Aldershot

Welcome to the Aldershot branch

Airborne Engineers Association
 

Branch News

Aldershot - June 2018
Dave Rutter – Secretary

The members had decided a couple of years ago to forgo meetings during January and February when inclement
weather is usually at its worst. A hasty show of hands at the December meeting, the members opted for Sunday 11th March, however as we approached that particular date it was suddenly realized that this would clash with 'Mothering Sunday' - and so our meeting was postponed until the following Sunday.

Nobody warned us that the 'Beast from the East' would dump some 6" of snow onto the Aldershot and surrounding areas on Saturday evening making travel the following morning almost impossible for many of our members. More frantic phone calls and the March meeting was delayed yet again. We finally held a very successful re-scheduled meeting on Sunday 25th March.

Our Spring lunch held on Saturday 8th April at the Oak Park Golf club was organized by our entertain­ments member, Dave Leibrick. Working quietly behind the scenes he planned and coordinated an extremely well executed event. He had developed a good working relationship with the 'Clubs events manager who in turn set out the dining room, table plan and place names.

Lorna & Dave Leibrick with Mark & Paula Desborough

Our guest included Adam & Emma Frame (from Yorkshire), Jim & Karen Doubtfire, Mark & Paula Desborough & Mick Bateman. Unfortunately, due to slight health problems, Tim van de Kraan and partner Edwina Ball together with Sally Wilson had to submit their apologies.

The 3-course lunch was probably the best we'd been served over the past 4 years. Service was speedy and food was hot. (Only complaint — carrots over done!)

At a previous meeting the members had voted to donate the raffle proceeds to SSAFA. In charge of the ticket draw Mark Desborough offered plenty of banter. Prizes, donated by the members were plentiful, but the 2- Star prizes were kept until last. I believe Dave Leibrick was responsible for organising these.

The first star prize of an indoor sky dive for two persons was won by our President Sir Donald Spiers. He later informed me that he fully intends to participate in this sport and will select one of his grandchildren to accompany him.

Sir Donald with his Sky Dive tickets

The second star prize for a round of golf for 4 players at the Oak Park Golf Cub, was won by Paula Desborough. Not surprisingly she received numerous volunteers wishing to join her on the golf course.

The raffle raised £245 which, as previously mentioned is to be donated to SSAFA.

It is with much regret that we close on a somber note. Jan Chambers, a long standing stalwart of the Airborne Engineers Association, sadly passed away on Thursday 12th April. Many will recall that Jan ran the AEA shop for many years and just as importantly was a leading committee member of the Double Hills Commemoration society. A lady truly dedicated to the good and well-being of the AEA and Airborne Sappers. She will be sadly missed by us all. Our most sincere condolences are extended to husband Chris, daughter Kelly and son Sean.


Aldershot - December 2017
Dave Rutter – Secretary

With many commemoration events held throughout the summer and autumn months many of our members have traveled near and far to attend these gatherings.

The Falklands 35th Anniversary commemoration was held in Aldershot during the weekend 17-18 June. Being on our doorstep, many branch members joined in with the commemorations, taking the opportunity to meet and greet former colleagues and friends. The local pubs and bars on Saturday were crowded with Falkland veterans and serving representatives from 23 Para Engr Regt, the Parachute Regiment and many other units and associations. It was all reminiscent of an 'Airborne Forces weekend' of yesteryear.
The Sunday program commenced in the morning with a Drumhead Service held in the Aldershot Cemetery. Later in the early afternoon, serving units, veterans and other associations formed up in front of the Aldershot Princess Hall before stepping off, led be the band of the Parachute Regiment, through the main streets of the town. Thousands of spectators lined the route and gave a rousing rounds of applause as each of the units marched past.


Henry Cooper, Geoff Barlow, Mick Humphries & Chris Davies march past the saluting dais.

Dismissed from the parade, the local pubs and bars were soon filled with individuals in various coloured berets and cap badges quenching their thirst and reacquainting themselves with former colleagues and friends.

Various branch members have also attended commemoration events at the National Arboretum, Double Hills and Arnhem.

On a lighter note, we once again held our annual BBQ in the gardens of Fred and Betty Gray. Fred and a team of helpers, mainly from Fred & Betty's family, erected a small marque and other tentage to accommodate the 40+ attending. With hindsight they needn't have put themselves to so much work as the weather on the day was absolutely scorching hot. Most used the cover to shelter from the sun.
Once again the BBQ was a great success and much praise was given to Tony our chef and to the ladies for providing the large variety of salads etc.

Our raffle raised £150 and as previously agreed at a branch meeting, the funds were donated to the "Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel Window Restoration Fund Appeal". This together with a previous donation to "Veterans in Action" brings our total contribution to charities throughout the year to £450.00.

On a welfare matter, we helped one of our member's wife in seeking the assistance and guidance from the Guildford SSAFA chairman, for her husband whose medical condition was causing concern. She has been delighted in the guidance and assistance provided by SSAFA. You will have noticed that a letter of introduction from SSAFA has been included in this issue and it is hoped that this information will be taken on board by all readers in need of help.

 

 

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