INTRODUCTION

2023 IBB & IJLB Reunion Weekend

Oswestry Friday 15th – Sunday 17th September

Dave Hards, Geoff Camm, Ronnie Paterson and Reverand Colin Paterson at 2023 IJLB Reunion

Friday saw the Annual Golf Competition take place at Oswestry Golf Club with competitors and wives assembling at the cub at mid-day. Coffee, Tea and Bacon Butties were provided. At 12.45 pm the Golf Society Assembled on the first tee and glasses of port were served. Pete Curtis then made the toast to our golf buddies who have passed away since 2022.

A super afternoon of golf ensued in fine weather conditions. After a severe contest of nip and tuck ala the Ryder Cup, the eventual Champion for 2023 was Ron Cooke.

RON COOKE RECEIVES THE WINNERS TROPHY FROM COLONEL TIM COLLINS

Saturday Morning IBB & IJLB Annual General Meeting was held in the Conference Room, Lion Quays Hotel, and commenced at 10.30 am.

The Meeting was brought to Order by the Treasurer, Geoff Camm. The members present were 31 and 33 apologies

On completion of the meeting, the Treasurer declared the AGM closed and would reconvene at the same venue on Saturday 7th September 2024.

SATURDAY REUNION DINNER

Saturday Evening IBB & IJLB Annual Reunion Dinner held in the Conservatory Suite Lion Quays, Oswestry assembled for pre-dinner refreshments at 7 for 7.30 pm in a convivial atmosphere.

Our Trumpeter, Kath Gavan,  sounded the Dinner Call, and the assembled company took their positions at the 7 tables. The Reverand Colin Paterson delivered Grace and folk took their seats.

As is our custom, Geoff Camm requested all to stand while we paid our Fallen Comrades respected condolences of those members who had passed away since our last dinner at The Wynnstay Hotel in 2022. Ronnie Paterson read out the following names:

ALEX GRANT Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders, KEN NICOL Gordon Highlanders, JOHN SUTHERLAND MBE Queens Own Highlanders, BRIAN EAGER Irish Guards, ROY BAlLLIE Royal Green Jackets, BERT SCORGIE Gordon Highlanders, PHILIP HALL Gloucestershire Regiment.

The Last Post was sounded.

Two minutes silence was observed then Revillie was sounded.

Following this, a dinner was served and enjoyed with much banter of the year just past.

MEMBERS ENJOYING CATCHING UP DURING DINNER

Following the dinner the Members and Guests were brought to order by Geoff Camm, and the Loyal Toast to His Majesty, King Charles was duly proposed and received with much applause.

RONNIE PATERSON INTRODUCES COLONEL TIM COLLINS

Our Guest of Honour was introduced by Ronnie Paterson, Col Tim Collins OBE and former Commanding Officer of 1st Battalion Royal Irish Rangers and Colonel 22 Special Air Service Regiment.

He delivered his speech in his customary jocular manner and made comments to highlight the state of Britain Today with the need for leadership. He suggested that Voluntary National Service was being looked at as a way of “getting back to basics” and related this to how Junior Soldiers developed during training.

RONNIE PRESENTS COLONEL COLINS WITH SAS WHISKY

Ronnie Paterson then presented our GOH with a B Squadron 22 SAS bottle of Malt Whisky, which was gratefully received. Our GOH then presented Floral Bouquets to Mrs Christine Camm, Mrs Gillian Paterson and Ms Val Doogan for their dedication and assistance to the association.

Finally, our GOH presented a suitably inscribed Cut Glass Gift to Mr Barry Thorne, one of the first-ever junior soldiers at Tuxford. This was to commemorate his dedicated service to the association.

And, not unexpectedly, After Dinner Banter took place until the wee small hours.

SUNDAY MEMORIAL SERVICE CAE GLAS PARK

Those attending the Memorial Service, conducted by The Reverand Harvey Gibbons assembled in front of the IBB and IJLB Memorial.There was a tremendous turnout of over 50 members and their wives. The IBB & IJLB Standard was then brought on parade by Bill Mckenna in a most exemplary manner. The Standard was Blessed by the Rev Gibbons.

