Home Page | A.A.J.L.R. Forum | Contact The Webmaster


Minutes From The AAJLR Annual General Meeting
by Mike Owsley

Held at the Min-Y-Mor Hotel, Barmouth, Wales
Saturday 27th. March 2010 at 1700 hours
47 Members Present

The following tended their apologies
Adrian Kirkpatrick–Smith   Gareth McLatchy   Malcolm Palfrey
Alan Cruikshank   Geoff Ince   Malcolm Smith
Alan Likeman   George Baker   Mel Smith
Alan Nalson   George Bilton   Mike Glossop
Alan Press   George Green   Mike Jones
Alan Ventress   George Patterson   Mike Varvel
Andy Hawkins   Graham Kay   Pat McGuiness
Barry Mountford   Graham Stevens   Paul Barrett
Bernie Watts   Graham White   Peter Jennings
Bert Ford-Enfield   Gus Boag   Peter Robson
Bill Burnham   Hugh Delahaye   Peter Rogerson
Bob Martin   Ian Drew   Peter Wooldridge 
Bob Potts   Ian Mitchell   Ray Zala
Bob Relf   Ian Sinclair Boyd   Richard Robinson
Brian Burke   Ivan Scott-Lewis   Richard Sharpe
Brian Caffey   Jack Thomas   Robert Martin
Brian Simpson   James Chippington   Roger Pettit
Carl Pearce   Jim Cairns   Stan Green
Colin Gunning   Jim Webster   Stan Moore
Colin Sibary   Joe Niland   Stan Preece
Dai Jenkins   John Farrell   Stephen Jones
Dave Clarke   John Greaterholder    Stew Smith
Dave Lewis   John Jablonski   Stuart Kenney
Dave Perry   John Laird   Terry Friend
Dave Reeves   John Larkam   Terry Hope
Dave Wakelin   John Proctor   Terry Scriven
David Mackney   John Reid   Tom Gracie
David Patterson   John Vanbuiten   Tom Lewis
David Wenban   Keith Wilmore   Toney Chaffey
Dennis Scarfe   Kelvin Haley   Tony Arkley
Dennis Thornton   Ken Beet   Tony Stormer
Dick Scatcherd   Ken Hare   Trevor Dack
Doug Hiscott   Ken Hart   Vince Coombs
Eddie Jonas   Lawson Kent    
Eddie Nuttall   Lee Tilson    
Fred Mantey   Lenny Kalter    
Members on the Mountain
(not in attendance at AGM)
Brian Marjoram
Fred Philpott
Liz Philpott
Richard Rothwell

Opening Address
The President opened the meeting at 1704hrs with the following:
The President welcomed everyone who made it to Barmouth in particular those who have made it for the first time. He also restated that decisions made by members at this meeting are binding.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting
There were no matters arising from the minutes of the previous meeting.
Proposal: That the minutes be passed as read.

Election of Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and Vice Chairman.
The present team agreed to continue and the Secretary and Treasurer agreed to take up the vacant post of Vice Chairman (Jointly) following the sad loss of Bill Straughan.
Proposed by: Geoff Brown and Seconded by Eric Wood

Secretary’s Report
Mike said that from the last meeting name tags had been produced and if members have the wrong details on theirs to let him know; this often happens as the Graduation Booklet information is often duplicated, however he said that we will get it right!
This year Mike said he was able to place a notification of this reunion in the RBL Magazine and that it solicited a great response; therefore if possible, it is his intention to put a one page newsletter in the magazine, to let everyone know how the weekend went.
The committee believes that there are sufficient stories in the website "Pull up a Sandbag" and "Guardroom" sections to try and produce a book on the AAJLR and Mike said he will take this up and run with it, and let everyone know how or if it is likely to progress.
Mike asked that members please notify him when they change e-mail or home addresses.
Mike said that last but not least, there is apparently a proposal to turn the site of Tonfanau Camp into a prison, so no real change! At the moment it seems as if the Council are fighting each other after having had a 'punch up' at a recent council meeting, and he said he will keep everyone informed.
The hundred odd apologies we received have come through a mass e-mail to former AAJLR members who are not on our membership list, in all over 360 people were contacted and most gave one sort of reply or another. Going forward we have opened a pool of future members which does look good for the future.

Apologies of Absence – Further Information
Richard had read out the list of apologies for absence as the committee wanted all those present to be aware that contact details of those names are held by him and Mike; thus if anyone recognised a former colleague's name either from Tonfanau or later in the "mans army" they could be put in contact. Whilst on apologies, Richard mentioned that several are ill – including David Bailey, Terry Hope and Alan Likeman, and that our Vice President Lieutenant Colonel David Paterson is going to be ninety in June and is unlikely to attend future reunions.
Richard also mentioned that in response to a letter he had written to Brendan Kavanagh, who had been a Royal Signals Lieutenant, Imphal Platoon between 1961 and 1962, he had received a telephone call earlier this week from Mrs. Kavanagh advising that Brendan had recently died; this was an appreciated and touching gesture and Mrs. Kavanagh had been promised a follow-up letter with news of this reunion and meeting.
On a lighter note, Richard had received various notes with the apologies for absence and made a point of reading out those from Ray Zala who sent his best and would have been at this reunion had it not for a prior engagement; he specifically mentioned Dennis (Parry) and John (Houchin). Also our Chairman, Colin Gunning, was unable to make it this year, and who had sent his 'sincere wishes that all members are in good health, and that they have a most enjoyable time'. Finally, from Tom Gracie, who was a Recruit Company Platoon Sergeant, and who had written: "I wish you all the best of weekends. Please tell all that I'm very proud of them and was very happy to have had something, no matter how small, to do with their futures. And for old time's sake, 'Get your 'Air Cut! I shall be thinking of you all".

