Here is a report of the Reunion of ex RMBs held in Adelaide over the last weekend of March 2014. Some photos are attached for your use if you think they are worth it. [Similar has been sent to Blue Band]

Although our numbers were down we were able to invite some of the Royal Marines Association (Adelaide Branch) to join us for our Tenth Anniversary reunion. Four of their members were able to come along. One member of that group was able to tell tales of the D day Landings on 6th June 1944 as he was a member of 47Cdo RM beach party. I said that it wasn't what I'd call a party. We were told that most RMA branches are closing through lack of numbers so we may be able to assist in future years by including them again.

Anyway we started our reunion proper on the Friday evening with a meet and greet in the dining room of our motel. There was of course much banter and once the bar opened, the memories started to come forth. It is really amazing how time has not dimmed some of the stories that our Band fraternity remember. Tales of Horse Guards, White City, Wembley, Royal Tournaments and of course the Edinburgh Tattoo. I in fact never attended a Royal Tournament until with the RAAF Central Band in 1987 so was unable to relate to any RMB tales of that event. There were of course tales of time at sea something that the Royal Marines Band (Plymouth) now can relate to, even if it was only from Oz to UK. (Only joking chaps)

On the Saturday, with our usual luncheon venue HMS Buffalo now lying disabled, the Official Reunion Luncheon was held in the Dining Room of the Motel. My Partner Jan and Bob Chumley's wife Carol spent the morning setting the tables and what a great job they did too. An attached photo gives some idea of the setting that awaited those dining. All present apreciated their efforts. Lunch was served and there was nothing to complain about the "Chef" who had excelled all expectations. This Motel, although boasting the restaurant, does not normally cater for large groups.

Our ex PDM Jim Mason who of course was able to tell a tale of HMY Britannia and Her Majesty, then proposed the Loyal Toast. It was then my turn to propose the Toast to Absent Friends of which there were many. As there were members of the RMA with us the Toast to "The Corps" was then proposed by MC for the day Bob Chumley.

A change was then made to the usual flow of things.

We have since the first of our Adelaide reunions always received a poem by our "Irish Poet Laureate" Paddy Semple. This has always been read on the Sunday at the BBQ. This year, at Paddy's request it was read at the official lunch on Saturday. In it he was able to name all Sixty Four people who have attended this reunion since it started in 2004. (A copy is added below, and I do hope that it can be included in your next addition) Unfortunately due to ill health Paddy could not attend in person but is optimistic for next year.

I then read a letter from the PDM Royal Marines Band Service, Lt Col Grace OBE RM, outlining the busy time ahead for the Band Service this year being the 350th Anniversary of the Corps. After hearing how busy they are all going to be, we wished them all the very best of luck for it all to be a success. Which of course we know it will be.

Ex RMBs attending this year were Jim Mason from the UK, Barrie (Ginger) Baker, Bob Chumley, Rob (Ginge) Chamberlain, Bill Mathews, Ray (Taff) Taylor, Michael Thompson and Steve Adkins who was attending for his father Raymond West and of course myself. We had some apologies from others who had suffered periods of ill health.

We were sad to receive notice only two days prior to the reunion that serving personnel of RMB who we had hoped would join us, were now not going to be able to attend. Such is the power of the money tree. One can only hope that it may happen some time in the not too distant future. However I must admit I would have been very embarrassed had someone travelled all the way from the UK only to be greeted by such a small number. Organizing these events is always a challenge because you just never know who is going to drop out for what ever reason at the last minute. Age, although not wearying them, certainly sometimes puts unexpected challenges in front of them.

The sad part of the weekend was fast approaching when we gathered by the pool on Sunday for the BBQ lunch. This turned out to be a two course sit down meal with the usual steaks, sausages, chops etc. folllowed by Cheesecake and Trifle. Again our "Chef' did us proud and the staff were asked to come out to receive a vote of thanks. They have agreed to again cater for and play host to our Ex Royal Marines Band Reunion on the last weekend of March 2015.

Mike Thompson, our Bugler/ Director of Music, then surprised us with a Poem he said he had received from persons unknown. It was titled "An Ode To Paddy" by some one called Anonemouse. Now who could that be? No It wasn't Mike and it certainly wasn't me.

Well that's it from sunny Australia till next time.

