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RANCBA ACT President's Report

RANCBA ACT President's Report - AGM - 11 October 2013.

Fellow communicators and guests.

It is my honour to present a report on the 2012/2013 activities for the ACT Chapter.

Your committee had its usual four meetings with much to discuss, including the Christmas BBQ, the Brisbane Reunion, Sydney IFR, the 2016 Reunion, etc.

The BBQ, held at Black Mountain Peninsula, was, once again a great day out. Thanks to Kaye & Kev Mongan for taking the 'morning watch' to reserve our venue. Those who supplied victuals and attended, I'm feel sure, enjoyed themselves immensely. I took lots of orders for our new Association name badges and have delivered most. Photos were taken and posted on our website.

Nothing to do with the RANCBA but, I took my wife to Hong Kong for a week in February, to celebrate our wedding anniversary and no, I didn't win the 'Snowball' jackpot at the China Fleet Club.

Then, in April, many from around Australia met at Kangaroo Point in Brisbane, for a plaque dedication and RANCBA Reunion. During the Reception, we held a Presidents meeting to decide on the fate of future Reunions. As Canberra was next in line, yours truly volunteered and it now looks like future Reunions will be shared by the four Eastern Chapters. After many functions, including a BBQ, cruise down the river, a Civic Reception hosted by the Lord Mayor, the 9th April saw us form up alongside the River as an RANCBA group, to march up to the dedication ceremony of the plaque constructed in the gardens of St. Marys, commonly known as "the Navy Church" at Kangaroo Point. A very moving ceremony attended by a large group of dignitaries including, Her excellency The Gov. of Qld, Penelope Wensley A.C., CMDR Tony Townsend RAN Rtd, RADM Dalton CSM RAN representing CN, Anglican Archbishop of Qld, Father Bill Pearson RFD RANR, state chaplain of the NAA and chaplain to Mission to Seafarers and the President of RANCBA Qld Alan "Shags" Hellier and his wife Sonja. "Shags" and Sonja had done a fantastic job. The celebrations culminated with the Finale Dinner, where, a few gentlemen, some wearing gold braid, did not recognise that the 'smooth dance floor' in front of the official table, was, in fact, a pond. They all passed their swimming lessons. Then the 'baton' was passed on to us.

The next Reunion is now, as you all know, to be held in Canberra during the 2016 Remembrance Day week at the AWM. This coincides with the 20th Anniversary of our first Reunion, held in Brisbane in 1996. We have received about 130 or more EOI's and they are still coming in. I am currently in discussions with Dr Brendan Nelson, AWM, who has suggested some very innovative functions exclusively for the RANCBA Assn., including 'block' seating on 11/11 for RANCBA plus their partners and the possibility on 10/11, a dedication ceremony for one of our 'fallen' from the Roll of Honour and the laying of wreath. Watch this space. Events, venues and costs will be advised accordingly when the Reunion sub committee has been established.

Next was Anzac Day held in Canberra and we had quite a good turn-out. The march was led by two serving sailors carrying out banner, our Patron, Artie Wyatt, followed by a contingent of serving personnel including, CAPT Jefferey Goedecke, Dir. Gen. Navy Comm's & Information Warfare, CMDR Steve Beckmann, Defence Strategic Communications Branch, WO Michael Smart, Operations Officer, DEFCAMSAUS, quite a few sailors of differing rates and branches, and of course members of RANCBA ACT. Post march we retired to the Club, as usual, but unfortunately the serving personnel were a 'no-show', so maybe a break down in communications, if you'll pardon the pun.

Then Ruth and I went on a little cruise around Australia ending up in Perth and stayed for a week with the Bebbingtons, during which I was invited to and represented RANCBA at an FESR meeting.

During the last week, many went to Sydney to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the entry of the First Fleet into Sydney. The cruises arranged by our friend Brian "Dolly" Gray plus other activities arranged by Ken Swain and the Sydney Chapter were exemplary and I'm sure everyone enjoyed the festivities. I know I did.

Ken (Keghead) Weaver