Item Description. Minutes AGM by Zoom 19 Nov 2020

Ship/Place/Originator. Secretary

Date/ Date range

Submitted by. Secretary

Now Held By. Secretary

Date added to archive. 21-10-2021

Historians No. Hist1479

Annual General Meeting

19th November 2020

Venue by Zoom

Present – Committee

Tony Darbyshire         Chairman

Pete Bunting               Vice Chairman

Ian Hooper                  Secretary

Ray Whitehouse          Social Secretary

Valerie Darbyshire      Treasurer

Steve King                   Membership Secretary

Danny Du Feu              Displays and Special Events.

Hilary King                   Newsletter Editor

Julie Richardson          Recruiting Officer



Mike Lee, Ray and Angela Pogson, Mike Gilbert, Spike Lee, Brian Jackson, Roger Forbes, Keith Taylor, Stuart Wood, Maurice Larcombe, Roy and Elizabeth Penny, Karl Webb, Bob Stanyard, Dave Cutler.

The meeting was opened by the Chairman at 17.00 with a welcome to everyone, to our very first Zoom meeting.


1. Roll of Honour. Pete Bunting advised that since our last AGM, unfortunately, three ex-phots that we know of have crossed the bar. Charles H Thompson, Bill Porter and Paul Wellings.

A period of silence was observed by all those present.


2. The minutes of the 2019 AGM were approved as a true record. Proposed by Pete Bunting and seconded by Spike Lee.


3. There were no matters arising from the minutes.


4. The secretary reported that he had not received any correspondence.

     Apologies were received from Rick Birch and Bob Pearce.


5. The Accounts were circulated prior to the meeting. The Treasurer highlighted that under 2020 Reunion, no expenditure is shown although an amount of £1543. was paid out to cover deposits etc. Due to the current pandemic situation forcing a cancellation, the money was transferred to the 2021 reunion.

The Treasurer also stated that the only income received this year was from members subscriptions.

 The Accounts were approved. Proposed by Ian Hooper and seconded by Steve King.


6. Officers Reports. All officer’s reports were circulated prior to the meeting (attached) and taken as read. No queries or comments arose. The Chairman added that he will be standing down following the 2021 Reunion.

Steve King reported that at present the membership stood at:

72. single members.

24. joint members

2. honorary members

Making a total of 122. With 5 potential members in the pipeline.

Hilary stated that she had not received any articles for the Christmas Newsletter yet.

Steve King pointed out that Hilary has been producing the Newsletter since 2009 and the next issue will be number 64. (well done Hilary!!)

Ray mentioned that he was in the process of putting an article together about memorials and cenotaphs up and down the country that have a particular relevance to the Fleet Air Arm. He requested any photographs or contributions that would aid him in producing this article should be sent to him.

The Social Secretary added to his report that an email will be sent out shortly with a booking form for the 2021 Edinburgh reunion and requested that members book as soon possible so that he can have a good idea of numbers. He is at present holding 20 rooms at the hotel.

7. The committee has recognised the need for a recruitment officer and Julie Richardson has been appointed to this role, proposed by Danny Du Feu, seconded by Ian Hooper and subsequently agreed at this meeting. She has already been active with a number of potential new members in the pipeline.


8. Election of Officers. All current officers have agreed to stand again for another year. With no challengers this was accepted by the members.

Tony stated that Danny has put himself forward to take on the role of Social Secretary to take over from Ray who will be standing down immediately following the 2021 Reunion. This was accepted by the committee and approved at this meeting. Danny will be working closely with Ray throughout the year. This will create a vacancy for someone to take over looking after the Displays which are stored presently at RNAS Yeovilton phot section. Danny gave an indication of the dimensions of the display boards and said that the photographs need updating. A request for new photographs was made.


9. The members agreed to re-appoint Hilary to audit the Accounts.


10. AOB. Tony gave a presentation of how, courtesy of his daughter Kirsty, the Archive, managed by Jan Larcombe, is being integrated into the RNPA website. This is an ongoing project that will take sometime to complete. By sharing his screen, he gave a demonstration of how the system worked. Tony also drew attention to the “Swing the lamp” section of the website where members can add posts and photographs.

Julie Richardson asked if the new member joining form and process could be streamlined to make it more user friendly. Tony suggested that she liaise with Steve King to review the procedure. Both Steve King and Maurice Larcombe pointed out that the present system supplies all the information that is required. The secretary suggested that the subject should be discussed amongst the committee at the next meeting.

There being no further business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 17,28.