THE IJB STANDARD WAS BLESSED BY THE REVERAND HARVEY GIBBONS

Harvey Gibbons then conducted the service in fine form with great voice and deliverance.

Bob Towns, MBE then recited The Gospel according to St John Chapter 15 verses 9-13. He concluded Greater Love has no one than to lay down his life for one’s friends.

Bob Appleby read the introduction which included a reference to the IBB & IJLB history from, Tuxford, Harrogate, Plymouth, Oswestry, and Shorncliffe until 1985. He then read out the names of those who had passed since our last Memorial Service. They were:

ALEX GRANT Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders, KEN NICOL Gordon Highlanders, JOHN SUTHERLAND MBE Queens Own Highlanders, BRIAN EAGER Irish Guards, ROY BAlLLIE Royal Green Jackets, BERT SCORGIE Gordon Highlanders, PHILIP HALL Gloucestershire Regiment.

Bob Appleby then recited that long-respected address:

They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old. Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.

The Last Post was sounded, and two minutes of silence took place. Following this tribute to our Fallen Comrades listed above.

Pete Curtis then stepped forward and laid the IBB & IJLB Poppy Wreath at the base of our Memorial Stone.

Reville was then Sounded. Several members went forward to the Memorial Stone to lay named personal Remembrance Crosses at the foot of the Memorial.

At mid-day, the IBB & IJLB Standard was with due ceremony placed in St Oswald’s Church, Oswestry, attended by several Members, and wives, the Reverand Havey Gibbons duly officiated.

SUMMARY OF 2023 REUNION

In conclusion, the Association had another outstanding Reunion Weekend from the golf on Friday at Oswestry Golf Club who looked after our golfers and their wives so very well. The course was set up beautifully and Ian Woosnam would be so pleased with how his boyhood club has continued the progress of young males and females. The late Friday Afternoon is dedicated to them.

The Lion Quays Hotel was our first event there and yes there were a few issues with arrival procedures and room charges. This has now been sorted for next year. The Friday evening dining was a bit slapdash, and we need the Committee to sort this out for next year. Our PREZZO and SIMLA had to be cancelled due to the lack of support. Some members and wives ate in the main restaurant and others used the Indian Restaurant located within the Lion Quays resort above the Spa. The meal was commented to be very good but service a bit slow.

As previously mentioned, the hotel has been reserved for our 2024 Reunion from Friday 7th   to Sunday, 9th September 2024.

MESSAGE FROM RONNIE PATERSON OUTGOING SECRETARY

I would like to thank all members for their support over my 5 years of tenure as Secretary of our wonderful IBB & IJLB Association. In particular to Geoff Camm our Treasurer whom without his support I may have erred. The Dementia which I have had for over 3 years now is affecting my short-term memory quite a lot now. But you all know me well. I will keep going as long as I can and continue to support the association. I wish Willie McKerr the new Secretary every success in running the duties of our fine association. It would be remiss not to also welcome John Foley the new Treasurer similar success in handling the monetary accounts.

MESSAGE FROM GEOFF CAMM JP OUTGOING TREASURER

It has been an absolute pleasure to serve the Association as Treasurer for the last 8 years,

We have moved steadily forward moving the accounting systems and banking into the ‘Electronic Age’ Our website has been modernised, and communications to members updated to include regular email info. Our PRI shop has been developed on line and and on Facebook and the IJLB Facebook page now has over 1,400 registered users.

It is essential as we move forward that membership recruitment is continualy reviewed if The Association is to continue to Flourish.

I hand over to the New Treasurer with the Association in good financial health thanks to the continued support of its members.

I wish John, Willie, Graham Fowler and Graham Lacey along with Darren West my best wishes as they develop a stratedgy for the future.

Needless to say that Ronnie and I have enjoyed working as a team to further the objectives of The IBB & IJLB Association. His tireless work and committment to the cause has been outstanding. We will continue to support from the ‘back benches’ and are sure the future is in good hands.