Minutes of the Branch Meeting held on 9th May 2016 in the Lower Annexe of Byfield Village Hall
A. CHAIRMAN’S OPENING REMARKS
Russ welcomed our Speaker Matt Hawkin, ex RAF pilot and now a Captain with British Airways.
B. MATTERS ARISING
B.1 Eydon Branch Amalgamation: In the absence of Alan W, there was no news about which of the ‘silent’ Eydon members wished to remain so, or be on the meeting Minutes' distribution.
B.2 Recruitment Poster: Russ explained we were still looking for new sites to display posters.
B.3 Outing 12th May: Three members would be making the visit to RAF Cosford - Russ, Vernon and Alan. It was agreed to pay for a guide at a cost of £30, cost to be met by the three
B.4 Rose Plaque in Memory of Ken: Russ explained that Ken's surname had been spelt incorrectly on the plaque, so that had been returned. A new plate had been made by the Bishop’s Court Cobbler’s supplier but this was found to be the wrong size, so a replacement is awaited. Russ also reported that the family had decided that they would prefer it to be sited in her garden and not at the Memorial green.
B.5 Women’s Section: Russ said he had heard no further news about Byfield's Womans' RBL's plans but Graham said he had heard informally that none of the ladies wished to transfer to our Branch. Russ explained that he would write to all their members inviting them to come to our meetings free of charge until expiry of their membership in October, and then join us if they wished.
B.6 Donation to the Battle Back Centre: It was agreed to postpone the decision about an additional 2016 donation to The Battle Back Centre until our July meeting.
C.1 Branch Financial Statement: The balance sheet was circulated showing that Branch funds were still in surplus.
C.2 Election of National Vice Chairman and 3 Trustees: Russ reported that the candidates he had voted for on behalf of the Branch were all elected except one.
C.3 Membership Update: There has been no update from Aylesbury on which of our Members have allowed their membership to lapse.
C.4 Thank You Letter from Battle Back Centre: Chris J has written to thank the Branch for our donation of £500, explaining it would be to used to fly a former Battle Backer to the USA to participate in the Warrior Programme for special forces at West Point.
NB: The Warrior programme should not be confused with the Invictus Games with which Prince Harry is involved. Invictus is taking place NOW (8th-12th May) in Orlando, Florida, USA.
C.4.1: He also referred to the £100 that was given to Chris Knight for his speaking expenses which he had kindly added to our donation and which he had assumed was given by the Branch, when in fact it was from the Banbury Supper Club. Vernon Hurst on behalf of the Supper Club would clarify this with Chris J.
C.5 100th Anniversary of the Battle of the Somme: Russ outlined the various events planned throughout the year to commemorate this anniversary. One in particular is a parade in Manchester on Friday 1st July but with the closing date for nominations being 10th May, there was insufficient time to organise anyone from our Branch to be involved in this.
C.5.1: HQ have prepared a First World War themed tool kit titled "Remember the Battle of the Somme 1916 – 2016", which Alan was asked to obtain.
D. POPPY APPEAL:
D.1 Brackley Branch Raffle: Russ explained he had received a letter from Russ B, Chairman of the Brackley branch enclosing a book of Raffle tickets to be sold in aid of their Poppy Appeal. It was decided not to participate, as it was felt it would detract from our own Poppy Appeal efforts.
D.2 John reported that our Poppy Appeal total as at 3rd April was £9265.57 excluding Gift Aid. It was not known if this figure included the Charity Aid Foundation cheques we received. He also said that there was still no decision from Lewis Cooper on the question of which County (Northants or Oxfordshire) should be credited with Eydon’s Poppy Appeal sum.
E. ANY OTHER BUSINESS:
E.1 Date & Venue of next meeting: Members were reminded that next month's meeting would be held at Woodford Halse Memorial Hall, when Sandy Pattenden will talk on the Break Up of Yugoslavia.
E.2 Car Parking in Woodford: The Memorial Hall is on Station Road and parking is at the back but visitors are asked to respect the residents' area outside the Hall’s car park and not park there.
F. SPEAKER: Capt Matt Hawkin gave a fascinating talk on each of the stages of his RAF career and the different fighters he flew.
G. FLAG FLYING DAYS: June 2nd Coronation Day
June 10th Duke of Edinburgh’s Birthday
June 11th Queen’s Official Birthday
June 25th Armed Forces Day