Adelaide Reunion 2005
by Michael Thompson

Dear Richard,

What a sensational weekend I had in Adelaide. I met people that served during my time and some that were way before.

Bob Chumley and Eric HaywardBoth Bob and Carol Chumley and Eric and Jan Hayward did a fantastic job of getting the inaugural RMB Australia reunion off the ground. As you can appreciate we live in a rather large country and getting as many to attend as they could was miraculous to say the least.

Five people came from New Zealand, what a tremendous effort; some of us from Victoria and the rest were from South Australia.
Unfortunately there were people missing which was a shame, but I'm sure when they find out about us then they might be inspired to attend the next one.

There was a lot of bantering of old times they all shared, recollections and photographs were plentiful. I watched as the, more senior, members swapped stories and shared moments they remembered when they served with the RMB. Eric Hayward was saying that when he joined there were 32 RM Bands.

Tom Lambert and Maxie BeareTom Lambert, who by the way is 77 and still, conducting a local orchestra even after serious illnesses, could virtually rattle off all the names of the bands, and some. I must be honest I was the youngest one there, at a meager 53, and felt quite proud that I also was the sole representative the Corps of Drums, albeit I did turn musician in 1980.

Friday was the initial meeting and on Saturday we had a more formal lunch on board HMS Buffalo. Bob Chumley, who started the Sea Cadet Unit T.S. Noarlunga, (I hope I've spelt that OK,) organized for us to be piped on board as we crossed the brow.

Grace was said by ex Bandmaster/Lt RNZ Navy Band Garry Brownrigg, and the inaugural toast was by Tom Lambert, who proposed a toast to those musicians that lost their lives at the hands of the IRA. A great time was had by all and I look forward to meeting more at the next Australian RMB Reunion.

What a wonderful world we live in and what wonderful Esprit de Corps we all have.

Yours Aye

Michael Thompson


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