Agree with Barry Radford re. the reunion next year.
Please don't allow this new former bandsmen Cenotaph parade take precedence over our regular get together, or all of the efforts of so many will be destroyed in one fell swoop!
Whilst it is good and proper to honour our fallen, I think in all fairness, that we all do this every year in our respective cities, towns and villages and long may this continue.
However, whilst our Band Reunion doesn't exactly clash with the event, I worry that the night pre. the march, might just become the new reunion for many. Already there appear to be so many former bandies signing up to the event and booking into the UJC for the evening meet up. I'd hate to think that this could be to the detriment of our regular official get together!?
I do feel however, that we should try to promote our HMS Nelson RMB event somewhat stronger than it is at the present. Perhaps we ALL need to do our bit towards that? - This year saw numbers down, and I think the whole thing needs a serious reboot - including the small, but important things such as the hearty welcome drink. (Tot for those who drink it or a suitable alternative equivalent to those who don't!!)
The choice of food perhaps might also be a consideration. Not everyone favours a curry. Basic stuff, such as Fish and Chips or a good old Hog Roast might have an alternative appeal! Cheese and biscuits to follow even. All suggestions welcome!?
Re. any lengthy speeches after the RMSM Beat Retreat. Instead, perhaps it'd be preferable to have a break mid-evening in the mess, for the PDM (or whoever) to say a few words there and even have a Q&A session for members on completion. (It's cold for so many in that gym/drill shed!!)
Whatever anyone thinks, we need to keep our reunion going and to improve if needs be. We just need to try to attract a lot more of our old oppo's down. If everyone who goes, or those who may think of going for the first time next Oct, brought along with them one other oppo,' we'd soon have those numbers back up again! There are many names volunteering for the Cenotaph march. Many that I'd love to see again and some I don't know, that I'd enjoy meeting up with. I see the names but cannot put a face. You all know what I mean!
I'll close by simply asking that you all PLEASE give our reunion some thought for next Oct. I ask on behalf of so many of us and particularly those that work so hard behind the scenes to put on the event.