ADELAIDE REUNION 2017
Eleven exRMBs attended with wives and partners plus representing his Father as usual was Steve Adkins. Steve's father, B/Cpl. Raymon West, now in his early nineties, is unable to attend due to his poor health and the distance needed to travel. Raymon will be remembered by some as the ships "official" photographer while in the Med. Fleet Band. Steve was accompanied by his wife Jan.
Another regular attendee at our reunions and representing the HMS Ganges Association was Derek Ernst accompanied by his wife Judith.
We have tried over the years to get a venue that is convenient for all who attend. Our present location is ten minutes from the Airport, five minutes walk from the shops if needed, two minutes from the beach and less than a minute from accommodation to the Restaurant and Bar, but change is being disscussed at some length as some are dissatisfied with the present venue and a search for something "better" is underway for 2019, giving those who are doing the searching plenty of time to realise that to organize these events is not that easy.
As a result of this it was decided the next Australian Reunion of Ex RMBs will be on the first weekend of MAY 2018, still at the present venue, being Gleneleg, Adelaide, South Australia. We have found our reunion always clashes with 'Mountbatten Festival of Music and or Easter and school holidays.
Brian O'Kane, now of course LT. Royal Australian Navy, kindly brought along enough CDs of the RAN Band to give "freely" to all in attendance. One of the CDs had been composed by PO Martyn Hancock, 'A Maritime Symphony" and is a brilliant composition.
Brian at my request represented the PDM, by reading the letter the PDM forwarded to me. The contents were well received and many good wishes were voiced for the PDM's retirement. Disapointment was also expressed that the PDM was unable to attend as he had hoped he would manage prior to his retirement.
Distance and costs have always been a factor for some who have wished to attend over the last twelve years and been unable to do so. Health, of course, is also part of the equation as none of us are getting any younger.
Of course one thing always looked forward to is "Paddy's Poem". and this duly arrived in time. Paddy Semple [Ireland] and his mate Ray Watts [England] attended a number of our reunions over the years and Paddy always composed his poem for the occasion. Due to ill health over the last few years Paddy has been unable to make the journey to be with us, however his poem always arrives as promised. The poem is always read to the gathering by none other than the "Irishman from Macclesfield", Barrie Baker.
It is sad to note, from commencement of our reunion in 2004 we have lost eleven exRMBs who have at some time joined us. Max Beare from New Zealand who died in October 2016 had been a frequent attendee along with his old mate Joe Simms who, we were advised, passed away on the day after our recent reunion. They had joined up together and there numbers are three apart, RMB/X2234 and RMB/X2231.
Reminders of our 2018 reunion will be sent out in due course however anyone interested be in touch with myself or Bob Chumley.
back row left to right
Adkins [son of Raymon West] Martyn Hancock [presently with RAN Band]
Mike Thompson, Roger Walker, Syd Pavitt,
front row left to right
Bob Chumley, Derek Ernst [HMS Ganges Association] Eric Hayward, Barrie Baker, Tony Oberdries, John Meir [who provided photo]