UK Branches

West Branch
West branch hosted the National AGM along with it's own the branch AGM and Reunion weekend in Portsmouth on the 6/7/8 October at the Royal Maritime Club in Portsmouth.  We had a fabulous weekend which successfully included all the official meetings together with the commemorative ceremony on Sunday and of course our social get togethers on the Friday night and the more formal dinner on the Saturday.

The Friday afternoon saw all the members and guests arriving at the hotel, which gave everyone a very warm welcome.  Many members had travelled long distances to be at the event and we were also joined by National Chairman, Julia Gaw and National Secretary, Michael Gaw.  I might also mention here that we had 3 veterans from WWII with us - George Heathman (RAF), Jack McNulty (Royal Marines) and Alan Sandall (RN).  There were all in good fettle and we were honoured to have them with us for the weekend.

The Branch 
AGM was held later in the afternoon, with standard bearer, Barry Wenman in attendance. Afterwards Pat Scott gave a presentation on history of suffering that Malta endured during WWII and founding of the George Cross Island Association to commemorate the anniversary of our 30th year. 
Deborah Plenty 
(Granddaughter of the founder, FredPlenty) spoke movingly about her memories of her beloved grandfather (there was hardly a dry eye in the house) and donated a framed picture of Fred Plenty which the branch will keep and use at events.


After the official business, we had a couple of pre-dinner drinks in the bar followed by superb dinner in the restaurant where the staff gave us excellent service.

Saturday started with the National AGM which again was run very successfully, followed by an afternoon to relax, sight see or participate in the shopping experience which is uniquely Gun Wharf.

The Gala dinner started with pre-dinner drinks and lots of photos. We were accompanied by West Branch Standard Bearer, Barry Wenman and National Standard Bearer, Michael Gaw. Once again, the staff at the hotel went the extra mile to make it a most successful evening.  The food was magnificent and the company delightful.  It really was a lovely evening.  Every guest received a gift of Mdina glass, engraved with a commemoration to the 30th Anniversary of the founding of the George Cross Island Association.

 

 
    


On Sunday morning we had our Pedestal Commemorative Ceremony that West Branch always has in conclusion of the weekend, Barry Wenman paraded the standard.  Ray Wrigglesworth (branch Chairman) opened the ceremony with a moving welcome and there followed a Pedestal commemoration read by Pat Scott and prayers read and led by Alan Sandall.  We were all in good voice for the hymns and the two National anthems.


So sadly, that was the end of our weekend, we had all had a great time meeting up with old faces, catching up with all the news and relaxing.  We were all reluctant to go, but of course all good things come to an end, but hopefully we can do it all again next year and of course there is always the reunion in Malta in April of next year - see you all there, I hope.


West Branch Pedestal Commemorative Event March 11th  2016
West Branch held the annual commemorative ceremony for a fifth year to remember and honour those who took part in Pedestal Convoy and who suffered during the WWII Siege of Malta 1942.

As in previous years, it was held at Ferndown British Legion Club with the wreath laying ceremony taking place in the memorial garden. 
 
West Branch Chairman, Ray Wrigglesworth, along with the rest of the committee, welcomed our honoured guests Cllr Julie Robinson, the Mayor of Ferndown, Cllr Terry Cordery (who also attended in 2013 when he was Mayor), National Chairman, Mrs Julia Gaw, and National Secretary, Mr Michael Gaw, of the George Cross Island Association.

The event commenced with a service in the memorial gardens with the standard bearers, Barry Wenman (West Branch), and Edward Barkway (SE Vice Chairman), led by Parade Marshall Michael Gaw (SE Secretary and National Secretary) who carried the National Standard. Branch Secretary, Pat Scott, opened the ceremony by reading a tribute to the Pedestal Convoy which was followed by a very interesting and informative address by Lt Cdr Ralph Dodds RN (Ret’d), whom we sincerely thank for giving up his time to attend the event.

A wreath was laid by the Mayor Ferndown, accompanied by Grant Parrott (RBL Ferndown Branch Chairman), GCIA National Chairman Julia Gaw, Branch Chairman Ray 
Wrigglesworth.
After the ceremony coffee and refreshments we served in the Club bar where everyone mingled amongst old friends, and met new ones.





Ray Wrigglesworth welcomed and thanked honoured guests and members, we then had a very special announcement made by Grant Parrott.  Our branch President and pedestal veteran, Charles Grant has been awarded the Legion d'Honneur presented by the French Government to surviving D-Day and Battle of France veterans.  What an honour for Charles, congratulations.

After all that excitement everyone enjoyed a delicious lunch prepared by the Chef and the catering staff of the Ferndown British Legion Club. So once again, we had a successful and enjoyable event which was enjoyed by all who attended, including some who had travelled great distances and we thank them and everyone else for their support.  Let’s hope we can honour our veterans by holding another commemorative ceremony in 2017.

South East Branch

London Social Group

Meet up at the Union Jack Club Waterloo every 3rd Tuesday in the Month the next meetings will be on 21st June, 19th July and 16th August.  Contact Michael Gaw Tel.No. 01903 786058. Please carry your current membership card when visiting the Union Jack Club

SE, along with the other branches has lost a few veterans and members over the past year as they have sadly crossed the bar.  However, the branch continues to recruit new members from those interested in the general history of Malta and WWII and those who have family who were involved in serving in Malta at that time or indeed at anytime.  We value all our members and pledge, along with the other branches, to uphold the aims of the Association.

If you would like more information about the branch, contact jandm.Gaw@btinternet.com or complete a membership form on this site Membership

The SE Branch annual reunion will take place between at the Hydro Hotel, Mount Road, Eastbourne. East Sussex. BN20 7HZ.  Dates will be forthcoming shortly

If you have not been before you can be assured of a great weekend in an excellent red brick comfortable hotel where we have been going for the last 20 years, good food and good company. 

Contact Michael Gaw Tel.No. 01903 786058
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