The National Triennial was held at the Holiday Inn, Plymouth 10th 11th 12th May 2012.
As you can imagine the 2012 committee were tremendously thankful that their plotting and planning went off so well, that everyone enjoyed themselves, and that the crucial meeting was conducted in a cheerful spirit of moving forward to the needs of the next few years. The star of the show of course, was the weather. It was amazing that the three days of brilliant weather coincided so precisely with our celebrations. Monday morning, it was back to normal, cold, blustery and wet! We were so lucky.
The welcome night was a great success. The room was all golden, lovely background music, Val Bugden-Cawsey had us in stitches, and Sue Vickery, Christine Payne and Joan Dodge did their modern seafaring version of 'Three little Maids', with words by Sue Vickery and Barbara Everett.
A very sunny morning for the Civic Reception in the Council Chambers, where the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress chatted to everybody. The Lord Mayor spoke about loosing his big brother at sea in WW2 and only left after being chivied by Steve the Macebearer at 12 o'clock. No time then for shopping before lunch! But with the good weather a number of our members were able to walk around the Hoe and Barbican in the afternoon.
The Dinner went well, the tables resplendent with all the colourfully wrapped gifts, the food was good, speeches likewise with a wonderful Toast to the City by the Plymouth Chairman, Helen Crofts. Mike Sutherland, retired Harbour Master of Falmouth Docks, received two cheques, each for £700, from Sue Vickery, for the National and, in particular, the Falmouth Branch of the Missions to Seafarers. This had been Sue's National Chairman's charity which was collected over 3 years by the Branches. The Raffle also did very well.
A great deal was sorted out in the Council Meeting so that by the Triennial Meeting Pat Warren and the Glasgow Branch withdrew their motions because they were similar to those of the Plymouth Branch and would have caused many amendments. So with a few minor changes the Plymouth motions were carried and also that a postal vote for motions should be allowed in the future. There will be a redraft of Rule 4.
Chris Rankin took over as National Chairman and following the earlier motion, Mary Pounder was proposed from the floor and became Vice Chairman. Sandra Walker, after six years service handed over the purse strings to Helen Rendle. It was agreed that, as next year is the 80th Anniversary of the WA, and the propsed venue is London, an Executive member would be needed. As there were no volunteers Judy Slator agreed to continue for one more year.
The meeting finished in good time and after a buffet lunch in the Penthouse, with that magnificent view of the Hoe and Sound, the coach left for Charlestown. Two Tall Ships were in the harbour and members reported that they had enjoyed the Museum and could have spent more time there! Some of us just collapsed in the sunshine with a cup of tea! The Bosun's Diner, of which we had some doubts as it had just changed hands, put on an excellent, fresh and light pork supper and on our return to the Holiday Inn some of us still had the stamina to party!
The Watch Ashore was well represented by Branch members at the Morning Service in the Minster Church of St. Andrew. Chris Rankin, as our new National Chairman, read a lesson. The congregation sang 'For those in peril on the sea' and the Vicar of St. Andrew's read the Watch Ashore Prayer.
If that is to be the last Triennial Meeting we went out on a high and put on a memorable event. We should be relieved and very proud that it all went off so well, and all take a pat on the back for our fund raising and hard work..