2009 Regimental Reunion
Another well supported Reunion took place on Saturday 16th May 2009. A march past of two guards, totalling 200, proudly march through Exeter High Street, from the Civic Centre to the Corn Exchange, lead by the Salamanca Band with Branch Standards 'flying' and the new Regimental Association Chairman, Lieutenant Colonel Mike Richardson OBE.
The salute was taken by The Lord Mayor of Exeter, Cllr Paul Smith, accompanied by the President of the Regimental Association, Major General Shortis CB, CBE and Lieutenant Colonel Joe Cavanagh, Commanding Officer 1 RIFLES, having recently returned with his battalion from their Operational Tour in Afghanistan. During the march past £400 was collected for the Army Benevolent Fund (ABF) from generous Exeter residents and visitors to the City, for which the Association is most grateful.
A moving Drumhead Service was then conducted in the Corn Exchange, lead by the Regimental Association Chaplin, The Rev Nick Wall MBE TD. CO 1 RIFLES thanked all the Association for their support to the Battalion during their tour, which included significant fund-raising (over £5200). The Lord Mayor then made a short speech, noting that it was the second year in succession that he was able to host the Association in the City.
Regimental Association Awards for outstanding and enduring service to The Association were awarded by the President to Mr Ron Beale, Mr John Chubb, Mr Len Cook BEM, Major John Ives, Mr Ian King, Mr Michael Pike, Mrs Glen Trude and Mr Les West – some of whom were not able to be present at the ceremony. All recipients are warmly congratulated for their exceptional endeavours over a long period of time. This was followed by a Buffet Lunch and Reunion which was attended by 400 members. The formal proceedings ended at 5 o’clock, though many stalwarts continued the celebrations elsewhere well into the night!
There were many people involved in contributing to this successful day, to include The City Council, Police, Corn Exchange staff and Caterers, whom are all thanked for their time. In summary, another highly successful, well attended and enjoyable reunion took place proving again the new format. Congratulations to those who were able to make it this year and for those who could not make it you will all be warmly welcomed next year – on Saturday 15 May 2010.