Linda and I travelled across to the NMA on Friday September 24th just to check that all was prepared for us on the Saturday, the weather was cold but dry and the area next to our Tree was also dry. We then drove on to Lichfield to the Cathedral Lodge Hotel where we booked in to await the rest of the Gang; in fact some had already arrived and gone on an early walkabout.
Over the next couple of hours more arrived, Dutchy and Christine drove past the hotel window a number of times, apparently the ‘SATNAV’ (Christine) had map problems! As with most ‘first nights’ new members were introduced, Photo Albums passed around and general ‘lamp swinging’ went on to the early hours.
Saturday morning was an early start with the AGM starting at 0900hrs. we have a new Chairman (Mac Macloed) and Vice Chairman Doc Whiteley, Brum Cox has volunteered to replace Bob Hartnup, good luck to you all and thanks for helping to administer the Association, if any Member would like a copy of the minutes please contact Pony Moore.
At 1015 the coach we had booked for the trip to the NMA arrived and transported us all in grand style and comfort straight to the reception area where we were hoping to meet up with Harold Lock and Terry Waite. They had not arrived by 1055hrs so we all proceeded in to the Chapel for the daily Remembrance Service at 1100hrs, this was a very moving experience attended by not only the Jupiter’s but other Associations and individuals. At 1115 we left the Chapel Service and looked again for Harold and Terry, still no sign so we continued to the Tree Dedication area with the Sea Cadets and members of the RNA and other Association Standard Bearers. Whilst we still waited for the expected arrival of Harold and Terry, the Jupiter Members passed around the Sea Cadets and Standard Bearers to thank them for their attendance, members of the general public who were walking around the NMA also joined in with the Service. We started the Tree Dedication at 1145 with Rev Michael Wishart conducting the Service, Vice-Admiral Sir Geoffrey Dalton reading the lesson and Commodore Barry Bryant giving the exhortation, on completion the retiring Chairman Ken Williams laid a wreath at the foot of the Tree and Commemorative Plaque. There were many pictures taken during our time at the NMA, some of which are printed within the JUP’S NEWS and loads more are on this website. After the Service many of us went for lunch in the excellent Café and then walked around looking at the various display areas and Memorials, a very moving day for all of us, it wasn’t until we arrived back at the Hotel did I have a chance to make contact with Harold Lock and ascertain that he had been unable to attend due to Terry, his driver, being unable to make the journey at the last minute.
As we had run out of time to go on to The Brewery/trip to Burton-upon-Trent we were coached back to the Hotel for about 2.00pm where Ladies went shopping in Lichfield and Boys went Shopping in Wetherspoons and other similar establishments!!!
The Reunion Dinner started at 2000 attended by our Guests Mike Cockayne and other Standard Bearers, who did such a brilliant job of organising and taking part in the colourful and professional attendance of Sea Cadets and RNA contingents.
The Dinner was hosted by our President and his wife Lady Jane, Prayers by the Padre Mike Wishart and the Loyal Toast by the President, at the end of the Dinner everyone moved into the Bar to continue imbibing in the golden nectar and to promise to attend next year, hopefully in York.
Sunday breakfast was a late affair for some; some had decided to go early, in all a weekend to remember for a variety of reasons but mainly for us all to focus on those who were lost on the WW2 Jupiter and those who suffered in many ways after the sinking.
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM.