REPORT ON REUNION 2014
Thirty-Five members and their guests converged on Warwick over the weekend of September 5th-7th for the 22nd annual reunion of the 19th Signal Regiment Association. The good hearted banter re-started from where it had left off last year and continued unabated for the whole weekend drawing in the hotel staff, coach driver, tour guide and anyone else who raised his head above the parapet.
Our first brush with authority came on Friday evening. No chicken curry on the menu! Clearly a ‘breach of contract’! How can those who served in the Far East exist without curry? Strangely a curry with all the trimmings appeared on the table very promptly as we were finishing our starters. On Saturday morning a very smart young man appeared driving one of Mr Johnson’s very fine coaches. He soon discovered that we were a group of independent spirits and treated us to the ‘elf’an safety spiel, fielding our ribald comments with great dexterity. He managed to park his coach right outside Coventry Cathedral and, thanks to the ‘Coach Driver has free admission’ policy, joined us for tea and a conducted tour. But first we met our tour guides. The first one raised his head above the parapet and declared that he had served in the regiment at Changi and Western Hill and, further, that he knew at least one of our members from those days. He has been sent a Membership Application Form!
Our second tour guide was a gem! Kevin. Leather jacket, very short hair, red shoes – in earlier days probably had steel chains with his outfit. An engineering graduate from the university across the road his knowledge of the Cathedral’s construction, treasures and art was encyclopedic and he spoke with fervour and from the heart. We only gave him one problem; the local Wildlife Trust had set up a powerful telescope to view a Peregrine Falcon that was sitting on the spire of the nearby church. The ladies were attracted and wanted a peep. Kevin was waiting to get home for his breakfast so he would have nothing of this. He marched briskly over to them and said something that quickly got them moving in the right direction.
The dinner and AGM went smoothly. The chairman welcomed all, particularly Bill Naismith who had accompanied Frank Smith on his four-hour drive from Fife, Joyce Home back to her ebullient self after a serious operation, and Charles Little, veteran from days in Rangoon and a founder member of our association. Apologies and best wishes had been received from a greater than-usual number of members, including our President, who all wished us a good weekend.
During the short AGM John Hill proposed that his daughter, Pam Craven, be elected to the committee. This was seconded by Ray Cank and, not surprisingly, was carried unanimously. “Can you find just a little job for me?” she pleaded!
All too soon it was all over. After the mandatory ‘full English’ we said our good-byes, were on our way and planning for next year’s reunion has already started.