Treasurer's Report
The Treasurer reported that it was becoming a mantra at these reunions but said that for the benefit of new attendees the Association monies are held in a very simple Nationwide Building Society Treasurer's Trust Book Account, and recorded on an even simpler Excel Spreadsheet. This only provides for very minimal interest twice yearly and in fact in these recessionary times over the past twelve months we had accrued interest to the princely sum of thirty-three pence! It is however a very user friendly type of account from which there are no problems with access, of paying in cheques, or of getting a counter cheque from a branch to pay invoices. Richard had placed some print-outs from the spreadsheet for last year, and 2010 to last Tuesday.
Note: After the meeting it was found that the Treasurer had omitted to place them for which he apologises.)
Richard said that any payments received after 1 January each year are taken as being for the next financial/membership year which runs from 1 April, and so are shown as having been paid in on that date. Some members pay several times the annually agreed subscription in which case it is recorded in a different colour and the balance carried forward to the next year. The account balance is currently £655.98 with all invoices paid to date. Richard pointed out that within the figure there was £18.00 owed to Combat Stress under the 'badge scheme' (whereby the charity receive £3.00 from each one sold) because he waited until there was a decent sum to send them before obtaining a cheque for the purpose. With the anticipated influx of membership payments, sales and donations this weekend that already substantial sum – given a mere fiver membership – will increase; more of that though under the Charity heading.
Up to now we have not had the accounts audited and Richard said he knew of no requirement so to do and, as he had pointed out, the accounting system is mind numbingly simple and transparent. Either at this meeting, or at any other time, should a member require a copy of the accounts they only have to e-mail or write to the Treasurer and they will be sent to them.
We are an informal sort of Association and it has never been part of our operation to insist that even those attending reunions are all fully paid up members. However the £5.00 subscription is our only regular source of revenue and Richard requested that, if those present had not already done so, they pay their membership for 2010/2011 without delay. Richard emphasised that the association cannot assist military charities nor meet the occasional invoices without a decent balance in the account.
The Treasurer asked that payments for membership, badges, ties and/or plaques should be placed in an envelope please with name and to what it refers on the outside. Also, if members had never completed a membership application or if their details, e-mail address or the like had changed there were some forms on the tables.
Richard advised that the cost of the hotel accommodation and the buffet must be paid directly to the Min-Y-Mor.
There were no questions and the accounts and accounting system was accepted by all present.

Still with the Treasurer as it rather fell under his remit, Richard said that at the 2007 Annual General Meeting it had been unanimously agreed to adopt the charity, the Ex-Services Mental Welfare Society, which is known more usually as Combat Stress. In the past twelve months Richard had sent them a total of £200.00 on behalf of the Association. This had been made up of a donation from the accounts, and £3.00 from every pin badge sold. The other outgoings since the last AGM were £100.00 to Help for Heroes; £30.00 to St Dunstan's (the centre for blind ex-service personnel); a wreath for the late Jeremy Carrad; £32.00 to convert the late Major Playfoot's Tonfanau Camera Club slides to digital format, and £50.00 to Ken Hart to help run our excellent website which he funds personally.
Richard said that usually at the AGMs he suggests that we send Combat Stress a further sum, and given that we have a substantial balance in the account he would welcome suggestions for the level of donation we send to them this year. Also if the members present believe we should send a sum to other military charities, they should say so now. Again if anyone personally wishes to donate to Combat Stress, Help for Heroes, the Army benevolent Fund, the Royal British Legion or any other charity of their choice through the Association, to please put that in one of the envelopes clearly marked. There followed a discussion where the consensus of opinion was that we should alternate our charitable giving year on year; this year making a substantial donation to Combat Stress. Specific sums were discussed with the Treasurer suggesting £400.00 but asking for discretion should there be substantially more in the account after the weekend.
Richard thanked all of those who had brought items for the raffle which would be held after dinner that evening. Traditionally a portion of the monies gleaned from this are sent to Ken Hart, in support of his excellent and unpaid work on the AAJLR website, which Richard said he believed all would agree is superb and the main route through which a great deal of members are back in touch, and indeed how we were here for our seventh reunion. Richard suggested sending Ken £50.00 – but again asked for discretion as to the final amount - which he would deal with over the next couple of weeks. There was unanimous agreement from those present that Ken deserves congratulations for all his hard work in producing and maintaining the website; also that they send their good wishes to Val Hart who is due to go into hospital at this time.
(Note: Due to the considerable success of the reunion, donations, and raffle – the latter by Val Truelove and Ruth Hattersley – the Treasurer and Secretary agreed to send Combat Stress a cheque for £800.00 and one of £100.00 to Ken).

