Message from Chairman

Dear AOBA Members.  I hope this finds you all fit and well and wherever you are, keeping safe.

As I pressed the send button on my November message, I realised that I’d inadvertently forgot to mention Remembrance Day.  I guess it was because the events, both local and nationally had been cancelled.  Like many us though I could not help myself, and on Remembrance Sunday, I simply had to do something to mark the occasion.  I decided that I needed some exercise and at about 1045hrs, I decided on a walk to the local church,  I found myself in need of a break and stopped for a rest at 1100hrs for two minutes.  There just happened to be an outside church service going on and I stood at the back, facemask on, socially distancing myself.  I live close to a military camp and I was surprised at just how many were in attendance and while there were no post service refreshments, it was nevertheless a fitting occasion.  Walking back home I reflected on our usual parade at the Cenotaph and how much I had missed it.  It’s an excellent day and I feel privileged to be there and lead the AOBA contingent; I would certainly encourage you all to get involved in future years.

Well, the daily news keeps us on our toes as it seems the restrictions change on an almost daily basis.  We’ve gone from full lockdown, to a tiered system and every week or so the levels are being reviewed.  I find myself in Tier 2 and apparently, I can go to the pub and have a pint, providing I have a scotch egg.  I can do so with my family, but not with a mate from another household, unless we stay outside in the beer garden that is.  Is it me, or are these restrictions becoming more complex to understand? I really feel for the pub landlords who have to understand and interpret the rules and try to police them.  I guess like the rest of us, we just have to roll with the punches until the vaccine gets rolled out and things get better. 

I think it’s easy to become complacent these days and things appear to be getting really busy on the lead up to Christmas.  The shops are packed, and I just get the impression that some folks are playing lip service to it, and it’s almost like the rules don’t apply anymore.  For me, the shock is the daily death count on the news every night – 400 plus are dying every day and over 60,000 have died thus far.  To put that in perspective, from 1938 to 2004 over 50,000 mem and women passed through the apprentice college gates.  It’s worth thinking about that, and to me the message is real … we need to stay safe and follow the rules… ‘Hands, Face, Space’.  We are getting so close to the vaccine now, and it would be such a shame to relax too soon and get caught out.  Stay inside and read OBAN 78, or visit the AOBA website – both of which are excellent and a credit to the committee.    

I’ll close by thanking those that took the time to ring or message a mate.  I had a couple of guys get in touch and I really appreciated them taking the time and making the effort.  The same applies over the Festive period, and I would encourage you all to take some time to think of other Arborfield Old Boys and to give them a call.  Wherever you are in the world, and who ever you are with, have a fantastic Christmas and all the very best for 2021.  Let’s look forward to better times ahead and remember to Stay Safe.     

Mike Tizard, your Chairman.