LONDON IRISH RIFLES REGIMENTAL ASSOCIATION.
GENERAL MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE (GMC).
Minutes of the Meeting held by Zoom on Friday 22nd April 2022.
Chairman: Lt Col Anthony Maher (AM)
GMC Members: Maj Lance Cheese (LC)
Noel Gunning (NG)
Maj Peter Lough (PL)
William Oakes (WO)
Richard O’Sullivan (ROS)
2Lt Amelia Reeves (AR)
Tony Robinson (TR)
Alex Shooter (AS)
Apologies were received from:
Vice President: Nigel Wilkinson (NW)
Vice Chairman: Colonel Ian Denison (ID)
GMC Members: Barbara Edwards (BE)
Maj Richard Scott Kerr (RSK)
The Chairman, Lt Col Anthony Maher, called the meeting to order at 1900hrs.
The Chairman welcomed two new committee members to the meeting: Major Lance Cheese as Band President and 2/Lt Amelia Reeves as Membership Secretary.
- Minutes of Previous Meeting.
The Chairman confirmed that the Minutes of the previous meeting held on 12th February 2022 had been issued to all GMC members. These Minutes were unanimously agreed as a true record and the Meeting also 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.
- There had been no notification of any recent deaths of Association members.
AGM/Annual Lunch, Saturday 7th May.
The provisional cut-off date for bookings had been set for 23rd April but TR confirmed that the date to confirm final numbers/food choices with the CSC was 30th April, and only one week ahead.
- There is concern at the current low numbers of attendees with only twenty currently being confirmed and paid up. It was noted that we need to have a minimum of £1000 spend on food to avoid the incurrence of an additional room fee of £500.
- It was further noted that many Committee Members had yet to confirm attendance.
- The room allocated for the AGM is not large enough and TR would speak further about this to the CSC.
- Following the GMC meeting, the Chairman AM, TR and AR would hold a short meeting to discuss how to seek to drive up numbers of attendees over the next week.
Combined Irish Regiments Parade, 12th June 2022.
- Full details of LIRAssn Band participation would need to be shared with them by the CIRAssn well before the event.
Sicily Pilgrimage, 16th to 21st September 2022.
- ROS confirmed that plans for the trip were moving forward with hotel rooms for up to twenty members now having been confirmed.
- There would be formal events on 17th/18th September in Piedimonte Etneo and Maletto, and at the CWGC Cemetery in Catania.
- He would need to confirm the full details of the previous GMC agreement to fund 60% of the cost of the attendance of two pipers.
- The principles of other possible LIRAssn funded costs would need to be shared with the GMC. This might include an Association hosted “Regimental Style” dinner in Piedimonte Etneo.
- Further discussion is required on what type/scale of fraternal gifts are available to be passed over to local municipality representatives in Sicily as a token of appreciation for their support to the London Irish Rifles Association over many years.
- The pilgrimage will continue to be publicised widely within Association circles and full day by day details will be added to the website once they are confirmed.
The Chairman confirmed that:
- Several welfare cases are on-going including some in respect of members who had served with the LIR during the 1990s and 2000s and this reflects the changing demographics of need for support from the Benevolent Fund.
- The Welfare Accounts for 2021 had been signed off during a separate audit review in March.
The Finance Officer, NG, reported that there had been very little activity of note over the past two months. He confirmed that:
- The final signed off 2021 Accounts would be passed over to ROS and would be made available at the AGM.
It was further noted that the approved and signed off 2021 accounts for the Capital and General Fund, Museum, Benevolent Fund and Band would all need to be sent out to members along with the 2022 Emerald.
6. Pipe Band.
The Band President, LC, reported that:
- He had been in post for 5 weeks.
- There were currently seven pipers and drummers, supported by the Band President and WO, the Band Quartermaster.
The Meeting further noted that
- The Band President would meet with NG to confirm the processes underpinning future access to the bank account for the Band.
- LC would write to the Welfare Officer to request the transfer of the annual support grant for the Band.
