ROYAL AIR FORCE ASSOCIATION OPENS NEW BRANCH AT RAF ST MAWGAN
Air Marshal Sir Dusty Miller KBE, National President of the RAF Association (RAFA) opened a new branch of RAFA at RAF St Mawgan in front of over 70 existing and prospective members.
The RAF Association is a charity dedicated to helping the whole Royal Air Force family, providing friendship, help and support to current and former members of the Royal Air Force and their dependants. The close association with an active RAF Station is seen as a unique factor in reinvigorating involvement of former and new members, as the need for a local Branch becomes even more important in the climate of today.
The new RAF St Mawgan RAFA Branch evolved as the joint venture of retired Wing Commander Steve Richards, the designate Chairman from Mawgan Porth, and the RAF Association County Chairman, Lance Smale. The idea was broached to the new Station Commander, Wing Commander Philip Lamb by Flt Lt Jeff Spencer on the Station Commanders first morning in post – needless to say, the idea resonated perfectly and less than 4 months later, it is a reality and a demonstration of just how rapidly new initiatives can be agreed within the RAF Association. Almost all RAF Association branches currently meet in premises in the local community, so, this initiative is a meaningful and positive change to the way the RAF and the RAF Association work together and today’s event was held in the TE Lawrence Combined Officers and Sgt’s Mess. However, none of this happens by itself and RAF St Mawgan RAFA representative and local Newquay man, Flight Sergeant Al Goudge has done a fantastic job in staging a great event and in rounding up so many people at such short notice.
The Station Commander, Wing Commander Philip Lamb said: “We all know that RAF St Mawgan is alive and well and has a bright future in Cornwall. We are now all the more passionate that the station and its personnel must connect with the light blue RAF family across the southwest; whether they be serving, veterans or family members – this new group is for the benefit of all”.
Air Marshal Sir Dusty Miller said: “In such a busy Air Force, it is all the more remarkable to see such a tremendous turnout on a RAF Station. In our joint 70th anniversaries, this is a shot in the arm for RAF St Mawgan and for the RAF Association – it is a ground breaking initiative which we hope will resonate as an example to RAF units across the country. I am especially delighted to see a healthy mix of partners, veterans and current RAF personnel – this is the model for the future.”
Paul Baker, the RAF Association Director for Wales, Midland and SW Area said: “Wow! – What a turnout and what a message to send. Meeting on an RAF station will help engage with the 31% of RAF personnel who are members – but not yet active – they are our target”.
The Station spokesman, Flight Lieutenant Jeff Spencer said “Membership of the RAF is not just a career choice; indeed, even when we retire we retain our connections and our loyalties with the RAF, and holding the meetings on an RAF base helps to cement the relationship between those serving and retired – all part of one family”.
Mr Lance Smale, the County Chairman said “The Royal Air Forces Association plays an important role in supporting both Retired and Serving members of the RAF Family, and having a local Branch is a key component to that support. The support we have from the Station personnel at RAF St Mawgan has been fantastic and has made possible a long-standing ambition.”
Anyone interested in joining the branch should email Steve Richards at email@example.com
Edited by Mr M Wilson & Mr M Edwards
Crown Copyright 2013