Mess Night – Tuesday 12 October 2021

Hello Shipmates

Mess Night is fast approaching – why not join us for a fun presentation by Fiona Dodds who will be telling us the ‘Confessions of a Nurse’, next Tuesday 12 October at 1930 for a 2000 start.

Candy will provide a wonderful supper of Cobbler – Beef Mince and Dumplings – followed by a dessert of her choice – sounds delicious!

It would be very helpful if you could let Pauline Chalk know if you would like to eat (by replying to the email that she has sent to you), this will give Candy some idea of the number to cater for.

We hope to see you there.

Mess Night – Tuesday 14 September 2021

Hello Shipmates

Our next Mess Night is fast approaching.

Shipmate Gareth Peaston will be giving a presentation about his seafaring days. Supper will be sausage and mash with peas and gravy – sounds delicious!

Please bring any remaining returns for the Trafalgar Night Dinner, and any raffle donations will be appreciated at Mess Night.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Mess Night – 10 August 2021

Hello Shipmates,

Our next Mess Night is on Tuesday 10 August 7.30pm for 8pm start.

Our speaker is Keith Partridge talking about ‘Wild Life of The New Forest’, and the supper is Beef Cobbler with a sweet of Candy’s choice.

Promises to be an interesting evening.

We look forward to seeing you all.

Merchant Navy Day and National Conference 2021

Merchant Navy Day – 3 September 2021

Merchant Navy Day is celebrated on 3 September, and is intended to raise public awareness of the UK’s ongoing dependance on seafarers, and the huge contribution they have made during our times of crisis.

Why not come along to the front of the Barrington Centre at 11am to show your support, and see the Red Ensign hoisted by our Vice President Gareth Peaston, supported by local dignitaries. The Red Ensign will also be flown at our Branch Headquarters, St Leonards and St Ives Club.

Change of National Conference Date to 4 September 2021

In light of the ongoing Covid crisis and the restrictions this poses on gatherings of any kind, the decision has been made to push the date of the 2021 National Conference to Saturday 4th September, in the hope that there is a much better chance of it taking place.

The venue remains the same as originally planned for 2021 – The Crowne Plaza, Wollaton Street, Nottingham.

The new Conference booking form has been distributed with the February Issue of Semaphore Circular, and can also be found on the members area of the RNA website at https://royal-naval-association.co.uk/members/downloads/conference.

Prices range from £106.50 pp for a 1 day stay to 4 nights at £224, these prices include the cost of the Gala Night Dinner.

We understand that many Shipmates will be disappointed that we have had to reschedule the conference once again, but we hope you all understand the reason behind this decision. We are really looking forward to coming together once again and celebrating the end of such a difficult period, in true RNA fashion.

Mess Night – 13 July 2021

Hello Shipmates,

Our July Mess Night will be held at our HQ St Leonards and St Ives Club on Tuesday 13 July at 19.30 for 20.00 start.

We will be holding a quiz night followed by one of Candy’s lovely spreads; Cottage Pie followed by Gateau – sounds delicious!

We still need to follow Covid Rules so please bring your face mask for use when moving around the club.  It can be removed whilst sitting at your table, where you will receive table service.

Don’t forget your pen and paper.

We look forward to seeing you.

Mess Night – Tuesday 8 June 2021

Hello Shipmates

Just a reminder that we are holding our first Mess Night for some time on Tuesday 8 June 2021, at 1930 for 2000 start.

We will be having a presentation by our Vice Chairman, Shipmate Ralph Dodds, followed by a raffle.

Due to Covid regulations we are unable to provide food, and you will still have to wear a mask when moving around the club, but the mask can be removed when seated.

Drinks will be delivered to tables which seats groups of 4 (2 households).

We do hope you can join us and take this opportunity to meet up with friends.

Best wishes to you all.

Shipmate Mick Arnold MBE stands down as Branch Chairman

Shipmate Mick Arnold MBE

The Ferndown and District Branch is sad to report that our long serving Chairman, S/M Mick Arnold MBE, has been forced to stand down due to a medical condition, though he will continue as a Member.

S/M Mick joined our Branch at its Commissioning on 7th March, 1980, (41 years), joined the Committee in 1986, and in the same year became Branch Delegate to No. 4 Area. Shortly after he was elected to the No. 4 Area Committee, then served as Area Secretary from 1999 to 2019, (20 years). From 2000 until 2019 he served as Secretary/Treasurer of the No. 4 Area Reunion Committee, which for many years has been held in Bideford. For services to the RNA S/M Mick has been awarded as Life Vice President and Life Member of Area 4.

S/M Mick was elected Ferndown and District Branch Chairman on three occasions, 1994 to 1996, 2000 to 2002 and finally 2012 to 2021, totalling 13 years. During the latter period he arranged for three Members to be presented with their Legion d’Honneur in Nelson’s cabin on-board H.M.S. Victory, by former First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Jonathon Band GCB, and a further Member received the Legion d’Honneur at our Branch Headquarters in 2019.

S/M Mick was a member of the ‘Algerines Association’ for many years. In addition, he was our Area 4 point of contact with the ‘Not Forgotten Association’ for over 20 years. S/M Mick was also the County Chairman and Vice President of the Royal British Legion and awarded the Royal British Legion Gold Badge. For Services to the Community of Ferndown he was awarded the MBE in the 2004 New Year’s Honours list.

This year S/M Bob Stanyard has succeeded S/M Arnold MBE as Branch Chairman.

From the new Chairman: “What shoes to fill.

A pillar of society, S/M Mick was a Councillor, and twice the Mayor of Ferndown, along with other social positions of merit within the Dorset Masonic Order.

S/M Mick Arnold has been a huge credit to our Branch and I am so pleased that he and his lovely wife Jean will still be members. I was going to say “Job Done” but no doubt his knowledge and experience will be called upon.

Well done Chairman and thank you Shipmate, thank you for your excellent service.”

Funeral of The Duke of Edinburgh – Saturday 17 April 2021

On Saturday 17 April 2021, The Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral took place at Windsor Castle.

To show the respect of our Shipmates for HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, it was felt appropriate to fly our Ensigns at both Branch HQ at St Leonards and St Ives Ex Services Club, and Ferndown Village Hall.

Then, in true RNA fashion, Shipmates were encouraged to ‘raise a tot’ to The Duke after the one minute’s silence had taken place.

More information about The Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral can be found on The Royal Family’s website.

The death of the Duke of Edinburgh – a statement from our National President

Duke of Edinburgh

I know I speak on behalf of all Shipmates in expressing deep sadness on hearing that His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh has crossed the bar.

Today, I have written to Her Majesty The Queen, our Patron, to offer heartfelt condolences from us all.

After serving this country on the front line during the Second World War, Prince Philip demonstrated extraordinary dedication and determination, and an unwavering commitment to duty, in supporting Her Majesty The Queen throughout the decades of her reign.

The Duke of Edinburgh has been associated with the Royal Navy and the wider Naval community for more than 80 years, both through his service and through his support for the Naval Service and Naval charities and veterans’ organisations. Shipmates of the Royal Naval Association have a particular affinity for this distinguished Royal Navy veteran.

Together we mourn the loss of a man who has been a feature of our national life for more than seven decades, and for whom we feel deep affection and respect.

John McAnally