- Funding details for Band members attending in Sicily needs to be confirmed.
- The Combined Irish Regiments Association are in contact with the Band about the 100th anniversary parade in London on Sunday 12th June.
The Membership Secretary, AR, confirmed that she would be working with the Chairman to audit the master spreadsheets of membership details, with the prime intention of improving communications with Association members, specifically using eMail addresses and text messages.
The Museum Curator, reported that:
- The Museum had been open on St Patrick’s Sunday and been very busy with visits from members of D Company, the Association and the ACF as well as a number of other family members.
- The Museum does not currently claim charitable status. The Meeting recognised that the Benevolent Fund’s charitable status was an important facet in receiving external donations for fund raising activity but requested that further review need to be undertaken on this matter.
9. 2022 Emerald.
ROS provided an update to the Meeting on plans for the publication of the 2022 Emerald:
- Due to delays in receiving sufficient inputs of articles, it was likely that this year’s annual journal would not now be available until the end of May.
- He had discussed this year’s front cover with the Chairman and it was agreed that it should represent an appropriate image from recent D Company/Association activities and events.
- ROS confirmed that he would require an updated circulation list of paid up members and VIPs to allow him to send the Emerald out by post in an efficient manner.
10. Army Cadet Force (ACF).
The Chairman confirmed that:
- 71 Detachment would immediately change their cap badge to an Irish Guards’ one.
AS further noted that:
- The Detachment is planning to join the 100th anniversary parade of the Combined Irish Regiments in June and they were in current dialogue with the cadets to confirm the appropriate paperwork that is required to allow them to attend.
11. D Company/ No 15 (Loos) Company.
The Chairman said that he had attended a recent Zoom video meeting with representatives of the Irish Guards and London Regiment when there were updates on the transition of D (LIR) Company to become No 15 (Loos) Company, Irish Guards on 1st May 2022. AM reported background feedback from the meeting when it was stated that the upcoming integrations with the Irish Guards would have “no forced marriage” impacts on Association activities.
At the video meeting, the Chairman had also confirmed with attendees the propriety of access to the LIR’s Benevolent Fund and the Association’s absolute ownership of documents, portraits and numerous artefacts right across the Flodden Rd site.
The Chairman noted that:
- No 15 (Loos) Company would be on Exercise in Italy during September 2022 and that this might impede ease of access to the Flodden Road site on Loos Sunday. The Meeting reiterated a firm wish to hold an Association parade at Connaught House on Sunday 25th September and it was agreed that the Chairman would write to the CO of the Londons, and copying the OC No 15 (Loos) Company, to request authorised access on that day.
- It is likely that No 15 (Loos) Company would attend a St Patrick’s Sunday parade with the Irish Guards at Wellington Barracks on Sunday 19th March 2023 and that the Association would need to arrange its own event on that day.
12. Any Other Business.
- The Meeting agreed to review the type of presentational material that would be appropriate for the Association’s pilgrimage to Sicily. All ideas would be received with welcome thanks.
- As noted at the last meeting, the First Surrey Rifles Association, which was formerly based at Flodden Rd, had been recently formally disbanded and there had been a correspondence appreciation note received from Buckingham Palace and which had been forwarded onto PL.
- All Regimental Silver needs to be urgently audited. There is a continuing search for a hard copy inventory report that would be essential to allow a one (or two) day physical audit at Connaught House in May.
- The Meeting agreed that the Honorary Colonel and Association President should be requested to write to Buckingham Palace to make them aware of the imminent demise of the name of the London Irish Rifles.
- Daniel Crampton, son of 1 LIR member and world renowned sculptor, Lieutenant Sean Crampton, had been in recent touch with a wish to become an Association member. There was a short discussion about the possible future request for the production of further “Son of the Man” sculptures and this would be looked into by the GMC.
- LC confirmed an advance apology for his absence from the AGM in May.
With no other matters to attend to, the meeting concluded at 21:0hrs.
On FRIDAY 5th AUGUST 2022 at 7pm (format to be confirmed).