Eric Hayward

Paddy's Poem. 2014

I hope you're keeping well, said Eric -
and Jan she say's Hello,
I take it with your present health -
this reunion you cannot go
We celebrate our 10th year Paddy -
and your Poem's are quite a blast
Please send another one this year -
naming everyone from the past


I looked at his list of people -
near collapsing on the floor
Including Bob and Carol -
the list had sixtyfour
I thought of Barrie and Sandra -
and the jokes we shared together
Maxie, Ginge, Joe and Ray -
but to rhyme there was no Heather


Colin, Carol, Mike and April -
some names I did not know
Garry, Taff, Ted and Bill -
had they nowhere else to go?
Michael, Maureen, Bill and Sylvia -
not forgetting Kevin and Elaine
Tony, Pat, Vince and Beryl -
with Ralph and Doreen Payne


Still lying on the floor in shock -
I'm not even half way there
I suddenly thought of departed friends -
time to take a chair
I thought of Tom, the Gentleman -
wife Marge, a lady too
the smile from Beryl Archer -
it all came shining through


I remembered Ted, Ken and Bill -
all names coming to the fore
Alan and Hilda Bulley -
they were all part of us and more
Sadly all are now departed -
but never far away
We raise our glasses to salute and toast -
"Our Absent Friends today"


Ray, Jenny, Pat, Moya, Joyce -
Michael, Jan and Ray
Eight of many loyal supporters -
some still attend today
John, Karen, Jim and Sheila -
and the great Drum Major Dan
"Various Naval Representatives" -
who love the Royal Marines Band


Everyone will remember -
Captain Long and Sgt. Snell
We sincerely hope they soon return -
and bring the boss as well
To Steve, Jan, Derek and Judith -
all welcomed in the past
Tom and Marge's daughter Gillian -
tradition and memories last


There's also John and John and John -
and John, I counted four
but please remember this dear friends -
things look different from the floor
I think that's 64 now Eric -
or at least it's 63
But I think I got them all OK -
and I even mentioned me


I hope the reunion runs smooth again -
with everything staying nifty
As you celebrate your 10th year -
and the Corps celebrates 350
I am walking in my garden now -
admiring all the scenery
Reminiscing 50 years ago -
when I played Horseguards for the Tercentenary

Jackie 'Paddy' Semple

Ode to Paddy

As we wind up this reunion, at our Sunday BBQ
there's an eerie presence around us, indeed Paddy it is you
Your Poem was read at Saturday's lunch, instead of here today
according to your instructions, so Master of Ceremonies say

for those who don't believe you're here, as one and all rejoice
they only have to be quiet and they'll hear that Irish voice
saying “great reunion fella's, what's the plans for us next year
for sure as I am Irish, I'll be among you never fear”

Paddy, sure as hell you're here, not in a physical sense
sitting back, listening, laughing, just sitting on the fence
Each and every one of us, has missed you and Ray your mate
Is this the way it's meant to be, indeed, could it be fate

them's the breaks some may be thinking, that certainly isn't so
it is your health and distance, that have kept you rather low
maybe next year if all is well, you'll make it to Aussie land
to once again reminisce, of your times in a Royal Marines Band

if you find you cannot venture far, from your land of the Leprechauns
you know you will be missed, as our twenty fifteen reunion, dawns
you most likely will be thinking of us, as you sit in your Irish home
Paddy dear friend, just don't forget, we'll be counting on, another Paddy's Poem

As we drink your health, be on your way, we know you were among us
the spirit of Paddy is heading home, thinking, why? are they making such a fuss
Some now are wondering were we dreaming, did we really hear him as they reach for another beer
If they believed in Spirit, they'd know dear friend, you always will be here.
Paddy we drink to you, for better health, for your return and thanks for being you.

10th anniv. coaster & decorations

10th anniv. Reunion Table setting

10th anniversay coaster

2014 Reunion placemats

After BBQ Sunday

Barrie Baker

Barrie Baker reads 'Paddy's Poem'

Bill & Sylvia Matthews

Bob Chumley

See full image for names

Colours courtesy RMA

Eric Hayward reads PDM's letter

See full image for names

ex RMB's photo op'

ex RMB's and ex RM's

Group photo

Jenny Taylor (Ray's wife)

Carol (Chumley) with Jim Mason

Jim Mason with Sheila Pearce

Luncheon table setting

Maria (Ginge Chamberlain's partner)

Michael Thompson

Ray and Jenny Taylor

Ray Taylor

RM Drum courtesy of Tom Lambert family

'Ginge' Chamberlain

RM Drum courtesy of Tom Lambert family

Sandra Baker

Settings for official dinner

Sheila Pearce (partner Jim Mason)

Steve Adkins (Ray West's Son)

Sunday wind-up

Table settings

Note: only selective images are available for full view

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