Any Other Business
As an organisation do we want to be represented at the Cenotaph?
This suggestion came by e-mail from Dave Maughan.
Following a discussion most members thought that this would abstract attendees from other organisations and that most, if not all, former Junior Leaders could march with their respective Regiments, Corps or other associations already represented at the Cenotaph ceremony.
Do members want to lay a wreath at the Tonfanau site?
This suggestion came by e-mail from Geoff Graves.
The general opinion from the meeting was not to lay a wreath although most said they were likely to still visit the site of the old camp.
New tie design.
This suggestion came from Mick Chapman.
Mick was present at the meeting and gave a very amusing presentation concerning his thoughts on the existing tie design, even producing an alleged ASBO (Anti Social Behaviour Order) which he said he had been given due to wearing his AAJLR tie!
Ken Hart had suggested an alternative design and a print-out of it was produced to the meeting with members stating that they preferred it to the existing design. Mike said that he would explore the cost implication but that there were still a number of the old ties left which are 'superb' and that the new design is still unlikely to go with any shirt!
Venue for future reunions
Mike said that we continue as a committee to look at alternatives to the present location, however after some digging it would seem we have the most appropriate place in town. Mike and Richard had also looked at moving to other locations within Barmouth (including a visit to the Arbour Hotel that morning) but had to concur with the advice given by member Diane Bailey – a Barmouth girl - that the Min-Y-Mor was the largest such venue in the town.
Arthur Yelton suggested that the committee should look at venues at other areas within the UK; possibly around the Midlands. Richard said that this had been discussed at earlier meetings as far back as the first one in Towyn in 2004, but that on each occasion those present had agreed that Wales, and specifically this area, was the common denominator for our Junior Leader history. However it was again put to the vote whether we should return to Barmouth (and the Min-Y-Mor Hotel) for the 2011 reunion and that was carried almost unanimously, with one against.
Donation to the Mountain Rescue Service
This suggestion came from Richard Rothwell.
The meeting agreed that the mountain rescue organisation carries out a valuable voluntary service and that as our Comrades Association is an aging organisation, some of whom climb and walk the mountains every year, we can never be sure when their services will be required. It was unanimously agreed to send them a cheque for £25.00.
(Note: Following the meeting, during that evening the Outward Bound Wales Search and Rescue had been called out – two members leaving the wedding reception of one of them – the Treasurer and Secretary took the decision to double the donation to £50.00).
Travel to the Reunion
Bruce Watson reminded the meeting that he had driven up in an empty car and would have been prepared to give a lift to a member or members who may have difficulty travelling to Barmouth.
Mike said that Bruce had raised a very good point as many of us had done the same thing and that he had looked at the idea of putting together an 'auto-route' programme with all the members' addresses so that the committee could possibly link people to available transport but that the idea had rather "fallen by the wayside". Mike said that he would 'resurrect' it and let members know – possibly through the website - in good time to meet up and make a shared journey.
Plaque for the rest hut on Cada Idress
This suggestion came from Rene Dee.
Rene Dee was present at the meeting – having again led a team on Cader Idris today – and asked whether the Association would supply a plaque for the rest hut on the mountain as it had been members of the regiment who had built the hut in 1965. Mike agreed to contact the Snowdon National Park and see if they had any objection to the idea. If the Park authorities are in agreement the committee will look at costs. Rene volunteered to mount the plaque should his suggestion come to fruition though it was pointed out that few of the membership are ever likely to visit the site!
AAJLR Web Site
Herbie Slaughter said he would like to place on record that the AAJLR website is one of the better vehicles for looking up old comrades. He also made a 'plug' for his wife's book "We Also Serve" – which recounts the life of wives, left at home during the Falklands Campaign – and said he "happened to have a number of copies in a lorry outside"!
(Note: During the evening June Abraham, and Herbie sold the twelve or so copies from "the lorry" and the Treasurer – who read it over the weekend – can vouch that it is an interesting read even if you have never been anywhere near the South Atlantic, nor were a wife of one who fought there).
Service Pension
Tony Harris asked if members would sign a petition to try and reinstate a military pension to those who had completed their service before 1975 but who do not receive any pension for the time they served. This was carried and the petition passed around by Tony.
Closing Notes
The President reminded members that there is likely to be a speed trap, in the shape of a camera van, is likely to be outside of Barmouth and warned members to keep to the speed limits on their way home on Sunday.

Venue, Date and Time of next meeting.
The Min-Y-Mor Hotel, South Promenade, Barmouth.
Saturday 26th. March 2011 at 1700 hours; the suggestion is to book early.

There being no other business the President closed the meeting at 1810 hours.

Mike Owsley
Honorary Secretary
AAJLR Association

 Return To The 2010 Reunion Page 


If you have any reunion photos I would love to show them.

Email The Webmaster

 Email the Webmaster