LONDON IRISH RIFLES REGIMENTAL ASSOCIATION.
GENERAL MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE (GMC).
Minutes of the Meeting held by Zoom on Thursday 21st October 2021.
Chairman: Lt Col Anthony Maher (AM)
Vice Chairman: Colonel Ian Denison (ID)
GMC Members: Barbara Edwards (BE)
Maj John Fallis (JF)
William Oakes (WO)
Richard O’Sullivan (ROS)
Maj John Scannell (JS)
Maj Richard Scott Kerr (RSK)
Apologies were received from:
President: Brigadier Digby O’Lone (DOL)
GMC Members: Nigel Wilkinson (NW)
Maj Peter Lough (PL)
Alex Shooter (AS)
Tony Robinson (TR)
Noel Gunning (NG)
Maj Robert Denman (RD)
Kevin Hyland (KH)
OC D Company: Maj Dominic Masters (DM)
The Chairman, Lt Col Anthony Maher, called the meeting to order at 1900hrs.
- Minutes of Previous Meeting.
The Chairman confirmed that the Minutes of the previous meeting held on 2nd September 2021 had been issued to all GMC members.
These Minutes were unanimously agreed and the Meeting agreed that any Matters Arising from the last meeting would be covered within the agenda of the current one.
2. Roll Call of Deaths of Members.
No deaths of Association Members was reported to the Meeting.
It was further noted that:
- Piper Albert Leddy’s funeral took place in Coventry in September, with Pipe Major Shanahan in attendance. Donations to the Band on the day, totally over £200, were gratefully received and will be passed over into Band funds.
- Pearse Kelly’s funeral took place in Fulham, on 28th September with Piper Gerald Griffin in attendance.
- Former London Irish Riflemen, Donald Zec died in September at the age of 102. No contact has been received from the Zec family.
3. D Company.
The Chairman had spoken to the OC D Company earlier in the week and confirmed that there continued to be a wide spread anticipation of the outcome of the Strategic Integrated Review, with its consequent potential impacts on the London Regiment.
The GMC also expressed its keen interest in the outcome of the review to assess any implications for the London Irish Rifles.
4. Future Events.
Field of Remembrance, 11th November:
- ID had received a badge as lead Association representative at the LIR plot.
- The Chairman had also received three additional attendance tickets and will initially approach Peter Lough but, if he is unavailable, would pass the tickets onto BE and ROS.
- The planting of Poppy Crosses will be arranged by BE on Wednesday 10th November.
Remembrance Sunday, 14th November:
- The Chairman confirmed that members of D Company will be attending various Remembrance Services across the local community on the morning of the 14th before returning to Connaught House (CH) by 1230pm.
- The Meeting agreed that the Association will organise a parade at CH to include the two minutes’ silence on parade at 11am and a short service would then be held in the Drill Hall.
- An Inspecting Officer (AM to confirm), a Padre (WO to confirm), Orders of Service (ROS to confirm) and other administrative elements will be organised by the Association.
- Refreshments will be laid on by D Company.
Stormberg Commemorations, 5th December:
- AM confirmed that an event will take place at Belfast City Hall as usual but is likely to be on the same basis as the 2020 one, with limited formal attendance (HM Lord Lieut, Lord Mayor of Belfast, RUR Assoc & LIR Assoc NI Branch, 2 R IRISH Piper & Bugler in line with COVID protocols.
Officers’ Club Lunch, 10th December:
- Invites had been sent out..
Sicily, September 2022:
- ROS confirmed that he continued to seek to ascertain full in-country cost estimates to underpin a 5 day pilgrimage to Sicily in the second week of September 2022. Once these costs are known, he would be able to provide details to the GMC to allow a price point to be fixed – and, thence, to prompt work to confirm Association member interest and allow detailed project planning to commence. Tempus Fugit.
The Meeting also previewed a provisional list of events planned for the first half of 2022 to include:
- St Patrick’s Sunday, 13th March 2022 – A location has yet to be confirmed.
- AGM/Annual Lunch, May 2022.
- Combined Irish Regiments Parade in Whitehall, 12th June 2022.
- Rededication of the Irish Infantry Plot at the National Memorial Arboretum, June 2022 – No confirmation of a date has been received from the Royal Irish Regiment.
5. Benevolent Fund.
The Welfare Officer, RD, had raised no urgent issues on welfare matters since the last meeting.
