proposals to replace  regular service personnel with a larger Territorial Force, driven by financial savings,  are starting to come back and haunt our politicians and their advisors.

The current financial situation seems to be at long last improving and the outlook for the near future seems better, but there is still a long way to go.   

Finally, I would like to thank and acknowledge your committee members for all their continuing hard work and enthusiasm and to them and of course to all our loyal association members. I would like to extend my very best wishes to you all and your loved ones for a Happy, Healthy, Peaceful and Prosperous New Year for 2015.

 

17 January 2015