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Royal Naval Writers Association

Formed in 1887 - The Oldest Military Association

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Royal Naval Writers’ Association

The World’s Oldest Military Association – Est. 1887

Committee and Members Meeting 16TH November 2023



Colin Hughes (CH)              President

Pat Prior QVRM (PP)          Vice President & Treasurer

Lyn Gannon (LG)                 Secretary

Don McGeorge (DM)           Membership Secretary

Jim Donaldson (JD              Committee Member

Davis Spicer (DS)                Committee Member

Penny Wallis (PW)               Member

Andy Bell (AB)                      Member

Vince Hawkins (VH)             Member

Committee Member Apologies

Tony Mason & Tony Webber

Member Apologies

Brian Wead, Philip Jones, Phil Allen, Paul Johns, Alfred Parr, Steve Hamblin,

Nancy & David Hill, Alf Ramsey, Chris Payne, Mark Whitty, Greta Grindell, David Scott, Kathryn Simmons, Bill McIntosh and Ian McHugh.

The President welcomed all to the meeting, the first with new committee members in place. He said that the annual dinner in October had gone very well and was looking forward to seeing more members at next year’s dinner where it is planned to do some different things.

Crossed the Bar

A minutes silence was held in memory of Mary McIntyre (CTB 5/5/23) and Ivan Milburn (CTB 5/11/23)

Minutes of the last meeting 21 September 2023

The minutes of the last meeting were approved – proposed by PP, seconded by DS

Treasurers Report

PP reported that the balance as of this day was £3262.18. This  includes £1471.50 ring fenced funds, with a true balance of £1790.68. An asset of £500 was the deposit paid for next years’ dinner. A 12 month Zoom subscription had been paid, to allow longer meetings as and when needed, plus lottery renewal (to enable the Grand National Draw) and £60 plus a lapsed fee £20 (total £80) to the Royal Maritime Hotel.  She said that joining fees had started coming through.

DM reported that 7 new members had applied for membership and were approved by the committee –


Jacqueline (Jake) Bailey – ex POWtr

John Donovan – ex CPOWtr

Alan (Max) Wall – ex CPOWtr

Mick Watt – ex WOWtr

Terry Why – ex CPOWtr

James (Jim) Whyte – ex WOWtr

Sarah Bryant – ex WOWtr    

And 14 more were awaiting approval.

Link to RANWA

Since the meeting, DM has contacted the Australian version of our Association, with a view to closer association.


DM requested consideration for having an RNWA platoon at the Cenotaph in London, considering the RNWA is the oldest association.  There have also been comments on the RNWA FB page. This is a veterans parade (no uniformed personnel) so it was agreed to see if we can have places next year (minimum numbers 15) so LG is going to apply for 25 places for us for next year.

ACTION LG to contact TRBL


Introduction of Joining Fee

Increase in Annual Subs

Move towards a Common Date for Renewal and SO’s

The Committee have approved a joining fee and an increase in subs to £10 from 1/1/24. This would be a common date for renewal, using standing orders. A pro rata system is being put into place by DM for those that have already paid ahead. DM will contact everyone to advise these pro rata payments. This will all be explained in depth in the Newsletter being produced in December.

Rules and Regulations Review/Committee periods in Office

DM said that at present, committee members must be re-elected annually.  could effectively all leave their roles at the same time – no continuity plan in place. He suggested that every year, 2 committee members should stand down ( 1 officer – President, Treasurer, Secretary or Membership Secretary and 1 ordinary committee member) – this would be on a rolling basis but they are able to stand for re-election immediately. DM said he would revise the Rules and Regulations and distribute them to the Committee.

ACTION DM to revise Rules and Regulations and distribute to Committee members.

DS asked how to stop committee members from staying too long and getting stale? A rolling 4 -year renewal would be considered and be voted on at the AGM. PP said that the RBL have a 3-year rolling programme.

Crossing the Bar Notifications

 DM said that this should be for all formers Writers, not just members – this was unanimously approved.

Annual Dinner 2024

LG had met with the events team at the Royal Maritime Hotel and was awaiting the quote and dinner menu choices.

Any Other Business

LG has received correspondence from the Fleet Writer (WO ‘Alf’ Ramsey). At the dinner in October, the subject of uniformed personnel on the committee was raised and WOWtr Ian McHugh has been nominated to join the committee. This was unanimously agreed.  Alf also offered help from POWtr(SM) Martyn Cornish to help with our website.  DM said that he had been working very closely with our current website provider and felt that things were improving greatly, and that he had learned how to do much of the work. To this end, it was agreed to hold this offer in abeyance and review the situation in 6 months’ time.

DM said that Sophie and her daughter would be very happy to attend next year’s dinner and take professional photographs (as has happened in the past) for the website, with names attached, and to make them available commercially. The cost to us would just be their dinner tickets, which was agreed.

VH asked if someone other than a high-ranking officer could be guest speaker, as the talks become uninteresting. CH said that V Ad Kyte was this year’s guest speaker – has been booked for over a year but would take this suggestion onboard for 2025.

CH asked for any future Crossing the Bar notification be passed to LG. If the person is a current RNWA member, a small donation is made in their memory to a charity of their family’s choice.

There being no further topics for discussion, the meeting closed.

The date of the next meeting is Thursday 18 January 2024.


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