Message from the Chairman

7th June 2020

Dear AOBA Members,

I hope this finds you all fit and well and you are enjoying the limited freedom now available to us.  I read recently that there appeared to be some confusion over the latest Government’s slogan of ‘Stay Alert’, and I admit to being surprised as it’s a pretty simple message. As I understand it, we all need to remain vigilant; the virus has not gone away, so we need to be mindful of everything we touch, and have a thought for who could have been there before us.  Please take extra precautions in petrol stations, shop and supermarkets and obey the 2 metre distancing rules.  You know it makes sense.

Thank you for those that responded to the call for GDPR forms, they are being returned thick and fast so, Ian, our data protection Officer, is delighted that we are showing progress at last.  Also thank you for those that celebrated VE75 by dressing up and sending a photo into Andy the OBAN Editor.  He has a really good collection of photos and enough for a centre spread in the next magazine. We are making good progress with the new website and it should soon be ready for launch.  Our aim is to give the site a general refresh and enable new features such viewing of the OBAN using ‘flip PDF’ software, allowing potential new members to join on-line, and the completion of the relevant data protection permissions on line.  We are making some good progress I think.              

July would normally mean the Annual General Meeting, but due to COVID-19 this will not be possible this year, so we’ve delayed it.  This is permitted under the regulations and we will hold it next year when hopefully things have returned to normal. One bit of business I can continue with, is the £2000 ‘Chairman’s’ donation I make to charity each year on your behalf.  I have been inundated with requests, but I’ve decided to support what I believe are 3 worthy causes.  The NHS have been absolutely fantastic during this pandemic, but with the £40million plus that ‘Sir Tom’ raised, I think they are doing alright.  The Defence Medical Welfare Service are a volunteer service that work on the wards helping hospitalised soldiers and veterans and I would like to support them.  I would also like to support the Normandy Memorial Trust again this year and help them to complete their memorial, and finally a little known charity called the Old Forge which provides mental health care for veterans by teaching them metalworking skills. I think all three are worthy and I hope you agree.        

Rest assured the committee are working hard on your behalf.   I’ll be in touch again soon, in the meantime, stay safe.  Thank you.

Mike Tizard, your Chairman.