Minutes of the Branch Meeting held on 3rd October 2016 in the Lower Annexe, Byfield Village Hall
A. CHAIRMAN’S OPENING REMARKS:
Russ being absent from the district, Tony, his Deputy was in the chair.
B. MATTERS ARISING:
B.1 Succession Planning: Tony explained that we needed to consider the succession of the Chairman and possibly other official posts and the subsequent changes that may then be required. Laurie suggested that this would be made easier if we had job descriptions for each of the positions that could be affected. Each officer was therefore asked to prepare their own but in the meantime, Members were asked to consider who might be best suited for these positions.
B.2 Women’s Section: There has been no further news on this.
B.3 Web Site Update: Terry had advised prior to the meeting that the Web site was up-to-date and that it now included some photos of the Legion gazebo at the Byfield Community Festival.
B.4 Byfield Community Festival: The Branch was present with the County gazebo but with poor weather conditions, attendance was low. Collecting boxes totalled £14.94 which will be added to this current year’s total. We hosted a small display for the Defibrillator with its own collecting box which one lady mistakenly thought was ours. Laurie suggested that for future events we aim to show our wares in an upright position to attract more passers by, and that we need some activity which will involve people, eg, “guess the weight for 50p”. Alan thanked Vernon for collecting and returning the gazebo, and for those who spent time manning it, those being Vernon, Bob P, Peter G, Laurie and Alison.
B.5 Visit to National Memorial Arboretum: Vernon announced he will be planning a visit to the new Remembrance Centre early in November but no definite date was suggested.
B.6 Remembrance Service: Remembrance Sunday is on 13th November. Russ has agreed arrangements with Rev Stevie as follows:
i) The church service will as usual be at 10.00 continuing at the War Memorial in time for our Bugler to sound The Last Post at 1059.
ii) The processional arrangements will be as before with the Legion Standard bearer being seated on the North side and the Scout Group Colours facing him on the South side. Wreath bearers to be seated in the 3rd row of pews leaving the front 2 rows for the youngsters.
iii) During the penultimate hymn "I vow to thee my country" the Standard Bearer and Colours' holders will collect their Standards and Colours and return to their positions facing each other ready to dip for the National Anthem that follows.
iv) After the National Anthem Standard and Colours return to the Carry.
Then the procedure will be as follows:
v) On completion of the National Anthem, Wreath Bearers move forward to collect their wreaths and stand behind the altar rail facing the congregation.
vi) The Rector will give the Blessing and then lead out followed by the Standard, Colours, Wreath Bearers and Choir to the Recessional Hymn "Thine be the Glory".
vii) After the War Memorial service there will as usual be refreshments in the Village Hall.
Remembrance Day, the 11th November falls this year on a Friday, traditionally the day when the Byfield schoolchildren plant the crosses at the Memorial. Russ has arranged with Mr Hibbert (the new Head Teacher) that children will gather at the Memorial at 10.35 to finish with sounding the Last Post at 10.59, the silence and then Reveille.
B.7 Quiz 26th November: Detailed responsibilities will be arranged at the next Branch meeting. The meeting felt it would be appropriate to publicise the Quiz in Eydon.
C. NEW MATTERS:
C.1 Poetry Competition: Russ has arranged for the Byfield school children to take part in a Remembrance theme poetry competition, and has suggested book tokens to the value of £30/£20/£10 as prizes. John Russell proposed that next year a competition be held across all the schools in the District, with the top three winning entries from each school being judged to select an overall winner.
Alan reported all was in order and we were well into the black.
We have been advised of two events taking place in the County: Duston Branch Black Tie Dinner and live entertainment at the Marriott Hotel, Northampton on 14th October, tickets £35. The Group 4 Daventry Brass Band Concert will be at the Daventry Community Centre on 10th December, tickets £8.
F. POPPY APPEAL:
John reported once more that collecting dates this year will from 5th to 12th November and that filling boxes will be at 10 am on Saturday 15th October; the previously listed volunteers had not changed.
There were no hospital or home visits made during the last month.
H. ANY OTHER BUSINESS:
H.1 Concern was expressed about the tatty condition of the wreath that has been on the Memorial since August 2014 and planned to rest there until November 2018. It was debated whether to keep it there or replace it although no decision was taken.
H.2 John T asked what the meeting felt about removing the flowers from around the Memorial and turfing the beds instead. John R proposed that these two items be discussed at the next meeting.
H.3 Laurie explained briefly that he and Alison had attended a presentation in Towcester by Lt Col Roberts about the logistics of getting 3 front line casualties every day during 2010/11/12 back to the UK for treatment. What became concerning was that while the NHS fulfilled their obligations to get these personnel back to physical health, once they were discharged, the MOD took no responsibility should mental health difficulties arise, leaving them entirely in the hands of charitable organisations.
Flag Flying Days: November11th Armistice Day
November 13th Remembrance Sunday
November 14th Prince of Wales Birthday
November 20th Queen’s Wedding Day
The next Branch Meeting will be on 7th November in Byfield Village Hall’s lower annex. The Speaker will be Marg Baldwin, Expeditionary Extraordinaire. This will be followed by the AGM.