6. Pipe Band.
The Band President, JF, reported that:
- The Band had performed well at the Loos Sunday parade.
- Since that event, Pipe Major Shanahan had tendered his resignation, which had been reluctantly accepted. Brian Smith was now leading the Pipes and Drums.
- There had been two pipers present at the Loos Regimental Dinner on 8th October.
- There will be appropriate Pipes and Drums attendance at CH on Remembrance Sunday.
The Chairman further remarked on the excellent performance of the Band on Loos Sunday and asked for this positive feedback message to be conveyed onto its members.
The Honorary Treasurer, NG, had sent an updated report on finances in which he had noted that:
- Due to slight underperformance in recent investment performance, he recommends that “we should pursue financial adviser review of our C&G investment portfolio which is currently operated on an ‘execution only’ basis.”
- He continues to work with TR to reconcile the final cost outcome for the AGM. The Chairman agreed that it was most important that all details be confirmed well before the time of the Annual Audit.
- Two cheques that had been received “anonymously” have now been attributed to donations on behalf of Piper Albert Leddy.
The Membership Secretary, JS, updated the meeting on Membership numbers with current levels reflecting the notifications of recent deaths.
- Total Members = 326, a reduction of 1, with an active Membership base of 94.
On behalf of the Museum Curator, ROS noted that:
- AS and ROS had attended the Army Museum Ogilby Trust (AMOT) annual meeting at the National Army Museum on 6th October.
- “The Ogilby Muster” (TOM) Military Museums’ digitisation programme will launch nationally on 3rd November. ROS further noted that, although nearly 7,000 of our images have been photographed by AMOT, the LIR collection will not be publicly accessible and the on-line digitised resources would solely be used for internal research purposes. He went to say that he would request that log in access to TOM be extended by AMOT to the Chairman so that he could learn more about the system.
10. The Emerald.
ROS provided an update to the Meeting:
- The 2021 Emerald had been published in early October and had been sent out to all subscribing members and selected VIPs.
- He is planning to target a June 2022 date for the next publication.
The Chairman thanked ROS for his efforts in producing such an excellent publication and the whole GMC expressed their hearty support to these comments.
11. Website/Social Media.
ROS reported that he continues to receive numerous contacts of historical interest and, as an example, noted that earlier in the day he had received a note from the family of a Dublin born London Irish Rifleman, Michael Kane, who had served with the 2nd Battalion in Tunisia, Italy and Austria from 1942 to 1946.
12. Army Cadet Force (ACF)
ID reported that:
- Due to the shortage of both cadet numbers and adult leaders, he had been informed that the activities of 99 Detachment had been suspended.
- He would need to confirm if 71 Detachment will be parading with the Association on Remembrance Sunday.
13. Any Other Business.
- He updated the meeting on the varying levels of positive feedback that he had received after making recent contact with the London Irish Rugby Club and the Irish Cultural Centre (ICC) in Hammersmith. The meeting noted the strong historical connections of London Irish Riflemen with the rugby club (Sir James Henry Bt and Major General Corran Purdon to name two) and that the current Chairman of the ICC was Peter Power-Hynes, who provides assistance to the LIR Museum.
He had reported that the Loos Football has started to go back out on manoeuvres recently to include:
- A presentation at the Regimental Loos Annual Dinner. TR was hopeful for a donation from the Worshipful Company of Founders and had sent its Master, David Robinson, a letter of thanks along with a copy of the 2021 Emerald.
- His attendance at a Football Lodge event in September for which he had received a donation of £200 and passed onto AS to supplement Museum funds.
- The notice of upcoming “Football and War” events in November at both Dulwich Hamlets and Wealdstone Football Clubs. The first of these two events will be in support of the launch of the Remembrance issue of “Our Football League” magazine which is endeavouring to raise money for Combat Stress.
- He had drafted an outline of an Association Newsletter that might form the basis of a regular missive that could be sent out to members by eMail. The Meeting agreed that it was a useful initiative and the Chairman suggested that its first issue might include reference to the outcome of the Integrated Review, once it is published.
- He confirmed that the next GMC Meeting would be held in person at Connaught House in January 2022 and will follow on from the Annual Audit of all Association activity that would commence at 11am on that same day.
With no other matters to attend to, the meeting concluded at 20:15hrs.
At Connaught House on FRIDAY 28th JANUARY 2022 AT 1600 HRS (time to be confirmed).