2020 Centenary Update
When we started planning for this our special year, any thoughts of them not taking place was inconceivable and how could we have known that Coronavirus would have the effect on our lives and all that we had planned. Please don’t despair as all that we have planned and organised will not be in vain but just a temporary postponement. We will celebrate, probably even more, once all this has passed – whenever that is. I promise you that we will do our utmost to reorganise our major events,albeit a little later than planned. The important event at the National Memorial Arboretum will probably be next summer when we will be dedicating our new Centenary Stone instead of unveiling it! In the meantime, we look forward to receiving The Wren Magazine, which went to the printers on Tuesday 24th March and, all being well, should arrive on your doormats in a couple of weeks time. It promises to be a bumper issue with many excellent articles which will keep us going until we can get together for our celebrations. I am including the Scuttlebutt page for you to read in advance of receiving the magazine, which I hope you will find useful. I will keep you all updated as and when we set the new dates for our Centenary events. I can assure you the extra wait will be well worth it.
Hoping that you can keep strong, keep healthy and keep in touch with each other wherever possible.
Let us make this a positive experience by picking up the telephone and having a chat with somebody we haven’t spoken to for a long time.
Spring 2020 Scuttlebutt
Our Centenary Year has arrived!
BUT SO TOO HAS CORONAVIRUS AND SADLY THIS HAS DISRUPTED
A NUMBER OF OUR CELEBRATIONS
Our Centenary Year has finally arrived and after many meetings and much planning over the past two years the celebrations were due to begin.
On 8 March, as part of our 2020 commemorations, a New National Standard was commissioned, updated to reflect the inclusion of Women of the Royal Naval Services in the name of our Charity. As a number of you are avid attendees of the Mountbatten Festival of Music at the Royal Albert Hall it was decided that that was a suitable weekend to hold a Sunday service in the WRNS church of St Mary Le Strand where we laid up our old Standard and dedicated the New National Standard, we also commemorated the lives of our past Presidents and lit candles in their memory. I hope many of you will get to see the new standard as the years unfold.
By the time you get to read this report many of you will know that we had to postpone the much anticipated dinner at the Fleet Air Arm Museum, Yeovilton. It promised to be a spectacular event in a very special setting and judging by the excellent response we had for tickets, obviously you our members thought so too. This was to be a very special evening celebrating who we are, our heritage and our future. Blue and Gold Together highlighted that although women in the navy have changed their blue badges for gold we still share the same spirit and enjoy a good party. Postponement may even heighten our enthusiasm for the evening making it even more special.
Another casualty of the unfolding events has meant that our Out of Town meeting in Exeter on 16thMay has sadly been postponed and so too the major Centenary event at the National Memorial Arboretum on 10 June. Every effort will be made to reschedule all the postponed events.
A number of you will have paid for your tickets for these three events. The Treasurer will be maintaining records of who has submitted payments and will ensure you have a ticket when rescheduled. If you would prefer to have a refund, and have your name removed from the event list, please email or write to HQ with your bank details or to request a cheque. PLEASE DON’T TELEPHONE with this information.
How long the effects of the virus will continue is uncertain so for the time being we are including in this edition of The Wren application forms for our Edinburgh events, but please be aware that this too may be a casualty of the situation we all face. By all means submit your forms but no payments will be taken or cheques cashed until we have a confirmed go ahead. The Just4Groups accommodation package application form for the weekend is already available on the website, but please be aware that acceptance of an accommodation booking does not guarantee that you have a place at the events and you may be able to find accommodation at a lower price.
There are other events planned by Branches and Informal Groups throughout the year in venues across the country, if you plan to hold an event but due to unforeseen circumstances have to cancel it, do please let the office know so that all details can be included on the website.
Despite the circumstances let’s try to remain strong, whether we wore Blue or Gold (or both), always remember the special place women have had in the Royal Navy over the past Century and the founding of our Association in 1920.
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