Minutes of West Dereham Royal British Legion – September meeting

Chairman: Peter Starling

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of West Dereham Branch held at the Village Hall
Sunday 9 September 2018 at 12.00 pm
Members present (17):
Peter Starling (PS) – Chairman
Pam Bullas (PB)
David Bullas (DB)
Claire Cann (CC)
Nick Cann (NC) – Secretary
Mary Darton (MD)
Pearl Dossett (PDo)
Heather Foy (HF)
Tom Foy (TF) – Standard Bearer
Richard French (RF) – CSO (Welfare)
Paula Kellingray (PK) – Poppy Appeal Co-ord
June Kellingray (JK)
Doug Lawson (DL)
Fred Lucas (FL) – Downham Market & District Branch 0635
Pam Walker (PW)
Jack Walker (JW) – Vice Chairman
Claire Williams (CW) & Simon
Also present: Phyllis French
Minutes
1. The Chairman opened the West Dereham Branch’s Annual General Meeting at the end of its fourth year in existence. The words of the fourth verse of Robert Laurence Binyon’s poem: ‘For the Fallen’ were read out by the Chairman. Apologies for absence had been received from: Alexander Cann, Peter Darton, Dick Elmer, Maureen Elmer, Lorraine Hunt (Treas), Judith Lawson, Frances McMenemy, Michael McMenemy, Judy Moon, Laurence Moon, Jean Starling, Alice Warby. (12)

2. Minutes of the meeting 10 June 2018. The minutes of the meeting held 10 June 2018 had been circulated previously. There had been no requests for amendments. The Chairman asked for these minutes to be accepted as a true record. This was proposed by JW, seconded by FL and approved unanimously. The Chairman signed the minutes.

3. Matters Arising from last Meeting’s Minutes. (i) Item 3 – Bonnett’s commissioned Ironwork brazier – The Battle’s Over – Lights of Hope. This ‘beacon’ has been made and was ready for collection and installation. Parish Council representatives were required to mark the spot where it should be sited in the cemetery. NC had spoken with Nick Drew who had agreed to provide the work force from West Dereham Plant to install the beacon (of light) without charge and before the end of September. Nick D was thanked for this contribution from West Dereham Plant towards the Village’s Centenary events. (ii) Item 6 – GP 90 and Tom & Heather’s visit to Ypres. This was a talk on the Grand Pilgrimage given by Tom at the end of the meeting. Using photographs – with Heather on the laptop, the sheer scale of the occasion became obvious and was riveting for those in the audience. There were over 3,000 Legion members present with 1,250 Standards. Over the two days prior to the Grand Parade on 8 August, those in Ypres had been divided into groups and transported by coaches (with guides) to tour the main battlefields and CWGC cemeteries. Crosses of Remembrance were planted by Tom and Heather at the Menin Gate Memorial (George Clark) which records 55,000 names of those missing (in the Ypres salient), the Thiepval Memorial (Albert Delderfield and Reginald Merrison) recording the names of 75,000 missing (Battle of the Somme) and Tyne Cot Memorial (Passchendaele) at Zonnebeke (Ivor Callaby) recording 35,000 missing . The museums at Zonnebeke and Cloth Hall were visited along with Sanctuary Wood. The final march and parade on 8 August followed the route from Ypres Railway Station to the front line past the Cloth Hall in the town centre and on to the Menin Gate. The salute was taken by HE Alison Rose, British Ambassador to Belgium, Gen The Lord Richards of Herstmonceux GCB CBE DSO, the former Chief of the Defence Staff, and Mr Charles Byrne, Director General of the RBL. Tom showed members the new ‘scroll of honour’ ‘Ypres 2018’ now fitted onto the Branch Standard. Tom and Heather received rousing applause at the end of their talk.
4. Secretary’s Report. NC reported on Membership of the branch which now stood at 30. This figure included Laurence (Lol) Moon and Fred Lucas. One member from Stoke Ferry had left the RBL and there were 3 possible candidates for membership.

