Page 128 - The Chapka 2016
P. 128

   John and Sylvia Nicholas with a fine bunch from RE 33 EOD Lady Susan Tunnicliffe with Alison Farnham
Canterbury South East Branch (Omdurman Troop)
Following on from our frenetic year of 2015 last year, 2016, was for the Troop taken at a gentler pace. Possibly more suited to our average age and mobility!! Troop attendance was maintained
at association dinners in Blackpool and Nottingham, the Cav- alry Memorial Parade, Wreath laying in Canterbury Cathedral, Cavalry Sunday at the Royal Hospital Chelsea and the Christmas lunch at the Union Jack Club. However, as we all know these things cost money in travel and attendance so all in all we man- aged a respectable level of attendance at OCA functions. A big thank you to all those who were able to take part.
It is sad to report that due to work commitments and a move of house and location Bill Gritt, our chairman for the past five years, has had to step down and resigned his post in the au- tumn. Bill, ably supported by his wife Amanda, has overseen our transition from Dover to Maidstone and maintained superbly presented functions throughout. We all owe you both a debt of gratitude, wish you both well in your new positions and hope to see you at our dinners in the years to come.
Our own Branch function was again held in the Grange Moor Hotel in Maidstone but It is sad to report that due to a conflu- ence of sickness, hospitalisation and family bereavements our numbers were down to forty attendees, our lowest for many a year. In addition, sadly due to operational commitments no regimental representative was able to attend. However, the Com-
manding Officer did send a briefing note to our President, Colo- nel William English, which he read out on the Commanding Of- ficer’s behalf. It was pleasing that our President, having returned from his operational tour of duty in the Ukraine, was able to attend and also give us a briefing on this particular geopoliti- cal hotspot. So notwithstanding low numbers those who made it had a cracking evening.
A special note of thanks must be given to Tony and Dolores Cun- ningham of Dublin who, whilst unable to attend, sent a donation of £100.00 to be used to assist attendance by those who might not otherwise be able to attend. (Held over for 2017). Clive Berg- stand and Judith Barritt attending from the NW Branch. John and Sylvia Nicholas and their posse of RE EOD engineers, RCT and RAF personnel together with Lord Denis Tunnicliffe and his wife. Mrs Jenny Fryer who kindly donated some militaria items from her late husband’s (Bill Fryer Ex-17/21L) collection with which we were able to auction and raise some much-needed funds to assist with our operating costs. New members attending for the first time were Dave Greenslade (Ex-17/21L) and Colo- nel William’s gunner!) Tony Hayes (Ex-12L) and John Hatfield Powell (Ex-9L) - and it was a pleasure to meet you all and we look forward to meeting you again in the future and Kerr Hill for his kind donations to our raffle prize array and for the crates of the ubiquitous Death or Glory ale.
  Frances English with guest Jo Tobin
John (Paddy King), Kerr Hill and Dick Boorman

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