Approved ________________________________________ Chairman




     Chairman’s Report 2020


This year has been on the edge of bizarre. Covid-19 has seen the world turned upside down and our own plans for the reunion thwarted because of it. There’s little we can do but grin and bear it and hope, sooner rather than later, that the negative effect it’s had on our society and economy is ended. 


Despite what’s been happening the committee have continued to communicate and attempt to work out plans for our next reunion, now planned for October 2021. 


Our social secretary, Ray Whitehouse, has been working hard to make arrangements for this event and we’re grateful that all of his efforts on our behalf will enable us to come together next year. Ray has indicated, after more than ten years of organising our reunions, that this will be his last year in the role. On behalf of all our members I thank him for his incredible commitment to planning and organising the reunions, and the other social events for us all. All we need now is for a new social secretary to replace him from October 2021! So please let us know if you’d like to join the committee and take on this role.


We welcomed a new member to the committee this year, Julie Richardson. Julie has taken on a new position of trying to recruit new members to the association. She will need help from all of us and as much as we can provide. If any member does have contact with ex-phots who aren’t currently a member then we need to let Julie know please. Welcome Julie! 


After our last reunion in 2019 we said goodbye to our outgoing secretary, Jan Larcombe who has served the association for many years. Jan continues to work as the branch archivist and we’re grateful for the work he does in this regard. Thankyou Jan!


I’m delighted to say that Jan’s replacement, Ian Hooper, has made a seamless transition for us as our secretary and is now provided us with excellent minutes of the committee meetings. He’s very good at ensuring the things we commit to doing actually get actioned! Ian’s appointment has proven to be excellent. Thanks very much Ian!


I’d like to thank our other committee members, Pete Bunting, Danny Du Feu and Steve and Hilary King, and my wife Val, for their own work on the committee. Meeting remotely has been a bit of a challenge but, for the most part, it’s been successful. 


During the last twelve months we’ve lost more of our members who’ve crossed the bar. Sadly, It’s always hard to lose people we may have worked alongside, and made great friends with. I’m sure that we shall remember all of them with the affection and respect they deserve. 


Finally, I should now mention that this will be my own last year as your chairman. Back in 2012 I took on the role with the intention of serving for a couple of years and, by the time I formally step down, I will have been chairman for nine years. But I now feel that it’s time for someone else to take on this role. It’s been an absolute pleasure to be your chairman and I thank every one of our members for the support you’ve given to me during the time I’ve been in the hot seat. (It’s not that hot really!)

I hope to continue to serve on the committee though, in the role of looking after the RNPA website. Currently there are so few members who’re accessing the website which does disappoint me. We do need more contributions from members to make it more of a resource that all of us can tap into and enjoy. I do get an occasional email with some fresh news but I’m conscious that we need more news from members. So, please, if you have stories and memories to share then let me have them so we can put them on the website.


I look forward to seeing as many of you next year in Edinburgh.

Best wishes,



From the Secretary.

I hope you and all your families are keeping well.

Well, what a year for my first year as the RNPA secretary! The last time I saw any members was at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday. Many thanks to Danny for all his hard work to make the day the success it undoubtably was. At the time of writing this, we are still waiting for confirmation from the Royal British Legion that this year’s event will still take place. If it does, I hope to see some of you then.

I have had to sharpen up my computer skills to get to grips with the “virtual world”. Because of the lockdown and latter restrictions, the committee has had to hold meetings by video “Zoom” calls and I am pleased to say that we have been successful in this. Hopefully, holding the AGM by “Zoom” will also be a success. To test this out, we will be holding a Dummy run beforehand. Details of this can be found in the notice to members.

On the administration front there isn’t much to report. Sadly, some former phots have crossed the bar over the last year and Tony will mention them during the AGM.

Hopefully, next year will be something like the normal we used to know and that we can go ahead with the social events that Ray is planning.

My regards to all of you.


Social Secretary’s Report for 2020 AGM

I think we all have to agree this has been a very difficult year and, if you are like me, you will be glad to see the back of it with the hope that life in 2021 will improve and we will get back to some level of normal activity.

As I a result of Covid-19 it was necessary for us to cancel the 2020 Reunion in Edinburgh. However, the hotel played ball and cancelled the booking without any penalties, the committee agreed to remain positive and transfer everything to next October.

So, as I outlined in the recent newsletter, next year’s reunion is confirmed at The Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, North Queensferry, Edinburgh from Friday 8th to Monday 11th October. The good news with this change is that  we will be able to hold our  Reunion Dinner in the hotel on the Saturday which would not have been possible this year.

