Chairman’s Report

Chairman’s Report - March 2022

We were all looking forward to Spring, to warmth and sunshine and longer days – and, hopefully, to the end of this pandemic and the two long years we have just lost.  At the same time as dealing with so many issues in our world:  the economic fall out of the pandemic, the very real impact of climate change, to name but two of the things that trouble us in the dark hours of the night.

And now – Ukraine.  We must all be horrified and broken hearted at what that Russian tyrant is doing to that lovely little country and its people.  A country that has struggled for years economically and which will have felt the rigours of the last two years more keenly than we have, protected as we have been by a long established welfare state, now has to face the horrors of war.  Not for anything that they have done, or not done, but simply because Putin is a megalomaniac and an opportunist and is a man completely without compassion. It is not possible to be a human being and to bomb maternity hospitals. 

There seems little we can do but stand by and wring our hands in despair at this latest attack on humanity, but one thing we can do – besides pray very hard for them - is give our money.  Money will help those poor people escape, will give them food and transport, will give them some hope.  And, perhaps just as importantly, let them know that we care, enormously, about our fellow man, about treating them with dignity and compassion and helping them find a future without fear.

The Disaster Emergency Committee is collecting money for this purpose.  Type this into Google and you will come up with the fund raising page.  Please do help.  We know what it is like to live in difficult and unhappy times, but we have had nothing in comparison with their misery, we must do what we can for them.

The Year Ahead

Platinum Jubilee: Her Majesty Our Queen has now reigned over us for 70 years, with unswerving dedication to the duty she pledged to us on her 25th birthday.  We owe her so much:  she has contributed so much to the calm and stability of this country, to our sense of place and history.  And what we must do is celebrate her 70 years on the throne with as much style as we can possibly muster, and with a lot of enthusiasm. 

I know that communities all over the country will be holding events during that long June weekend, and that hopefully you are involved, but we also plan to hold a reception to celebrate and thank our Patron.  The date and the details are not yet finalised, but as soon as they are we will do a mailshot and put information on our website.  Hopefully in the next couple of weeks.

Cenotaph: it will be so good to return to the Cenotaph this year and our St George’s Day Cadet Parade.  And the Saturday of the parade is also the 23rd April, so perfect.  We intend the usual format:  parade and service at the Cenotaph, a service at Westminster Abbey and laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and then lunch at the Cellarium, in the Abbey.  If you would like to stay for lunch, please let the office know. 

The year will then progress with the Battle of Britain lunch in September and the Standards service in late October or early November, and more information will come out nearer the time. But, in the meantime, I very much look forward to hearing what you have planned for the year.  Not only a year to celebrate our amazing Queen, but also a year to return to normal, to companionship and fellowship, and to enjoy our lovely country.

Our Mission Statement

Over the last couple of years we have collectively agreed our dismay at the drive to remove our history from our country and to denigrate a lot of what we hold dear.  And we decided that, as the Royal Society of St George, we were the right people to stand  up and do something about it. 

In order to do that, we had first to ensure that our own house was in order.  With the help of our branch chairmen and representatives, we have looked at our strengths and weaknesses, our threats and opportunities, and have agreed a new mission statement and an action plan. Our mission statement and supporting statements is shown below. What we now need to do is to take our action plan forward, and to do that we need people with expertise in PR and marketing to ensure that our message is clear and correct.  If you have these skills, or know someone that has, and can give us some of your valuable time, please let us know. 

And Me

This is my last year as Chairman, I will hand over to Nick Dutt at our AGM in September.  And I am very pleased to do so – he will be an incredible chairman and will, I know, have your full support.   I suppose this should be a time for reflection, but not yet, I still have a lot I want to do!  Not least, I hope, to finding the chance to say goodbye to you personally, where possible, and to thank you for your support over the last eight years.  It has been a rollercoaster, of course, but I wouldn’t have missed this opportunity – and this enormous fun and fellowship - for the world. 

Best wishes

Joanna

MISSION STATEMENT:

“To promote the character and true diversity of England and its people”

We achieve this by:

  • Supporting the Monarchy, our Charter and our democracy
  • Being proud of English values and character
  • Protecting English Heritage, Faiths, History and Traditions through education, practice and culture
  • Celebrating and embracing the social and cultural diversity within England - Past, Present and looking to the Future
  • Recognising and supporting local and regional identities, eccentricities, customs and products.
  • Uniting the nation and encouraging the celebration of St George’s Day
  • Challenging doctrines that threaten to undermine our objectives and mission, whilst upholding the right to free thought, speech and movement
  • Championing campaigns and supporting like-minded (non-political) groups with an English focus
  • Supporting England's role in maintaining the unity of the United Kingdom and of the Commonwealth