By Tony Jenkins

ebruary’s meeting of the Royal Naval Association Torrevieja Branch (RNATB) was memorable for several reasons and a very proud time for all the Shipmates (S/M’s) to show their ethos and core values of Unity, Loyalty, Patriotism, Comradeship by awarding special RNATB certificates to some dedicated and longstanding S/M’s.

20 Years Membership – The Chairman, S/M Tony Jenkins, presented on behalf of all the branch S/M’s a special recognition of a RNATB Gold Certificate to S/M Margaret Forshaw BEM for her 20 years longevity and support to the branch, while she received a rapturous round of applause from the S/M’s.

This award was doubly worthy, because not only was she and her late husband, John Forshaw, early founding members of the branch, but she also served on the Committee for several years in the capacity of Honorary Secretary.

10 Years Membership – The Chairman also awarded a RNATB Bronze Certificate to S/M Bryan Dalton who, even though in Royal Navy language (Jack speak) is a ‘sprog’ compared to Margarets tenure, has nevertheless amassed a significant 10-year membership of the RNATB.

Importantly most of his time as a member of the branch has been in the capacity of the RNATB Standard Bearer, which he has carried out masterfully and stoically. He received a well-deserved resounding round of applause from the S/M’s.

These special recognitions were in addition to the normal events of a monthly branch meeting, which including such things as:

Ex RN Ditty – This is where a short resumé from a retired RN personnel about their time in service is presented (in Jack speak it is called “a ditty about their time in the mob”) and this month we were treated to an amusing anecdote by Jo (Joanna) Rich, who was in Jack speak a “Jenny Wren” (WREN – Woman’s Royal Naval Service; which has been fully assimilated into the Royal Navy and no longer exists as a separate entity. Hence ‘Jack’ and ‘Jenny’ are now one and the same) for which she received a rapturous round of applause from the S/M’s.

Tot Time, is where all S/M’s receive a tot of rum, and in some cases some less potent alcohol, to make toasts to different events that take place before our next meeting and this month they included;

Valentines – We admired our secretly loved ones with the toast “our loved ones”.

The Day of the Dragon – no not your partner, but St Davids Day, and therefore the toast was to Wales and all those who hail form there – “yaki da”.

King Charles III – We also wished our monarch a speedy recovery, with the toast – “Long Live the King”.

S/M’s Birthdays – This is always the last item to receive a toast, however this month there was an added special recognition as our S/M Michael White is due to experiencing his 22nd birthday when it falls on the 29th February; the youngest oldie in our group!!!!

Schoolie Session – Continuing with the education of Non RN S/M’s in the RNATB on the vagaries, usage and history of ‘Jack & Jenny Speak’, our Schoolie, S/M Graham Shelton gave his usual entertaining and enlightening rendition and this time it was on the word ‘Dhobey’ and all the connotations there of: such as ‘Dhobey Crusher’- A rather fiendish laundry machine on board HM Ships which was apparently designed to rip off the buttons of Jack’s shirts and then fire them through his socks!!!!!

This all leaves the question of “what will next month’s meeting bring”?

The Royal Naval Association (RNA) has a ‘Free Membership’ and is a UK Registered Charity 266982.

Although primarily founded for serving and retired Royal Naval personnel with the moto ‘Once Navy Always Navy’, it also welcomes all serving or retired military Veterans and civilians alike.

The local overseas branch in Torrevieja (RNATB) has a diverse mix of members, who are a friendly and engaging group of people who embrace their ethos of Comradeship, Loyalty, Patriotism & Unity while enjoying a verity of social events. Why not join us?

The RNATB Meets Formally throughout the year on the 1st Wednesday of each and every month at 1700. Currently this is at the Lakeview Bar & Restaurant, Calle Toledo 16, Ciudad Quesada 03170, Alicante.

Or contact: The Chairman, Tony Jenkins. Email  Mob: +34693866709 or +4470576117222 (What’s App).

The Treasurer, Carl Louden. Email  Mob +34678518202 (What’s App).

The Secretary, Steve Hemigfield. Email Mob +34 711011372 (What’s App).