The 2011 RM Band Reunion
by Tony Oliver
Please forward any of your own collection from the weekend.

Dear Readers,

If you're reading this I have managed to get it passed by our esteemed editor Dickie Valentine. I suppose you could say I am biased about the Band Service re-union having missed just one year out of 27, but having done so I can probably give a good indication to what makes a good 'bash' and what doesn't.

As for this year I can say that the decision to hold it in the HMS Nelson gymnasium was a master stroke. If anyone wanted to be picky I suppose the lighting could have been better illuminated when going to and from the stands from where our audience watched the Junior Band display and a bit more seating for the social part of the evening would have been appreciated also. However, small points, but they did not deflect from the success of the evening.

Wasn't it great to be served by the Bandmasters class who actually looked as if they were enjoying themselves, bringing back fond memories of years gone by in Deal, and if I toasted absent friends more times than I should have, it's because pussers rum should not be left un-drunk. (Thanks Roger Hollingsworth) The turn-out was very good, over 200 attended and the comments were all very positive. The decision to reverse the plan for a one day re-union turned out to be a very good one. Dickie Valentine (my good pal) allowed me to share a room with him and as such I was bombarded with what can only be described as a SNORING MACHINE!

Every year I always anticipate seeing a face I haven't seen for years, last year Adrian Brett joined us and once again this year. In addition, Mike Howarth (Zoonie) joined us. Mike is a very funny man and it was great to see him on very good form, especially as he posed as resident photographer in the cathedral. Well done ZOOMIE! The display by the Junior Band was good but not quite as good as last year and how many of you spotted the absence of a Euphonium?

Sunday morning and the orchestra in the cathedral was 'OK'. Congratulations must go to the musician who played the Bruch - Adagio, my apologies I never did catch her name! I would also like to thank all the people who attended from overseas especially Pat Travis, (Australia) Mike Hickman (Spain) and of course Dickie Valentine (USA) and a pat on the back for Bill Callow for making us so welcome at the RMA at Eastney on Sunday afternoon, as he does every year.

I would like to make a mention of our good friend 'Fletch' who is battling cancer with a very positive attitude and I understand the early signs are very promising for a recovery. Our thoughts are with you dear friend. A great week end was topped off by Jeremy Tugwood finding out where the bar is! My turn next year Jem!

If you are one of persons who 'don't do reunions' I urge you to give it a go, you won't regret it.

Tony O.

Please read Jem Tugwood's recollection linked at the top of the page.

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