Secretary’s Report, 2017

The new year started off as usual with the Annual Dinner held at the Greenhead Masonic Lodge, attendance was as last year, 63.

Our Annual Trip this year was to Scarborough.

Once again our Association was invited to attend the Flag Raising Ceremony on Monday, 20th June, at the start of Armed Forces Week. It is one of the parades which I feel, as an Association, we must continue to support.

The Annual Bowling Match took place, as usual, at Lindley Bowling Club. Sixteen Committee Members and Veterans took part and were supported by a number of Veterans and their wives. The Captain Wilson Trophy was won by Veteran J. Tracey. The runner-up of a very exciting competition was Veteran D. Croft. Our President, Captain I. Fillan, presented the Trophy and prizes to the two finalists and also thanked Lindley Bowling Club for allowing us the use of their clubhouse and green. He also went on to thank all those who helped to make the day a most enjoyable one.

The attendance for the Captain Wilson Memorial Tea was slightly down on last year. Those Veterans who have not attended missed a very pleasant afternoon.

The socials this year have been very well attended and our speakers covered many diverse subjects from “H & D A V A” to a very interesting talk by Mr J.R. Sugden entitled “Travels in South Africa”. All have been informative and enjoyable.

Once again we were invited by Brighouse Lions to their concert. Thanks go to Veteran R. W. Taylor for arranging this visit.

In July we were once again invited to take part in the Meltham Memories parade which took place on Saturday 2nd July. This is a venue which enables us to show thousands of people what our Association is all about. So, on Saturday, 1st July 2017, could I ask that as many Committee Members and Veterans come along and take part in the short parade. The climax of the weekend was Veteran Mousley’s mammoth auction held on Sunday, 3rd July at in Meltham Liberal Club.

As in the past, Veterans and Committee Members met at 10.00 hours in Victoria Lane at the start of the annual Remembrance Sunday parade. Once again may I thank the Officers and Veterans who took part in the Parade on their smart turn out and drill.

Following the parade a lunch of steak and ale pie and mushy peas was once again provided for Veterans and their wives and partners in the Officer’s Mess. I’m sure that all who had lunch would like me to pass on their thanks to Rachel of ‘Ma Bakers’ and her helpers for all the work they do for the Association.

The service on 11th November was this year once again arranged by the H&DAVA. Wreaths were laid by Military and Civil organisations, schools and the general public. It was pleasing to see children from nine local schools, numbering well over two hundred who, with the arrangements by our stewards were able to see all of the service. Can I take this opportunity to thank Mr Tony Heaton for playing the Last Post and Reveille. Our wreath this year was laid by Veteran D. Hardy.

The first collection of 2017 was at Sainsburys, Huddersfield. This was followed by collections at Morrisons Plc, Meltham; Tesco, Huddersfield; Asda, Huddersfield; Marsh Co-Op; Holme and Colne Valley; Aldi, Slaithwaite; Sainsburys, Shorehead; Morrisons Plc, Huddersfield; Huddersfield Town Centre; Tesco, Brighouse; and Armitage Garden Centres, Shelley and Birchencliffe. A letter of thanks has been sent to all venues for allowing us to collect.

I must once again, on behalf of the Committee and all Veterans thank Veteran David Croft for doing a wonderful job as Assistant Co-ordinator Collections. Sadly David retired from the position at the end of 2016, so it is with grateful thanks that Veteran D. Thomas has stepped into the breach. Please ring the new David on 07788 747127 and help to make the job much easier.

I should like to thank the many Veterans who turn out regularly on collection days. Even if you are only able to collect once or twice, which approximates to about five hours per year, you make a significant contribution to the Association’s funds, from which your benefits are paid.

The headquarters for the Huddersfield collection was once again at the Huddersfield Central Hotel which proves to be an excellent venue. Most sincere thanks go to Messrs. J. and J. Marsden for allowing us to meet there.

This year recruiting has seen the addition of nine new members to our ranks, Veterans A. P. Weston, T. Fussey, K. Gillespie, T. Eaton, J. Dearnley, I. K. Williams, M. Percival, P. Tyler and K. Kinder. I hope that they have a long and happy association with us. We do need new recruits as they are the lifeblood of the Association, so if you know of anyone who you think would be acceptable, please contact me or any Committee Member.

It is with great sorrow that I have to report the death of the following Veterans: H. Greaves, R. A. Scofield, B. Pearson, H. Coopand, J. Armitage, P. Dean, J. Marsh, R. Upton and T. Travis.

Thanks go to the Trustees of the Huddersfield War Memorial Trust. The support they have given the Association over many years has been excellent and been very much apprciated. I’m sure that I speak for all in our Association when I thank them for their support and generosity.

To the Trustees of the Huddersfield Drill Hall, may I thank them for allowing the Association the use of the many facilities provided at the Drill Hall.

To Captain C. Blakeway and his staff we are most thankful for their help in making all our events held at the Drill Hall successful.

I would also like to express my thanks, once again, to Veteran Ken Mousley, but I’m afraid that I can’t find enough words to express the many thanks our Association owes him. Ken, assisted by Veteran T. Ashcroft, has raised for us in 2016 the amazing sum of £10,000. Thanks also go to Veteran D. Woolley and all the Veterans who have given donations to our funds. Finally a big thank you to Mrs. J. Goodall, the daughter of Veteran A. Lodge, for the donation of £800.

Committee Members and Veterans will, I’m sure, have noted that we have appointed a new Parade Marshall, Veteran D. Woolley, who replaces Veteran G. Senior. We wish him well on his appointment.

One of the most often forgotten groups of people who help the Association are the people of Huddersfield and District and I should like, on behalf of the Veterans and Committee, to thank them for their most generous donations and support.

I would like once again to thank the many Officers, Committee Members, Veterans and friends who have supported and helped me this past year. Thank you all, your help is very much appreciated. I know it sometimes gets hectic, but things do seem to go right in the end.

Mr C. Ford, Honorary Secretary

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