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HISTORY OF THE CYPRUS BRANCH


 

2011:

The year began with a new Branch Chairman, Shipmate David L. May. Monthly meetings continued to be held in the Officers Mess of the Episkopi Sovereign Base Area. As in previous years Shipmates represented the Branch at Armed Forces Day and the renamed Episkopi Show. Shipmates David May and Kevin Barnes laid wreaths for the RNA and the RMA respectively at the British Legion Remembrance Service in the Episkopi Sovereign Base.

 

In May the Chairman and other ‘Chairs’ of Armed Forces charities met the Commander British Forces, Cyprus who encouraged the closer integration of Veterans organisations with Serving Personnel in Cyprus; a policy welcomed by all.

 

On the 10th of July the Branch met the Eastern Branch for a combined lunch at a Governor’s Beach Taverna. All Shipmates escaped serious injury as a massive munitions explosion devastated the area twelve hours later.

 

The Trafalgar Night Dinner was held in the Officers Mess and was rated a great success. The evening was enhanced by a gracious personal message from Her Majesty, The Queen, thanking us for our greetings on that occasion. Sir Edward DuCann proposed the toast ‘The Immortal Memory’.

 

 

2002:

In August Lieutenant Commander "Nobby Hall" RN, Mrs Helen Hall and Lieutenant John Bower RN were sitting on Nobby's 'Quarterdeck' (veranda) at their quarters in the Sovereign Base Area. It was then that they had the idea of starting a Cyprus Branch of the Royal Naval Association. They, together with POSA "Derby" Allen and Leading Writer "Baz" Bazelgate, were the founding Shipmates of the Branch.

Not long after that, in October , the first meeting and Commissioning with forty new Shipmates was held at the Warrant Officer's and Sergeant's Mess R.A.F.Akrotiri. The commissioning officer was Captain Tim Harris Royal Navy. The Band of the Royal Marine School of Music attended. Thereafter meetings were held in the Officer's mess. The Commissioning Certificate was placed in the Sovereign Base Area Church.

Helen Hall recalls" John Bower was the Treasurer in name but in fact his lovely wife Nikky did all the paperwork behind the scenes. I was Chief Cook. Bottle Washer, Membership Secretary, Minutes Secretary, Raffle Organiser and sold raffle tickets at every meeting. I'm exhausted just thinking about it now."


2003: In January the Garrison Officer's Mess Episkopi became the venue for Branch meetings and remains so to date.

Sir Edward Du Cann consented to become the Branch President in June.

By July the 100th Shipmate had joined. She was Alison Kennedy who as a hard working Social Secretary gave the Branch six years of invaluable service.

In October the first Trafalgar Night dinner was held with guest of honour Captain Alistair Halliday, Royal Navy, addressing the shipmates on The Immortal Memory.


2004: The Cyprus Branch of the Royal Naval Association won the Overseas Certificate for the most recruited Overseas Branch. Membership reached 200.
The shipmates and guests at the October Trafalgar Night dinner were addressed by Commodore Dick Twitchin Royal Navy.

- Happy Valley Remembrance 2004 -


2005: The Branch hosted Captain Bob Brown Royal Navy as guest of honour at the Trafalgar night dinner celebrating Trafalgar 200. Captain Brown was sent personally by the Second Sea Lord at the behest of our President.


2006: The Branch hosted Lieutenant Commander Alex Bush, Commanding Officer of the Cyprus Squadron Royal Navy as guest of honour at the Trafalgar Night Dinner.


2007: In February the Branch was visited by Vice Admiral MacAnnaly, the Royal Naval Association President, who commissioned the newly formed Eastern Cyprus Branch of the Royal Naval Association. This latter met the need for a more local Branch for those Shipmates living in the areas of Larnaca and Famagusta.

The company at the October Trafalgar Night dinner was addressed by SM Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Noyes Royal Marines.

In the same month Shipmate John Hale was awarded  the Arctic Emblem and the 60th.Anniversary Commemorative Medal by the Russian Federation for his service in the Battle of North Cape. This was a prestigious event attended by many British and Cypriot dignitaries of Cyprus.



2008: In March Shipmates Nobby Hall and Fred Cooper, first Chairman and Vice Chairman respectively, were elected as Honorary Life Vice Presidents of the Cyprus Branch. Shipmate Andrew Noyes was elected as the second Branch Vice Chairman.

In July Chairman Nobby Hall retired to take up a new appointment in the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force, he
was succeeded by Shipmate Andrew Noyes who took over as Acting Chairman for the remaining six months.

The Trafalgar Night Dinner was held at the Aphrodite Club, Erimi and after an amusing and somewhat poignant address the Immortal Memory toast was proposed by Honorary Life Vice President SM Nobby Hall. Sir Edward du Cann also addressed the assembled shipmates and guests.

The regular meetings shifted to Wednesday evenings from September as that was more convenient to many shipmates involved with the 'Hash' and other activities. The format of meetings changed to minimise routine reports from the Branch Officer's and to allow a break before an address from a visiting speaker or other event.


2009:

Shipmate Andrew Noyes was elected Chairman of the Branch at the January AGM.

On the 19th of March the Sovereign Base Area Church in Episkopi was closed. The Branch Charter was removed there from by Shipmate Judge Raymond Naqvi and held by him for safekeeping pending appropriate disposition.

 

 

  All Saints Church SBA, Episkopi.

On the 20th April the Chairman, Vice Chairman and Standard Bearer attended a Remembrance Service at Wayne's Keep British Military Cemetery marking the 50th Anniversary of the end of the Cyprus Emergency. The two former named Branch Officers laid wreaths for the Royal British Legion and the Royal Naval Association respectively.

The Trafalgar Night dinner was held again in the Club Aphrodite, Erimi. 49 Shipmates and guests attended. The Immortal Memory was proposed by Colonel Trevor Brewster Retd. of Tala. Sir Edward du Cann also attended and gave a stirring speech.

 

 

2010:  

This year was overshadowed by the deaths in March of the Vice Chairman Ian Gould, in June of SM Bill Paynter and suddenly that of Chairman Andrew Noyes in November. Ian’s wife Janet who gave sterling service to the Branch returned to England in December.

Meetings continued to be held in the Officers Mess, Episkopi Garrison, in the Sovereign Base Area. 

Shipmates took part in Armed Forces Day, the Episkopi Fete and were guests of the 2nd.Battalion the Lancaster Regiment in their Officers Mess.

The Trafalgar Night dinner was held in the Moniatis Hotel Germasoyia, Limassol. The Immortal Memory toast was proposed by Major Mike Ball who had been voted the best Toastmaster in Cyprus for 2010.

 

 

 
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