I hope you have all had a great summer and most of you have had a chance to get away for some time and make the most of some of the nice weather we had.
After a relatively quiet time, things have certainly picked-up again. We held our AGM in Bristol and the annual Battle of Britian Lunch at the RAF Club in September. In October, I attended a number of Trafalgar lunches and dinners as well as our Annual Standards Service on 22nd October. It was great to catch-up with many of our members.
Looking ahead to next year, the Society will be celebrating our 130th anniversary. Quite an achievement and something that should be celebrated. Over the years we have had many great English men and women who have been members, many of whom have had a significant impact on our great country – and in some cases the wider world! It’s also seen a lot of changes as this country has evolved and how it is viewed – and not all for the better. Whilst I would encourage branches to commemorate this anniversary, as a Society we will be holding a special banquet at Stationers’ Hall in London on July 12th,2024. Please save the date and I hope to see many of you there.
In addition, next year is also the 80th Anniversary of D-Day. There will be many events commemorating this date and the sacrifices made. As a Society we are encouraging members and branches to hold fish & chip lunches or dinners as the National Federation of Fish Friers have set the 2024 National Fish & Chip Day to the 6th June, to help raised funds for a number of relevant and deserving charities.
As has been previously mentioned, it is very concerning that the pride in our country and our history is in such decline, and in some ways being encouraged amongst younger people in schools and universities, where freedom of speech and ideas appears to be constantly under attack. We as a Society, whilst embracing change for the good, also need to stand up for who and what we are, our history, traditions, values and ideals.
As you may be aware, we have been talking about having an English Anthem or song. To move this along, we are starting by looking to adopt something appropriate as the Society’s anthem. We have recently launched a poll to get the members view of what that should be. Please use this link (https://forms.rssg.org.uk/view.php?id=22671) to select your favourite. This poll will be open until the end of the year.
Growing our membership is key to the long-term survival of the Society, so please talk to your friends and colleagues about the Society and what we stand for, and encourage them to join and help us as we move forward into the next 130 years with a solid and growing membership base.
At our recent AGM, Stuart Milson and Ben Sear were voted onto the Council along with Scott Hanlon, who had his previous co-option confirmed. Stuart is the Editor of this Journal and Ben is picking up the co-ordination with our overseas branches. Welcome to all of you and I look forward to working closely with them and the other members of the Council.
We will continue to keep in regular contact with our branches and members through visits, newsletters and regular zoom calls, but if anyone has any suggestions or comments, I’ll always be very pleased to hear from you and hope to be able to meet many of you during the next year.
As we look ahead to Christmas, may I take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a healthy and successful New Year.
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