As previously mentioned, the hotel is not in the centre of Edinburgh, something we were keen to avoid, expensive, parking, congestion etc, it is situated in a lovely location, overlooking the Forth with excellent views of the river and all three bridges connecting the north side to the historical centre of Edinburgh. During the weekend we will be using coach transportation to all our programmed social  events as parking is both difficult and very expensive anywhere in the city. The hotel has an extensive free carpark and is accessible from the motorway across the new road bridge.

I will be sending out further details of the weekend after the AGM with all of the booking details. I pleased to advise that you will be able to book without any deposits or a firm commitment, until next summer, but I do recommend that you book as early as possible as this is a very popular hotel. I am holding an allocation of rooms, exclusively for the RNPA, but it will be very helpful to know as early as possible if you wish to participate so that you will not be disappointed.

The committee are still keen for me to also organize an additional “day social event” during the Spring next year and I am considering several possibilities but, under the present circumstances, I am reluctant to go firm on anything just yet.

Finally, I have decided to make next year’s reunion my last as the RNPA’s social secretary; I will be resigning as of the 2021 AGM.

I feel that after twelve years in the job it is time for me to bow-out and let someone else with new ideas bring a fresh approach to our annual get-togethers. It has been a very rewarding few years for me and a privilege to serve this Association;  I can honestly say I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.

I will be taking away many, fond memories of each and every event, and the experiences we have enjoyed together.

Ray Whitehouse          October 2020        

Membership Secretary’s Report.


Members. Numbers are up on last year. A few said that would join but not confirmed

Single              84

Joint                43

Honourees       2

Total               127


I have printed next years cards and will send out in January.

Those here for the weekend I will hand out to you.

Some accounts are still on low payments but mainly members who have passed on and the families are happy to continue subs.




I have three ties for sale new design at £24 each.

I also have some green old phot badges £3.50 each.

Ray if badges for 100 years are given out, I will have some left over and I suggest we sell then at £4 each. We might be able to recover some of the costs.

Any member requiring clothing please see me after the meeting.




RNPA Remembrance Sunday Cenotaph Marching and Exhibition & Display Coordinator


Dear Members,

I hope you are still ALL Well and managing to Keep Safe in these challenging times!

The Royal British Legion finally sent out a communique at the end of June stating that there will be a decision made later regarding Associations marching at the Cenotaph Ceremony. Reading between the lines, I was beginning to think there might be a ceremony but it could be an event much reduced in numbers, and then we received the instruction that only 8 marchers were permitted per Association.

An invitation was sent out to the 25 marchers looking forward to marching this year within the RNPA contingent, to decide whether they wanted to march in these circumstances and I ended up with the final 8, even after Brian Jackson had to drop out at the last moment with a Hernia.

It was difficult to see how a mass event on the scale of the past ceremonies could have gone go ahead, although people would be outside. Even with social distancing, marchers within the group might be considered to be ‘at risk’, still presented itself a challenging risk assessment, and to that effect the RBL informed me that the Government had taken the final decision to cancel the Veterans March.

One item the RBL was keen to promote, albeit on a reduced scale, was the VJ Day celebrations on the 15th August. The RBL were keen that as individuals and with neighbours within our communities, that we should make as much an effort as we did for VE Day in May, again keeping social distancing but enjoying the day.

This brings me on to the Remembrance Sunday and the 2 minutes silence at 11.00 on Sunday 8th and Wednesday 11th November. I hope you were able to stand on the doorstep to mark this poignant moment., Tina and I plus a few neighbours who are Ex-RAF Veterans managed the Union Jack and Ensign at half mast, accompanied on loud speakers, the BBC commentary and additional rousing military music, followed by generous tots of ‘Pusser’s Rum’.

I will be sending out a message in the Xmas Newsletter to invite the RNPA Members to consider ticking off another item off their ‘To Do List’ and join us for a hopefully enlarged platoon in 2021.

RNPA Photo Exhibition Display

The photo exhibition display is currently being stored in the Phot Section at RNAS Yeovilton. It will be on display at the next reunion in Scotland, so if you have any good photos of yourselves with colleagues, please send to me for inclusion on the boards. It would better to send me a digital copy to be printed up, rather than sending hard copies. My email address, - ‘’

Best wishes to you and your family’s please keep safe and try to keep in contact with former naval colleagues less fortunate, who may be suffering in these trying times.

Danny du Feu

RNPA Cenotaph Marching Representative & RNPA Exhibition & Display Coordinator

07711 083465