5. Treasurer’s Report. NC reported on behalf of the Treasurer. This was the third full year for independently audited branch accounts (as at 30 June) to be submitted to HQ Norfolk County (by 30 September). NC said the balance held in the Lloyds Bank current account had hardly changed since the last meeting and stood at just over £1,500. A sum was still due to Bonnetts who, to date, had been paid 50% of the cost of the brazier (manufacture cost @ £420 + VAT with installation @ £150 + VAT). The largest donation received in FY 2017-18 had come to the branch via Paula who secured a £400 donation from the charity ‘Music in Country Churches’ for her work carried out with them. Paula confirmed that another cheque for £400.00 had recently been passed to the Treasurer (LH). A vote of thanks was called for Paula by the Chairman which was passed by everyone. TF confirmed the payment required for the Standard’s new scroll of honour.

6. Appointment of Officers for 2018-19. The Secretary confirmed that no branch officer had declined service to the Branch for the forthcoming year, 2018-19. The following were subsequently elected:
6.1 Chairman: Peter Starling was re-appointed.
6.2 Vice-Chairman: Jack Walker was re-appointed.
6.3 Branch Secretary (including Membership): Nick Cann was re-appointed.
6.4 Treasurer: Lorraine Hunt was re-appointed.
6.5 Responsible Officer (finance): Jack Walker was re-appointed.
6.6 Poppy Appeal Co-ordinator: Paula Kellingray was re-appointed.
6.7 Standard Bearer: Tom Foy was re-appointed.
6.8 Deputy Standard Bearer: Paula Kellingray was re-appointed.
6.9 Community Support Officer (Welfare): Richard French was re-appointed.
The Chairman, Peter Starling, made a statement. He referred to his age and the 62 years he had been a member of the RBL (applause) and his father before him, as Secretary of the West Dereham Branch. He asked to be relieved of his duties and responsibilities as Chairman following events on 11 November 2018. Jack W proposed that, on his retirement, Peter should become the branch’s Hon President. This proposal was seconded by Fred L and approved nem con. In due course a replacement as Chairman would be sought.

7. Community Support (welfare). RF spoke of the recent death of Rob Stannard of Lime Kiln Road. It was suggested that Judith Stannard might like to become a branch member and perhaps Mike & Fran could suggest this to her.

8. Branch Activity: ‘Here But Not Here’ – Sunday 14 October 2018. NC advised members of the 10 seated perspex figures which had received from the charity ‘There But Not There’. An example was on display. 6 more figures were required at £42 each. These had now been donated by Nick Drew, N&C, PS, J&P W and two benefactors in Downham. An idea to provide oak bases for each of these was discussed. On Sunday 14 October, from 11.30 am until 3.00 pm, a Commemorative event would be held in the Village Hall. To begin, there would be a presentation of two 40 minute sessions separated by a 10 minute break. This Presentation would relate to the centenary of the Armistice in 1918. Interspersed through the war years, 1914-1918, chronologically, are the details of our 16 villagers who died. There are film clips, some WW1 poetry and WW1 songs included. Guests invited are from 48 Fighter Wing USAF (RAF Lakenheath), RAF Marham and Downham Detachment Norfolk Army Cadets. The Presentation will be followed at 1.00 pm by a finger buffet lunch (£5 a head). Bring along a friend. For seating in the auditorium and for catering purposes please advise Nick of numbers coming. This event should not to be missed.

9. Any Other Business. (i) Branch Standard. TF gave details of various events he had attended with the Branch Standard since the last meeting. These included branches having new Standards dedicated, the Royal Norfolk Show and a funeral in Littleport. On 16 Sep, he would be participating in the County Standard Bearers’ Competition. (After note: Well done ~Tom, bronze medal for coming 3rd .) TF said in future, whenever attending an event with the Branch Standard, the WD Branch Chairman/ Secretary must be advised beforehand. He presented a poppy collecting box for fund-raising at the Village Hall. (ii) Next Meeting. The next meeting will be held on Sunday 11 November (Remembrance Sunday), Armistice Centenary, with RV at the War Memorial at 10.50 am. After the Church Service, the village’s 7th Remembrance Day lunch will be held in the Village Hall at 1.00 pm. At 7.00 pm the ‘Lights of Peace’ beacons will be lit across the UK. Information will be published in the Parish magazine.

10. Closure. The Chairman thanked everyone for attending. He closed the meeting at 1.10 pm. 17 members attended the light buffet lunch. The raffle raised £110; payments for lunch (£3) was £51, a donation of £10 received from MD, and 4 payments received for perspex figures.

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Peter Starling, Chairman date

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