HISTORY OF THE CYPRUS BRANCH
began with a new Branch Chairman, Shipmate David L. May. Monthly
meetings continued to be held in the Officers Mess of the
Episkopi Sovereign Base Area. As in previous years Shipmates
represented the Branch at Armed Forces Day and the renamed
Episkopi Show. Shipmates David May and Kevin Barnes laid wreaths
for the RNA and the RMA respectively at the British Legion
Remembrance Service in the Episkopi Sovereign Base.
In May the
Chairman and other ‘Chairs’ of Armed Forces charities met the
Commander British Forces, Cyprus who encouraged the closer
integration of Veterans organisations with Serving Personnel in
Cyprus; a policy welcomed by all.
On the 10th
of July the Branch met the Eastern Branch for a combined lunch
at a Governor’s Beach Taverna. All Shipmates escaped serious
injury as a massive munitions explosion devastated the area
twelve hours later.
Trafalgar Night Dinner was held in the Officers Mess and was
rated a great success. The evening was enhanced by a gracious
personal message from Her Majesty, The Queen, thanking us for
our greetings on that occasion. Sir Edward DuCann proposed the
toast ‘The Immortal Memory’.
In August Lieutenant Commander "Nobby Hall" RN, Mrs Helen Hall
and Lieutenant John Bower RN were sitting on Nobby's
'Quarterdeck' (veranda) at their quarters in the Sovereign Base
Area. It was then that they had the idea of starting a Cyprus
Branch of the Royal Naval Association. They, together with POSA
"Derby" Allen and Leading Writer "Baz" Bazelgate, were the
founding Shipmates of the Branch.
Not long after that, in October , the first meeting and
Commissioning with forty new Shipmates was held at the Warrant
Officer's and Sergeant's Mess R.A.F.Akrotiri. The commissioning
officer was Captain Tim Harris Royal Navy. The Band of the Royal
Marine School of Music attended. Thereafter meetings were held
in the Officer's mess. The Commissioning Certificate was placed
in the Sovereign Base Area Church.
Helen Hall recalls" John Bower was the Treasurer in name but in
fact his lovely wife Nikky did all the paperwork behind the
scenes. I was Chief Cook. Bottle Washer, Membership Secretary,
Minutes Secretary, Raffle Organiser and sold raffle tickets at
every meeting. I'm exhausted just thinking about it now."
In January the Garrison Officer's Mess Episkopi became the venue
for Branch meetings and remains so to date.
Sir Edward Du Cann consented to become the Branch President in
By July the 100th Shipmate had joined. She was Alison Kennedy
who as a hard working Social Secretary gave the Branch six years
of invaluable service.
In October the first Trafalgar Night dinner was held with guest
of honour Captain Alistair Halliday, Royal Navy, addressing the
shipmates on The Immortal Memory.
The Cyprus Branch of the Royal
Naval Association won
the Overseas Certificate
for the most recruited Overseas
Branch. Membership reached 200.
The shipmates and guests at the October Trafalgar Night dinner
were addressed by Commodore Dick Twitchin Royal Navy.
- Happy Valley
Remembrance 2004 -
The Branch hosted Captain Bob Brown Royal Navy as guest of
honour at the Trafalgar night dinner celebrating Trafalgar 200.
Captain Brown was sent personally by the Second Sea Lord at the
behest of our President.
The Branch hosted Lieutenant Commander Alex Bush, Commanding
Officer of the Cyprus Squadron Royal Navy as guest of honour at
the Trafalgar Night Dinner.
In February the Branch was
visited by Vice Admiral MacAnnaly, the Royal Naval Association
President, who commissioned the newly formed Eastern Cyprus
Branch of the Royal Naval Association. This latter met the need
for a more local Branch for those Shipmates living in the areas
of Larnaca and Famagusta.
The company at the October Trafalgar Night dinner was addressed
by SM Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Noyes Royal Marines.
same month Shipmate John Hale was awarded the Arctic Emblem
and the 60th.Anniversary Commemorative Medal by the Russian
Federation for his service in the Battle of North Cape. This
was a prestigious event attended by many British and Cypriot
dignitaries of Cyprus.
In March Shipmates Nobby Hall and Fred Cooper, first Chairman
and Vice Chairman respectively, were elected as Honorary Life
Vice Presidents of the Cyprus Branch. Shipmate Andrew Noyes was
elected as the second Branch Vice Chairman.
In July Chairman Nobby Hall retired to take up a new appointment
in the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force, he
succeeded by Shipmate Andrew Noyes who took over as Acting
Chairman for the remaining six months.
The Trafalgar Night Dinner was held at the Aphrodite Club, Erimi
and after an amusing and somewhat poignant address the Immortal
Memory toast was proposed by Honorary Life Vice President SM
Nobby Hall. Sir Edward du Cann also addressed the assembled
shipmates and guests.
The regular meetings shifted to Wednesday evenings from
September as that was more convenient to many shipmates involved
with the 'Hash' and other activities. The format of meetings
changed to minimise routine reports from the Branch Officer's
and to allow a break before an address from a visiting speaker
or other event.
Andrew Noyes was elected Chairman of the Branch at the January
On the 19th of March the
Sovereign Base Area Church in Episkopi was closed. The Branch
Charter was removed there from by Shipmate Judge Raymond Naqvi
and held by him for safekeeping pending appropriate disposition.
All Saints Church SBA, Episkopi.
On the 20th April the Chairman, Vice Chairman and Standard
Bearer attended a Remembrance Service at Wayne's Keep British
Military Cemetery marking the 50th Anniversary of the end of the
Cyprus Emergency. The two former named Branch Officers laid
wreaths for the Royal British Legion and the Royal Naval
The Trafalgar Night dinner was
held again in the Club Aphrodite, Erimi. 49 Shipmates and guests
attended. The Immortal Memory was proposed by Colonel Trevor
Brewster Retd. of Tala. Sir Edward du Cann also attended and
gave a stirring speech.
This year was overshadowed by the deaths in March
of the Vice
Chairman Ian Gould, in June of SM Bill Paynter and suddenly
that of Chairman Andrew Noyes in November. Ian’s wife Janet who
gave sterling service to the Branch returned to England in
Meetings continued to be held in the Officers Mess, Episkopi
Garrison, in the Sovereign Base Area.
Shipmates took part in Armed Forces Day, the Episkopi Fete and
were guests of the 2nd.Battalion the Lancaster Regiment in their
The Trafalgar Night dinner was held in the Moniatis Hotel
Germasoyia, Limassol. The Immortal Memory toast was proposed by
Major Mike Ball who had been voted the best Toastmaster in
Cyprus for 2010.