The annual Regimental Dinner was held in the Carisbrooke Hall, Victory Services Club, Seymour Street, London on Friday 28 September 2018.Those arriving early took advantage of gathering in the lounge bar of the club to chat and catch up with their latest news. Soon it was time for everyone to move to the Carisbrooke Hall where they were greeted and handed their name badges before moving to the balcony overlooking the dining area. Here members and guests found an unexpected bonus; a table of glasses filled with champagne or orange juice for them to sample before descending the stairs to the bar adjacent to the dining room.
With the sounding of the bugle call and the playing of Kum-a-Kye, 75 members and guests moved into the Carisbrooke Hall, which had been bedecked with Police and Rhodesia flags, to find their places at tables which had been tastefully decorated with blue napkins bearing the BSAP badge embossed in gold.
Peter Phillips, Honorary Life President of the UK Branch, got proceedings under way by explaining he was undertaking a role that he thought he had finished with a few years ago. Peter went on to explain that Branch Chairman Mike Coleman and his wife Pauline,were celebrating their ruby (40 Years) wedding anniversary and had sent his apologies for not attending. Peter continued by saying that Parry Jones, the organiser of the dinner for several years had been suddenly admitted to hospital and therefore sadly could not be with us – Peter wished him well. He thanked Jim Harris and Betty Simpson for stepping in and completing the final dinner arrangements. Peter said that the UK Branch had received a letter from HM The Queen, wishing the Branch a very successful dinner.
Alan Toms was asked to say grace and following a very tasty starter, Peter welcomed members and guests, particularly those from overseas. These included Mike Harvey (New Zealand), Richard Barnes (Australia) Brian Feeny (America), Murray Harrison (France), Pat Deasy and Robin Harvey (Eire)and Tom Meekin and Stan Mills (N.Ireland).He also welcomed his guests on the top table – Lord Michael and Lady Tor Walker (Patron), Brig. David Williams (Guest speaker), John and Pam Newton (Kenya Police Association), our own Bertie Cubitt (representing the Northern Rhodesia Police) and Peter’s daughter Tess Gartside. Peter then proposed a toast to our guests.
Following the main meal and the customary break for those in needed a breath of fresh air or a nicotine injection, John Newton brought greetings from the Kenya Police Association before proposing the loyal toast to“The Queen”. Peter then introduced our guest speaker, Brigadier David Williams, President of The King’s African Rifles and East African Forces Association. David began by saying that it was an honour to have been invited to speak at the dinner of the BSA Police Regimental Association and brought best wishes from his Associations. He said that he was born and brought up in Rhodesia, his grandfather ‘Jakarta’ Williams having been the first Native Commissioner at Gutu. After training at Sandhurst he joined the British Army and spoke of his time in both British and African forces. David then gave a brief history of the BSAP, from its formation in 1890, to the involvement of members in both the First and Second World Wars and finally in the bush war that preceded Rhodesia’s independence where over 400 members, male and female, white and black had died in defence of the country. He said that over all these years the BSAP had proved to be a highly efficient Force and was considered to be one of the finest Police Forces in the world. David continued by saying that he still had a love for Rhodesia, missing the smell of the bush, the brilliant sunsets and the smell after the first rains, saying that he hoped and prayed that Zimbabwe improves for the benefit of the local people. He then asked those present to stand to toast “The Regiment”. The speech was well received by the gathered diners who showed their appreciation by giving David a long standing ovation.David was presented with the customary engraved glass tankard to remember the occasion.
At Peter’s invitation, Mike Harvey from New Zealand said that their Branch had suggested that one of their members attended the London dinner this year and that he had drawn the “lucky straw”. He said that the NZ Branch was in good health and sent good wishes for a successful dinner. Mike then presented Peter with a pennant for the UK Branch on behalf of NZ Branch. Mike then proposed the toast to “Absent Friends”.
Mick York, with the aid of David, then held the in-house raffle; the winner of the £50 prize was 5625 Biff Way. The main raffle draw followed, with the first prize of £500 going to PR 21252 John Emmerson, the second prize of £150 to 6657 Keith Samler and the third prize of £100 to 7067 Bruce Feast. After expenses and prizes, a total of £1,955.00 was raised for Association funds.
Closing the formal part of the dinner, Peter thanked all those who had made the effort to attend the dinner and wished everyone a safe journey home. Many members and guests remained to chat for some time after the dinner before either leaving for home or climbing the stairs to their rooms in the Victory Services Club after what was a very enjoyable dinner.
Sitting down to dinner were: Lord Michael and Lady Tor Walker (Patron), Brig.David Williams, (KAR) (Speaker), John and Pam Newton (Kenya Police Assoc), 4851 Murray Harrison (France), 4964 Mike Tadman, 5111 Jack Bacon, 5248 Alan Lane, 5358 Mick York, 5272 Pat Deasy, 5408 Richard Barnes (Australia), 5615 Tom Meekin, 5625 Biff and Netta Way, 5681 Robin and Carole Harvey (Ireland), 5755 Stewart and Pam Edwards, 5914 Mike and Lizzie Feeny(America), 6049 John Strouts with Gwen Fairer-Smith, 6121 Mike Harvey (New Zealand), 6355 Mike Moysen, 6360 John Moxham with Timothy Moxham and Wendy Naish, 6509 Don Scarff, 6632Gerry Paxton, 6905 Peter Phillips with Tess Gartside, 7184 Chris Russell and Patrick Russell, 7211 Peter Biddulph, 7212 Tony Brown, 7359 Bertie Cubitt, 7391 Alan Toms, 7563 Stuart and Sue Dawson, 7784 Steve Acornley, 7893 Peter and Dianne Harris, 7996 Graeme Hirst, 8315 John and Lynette Padbury, 8569 Richard Davis, 8954 Alistair and Vivienne Morgan, 9086 Tony Granger with Robert and Toni Snell and Major Chris Granger, 9345 Jock Gemmell with Dr Julie Gandolfi, 9439 Glen and Jane Seymour-Hall, 9591 Les and Mandy Burrow, 9790 Duncan Waugh, 10519 Paul and Jane Cooke, 10532 Dave and Eileen Pillans, 10535 John Trigg,10577 Jim Harris, WP 185 Kathy Mason and Raymond Senior, WP 452 Betty Simpson, 90566 Chris and Helen Tate, 111697 Charles Bennett, Associate Stan Mills, Associate Paul and Elaine Brewster.