Posted on 23rd December, 2020
Time does fly by all too quickly and so the end of this year marks the end of my tenure. It has been a huge honour and my great privilege to serve as your Honorary Colonel.
I have enjoyed great times and shared many splendid occasions with you all, but the past year has, of course, been a particularly difficult one for us all and I very much regret having to leave you at this time. Knowing you all as I do, however, I have every confidence for the future, given your focus and resilience. Much has been achieved in adversity in the past and you will do it all again.
When I first arrived and ever since, I have been immensely impressed by our Cadets; their confidence; commitment; their humour and their enthusiasm to learn and to lead their peers, which has all continued “virtually” throughout the lockdown and further restrictions.
I remain equally impressed by our CFAVs for your inspirational leadership and outstanding commitment, often whilst still leading busy work and personal lives. Whenever we see Cadets in training or on parade, they demonstrate a clear tribute to all your endeavours. Thank you to all who have managed excellent communications and “virtual” training for our Cadets, successfully maintaining their interest in these difficult times. Special thanks are also due to the Permanent Staff and all those who have worked so hard during recent months to make the County estate Covid-secure and to facilitate RTT.
As many of you know, I have also had an ambassadorial role for the County in our wider communities, particularly to civic and business leaders and I have always taken every opportunity to try and get across the message that our former Cadets make excellent future employees, notably for all the transferable skills they have learned and I will continue to do so. Very often I have received unexpected and glowing comments about our County activities, which have always been a great source of pride to me and should be for you all.
Now a few words of thanks and appreciation on behalf of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity (Staffordshire) to all of you who, over the years, have supported The Stoke-on-Trent Military Tattoo, which I have had the honour to organise. All Companies have participated, either in support roles or in memorable performances by the County Corps of Drums and by D Coy providing superb stewarding duties. All appreciated and much commented upon by Tattoo audiences.
I should also acknowledge, with grateful thanks, the work our Friend’s Trustees in supporting our Cadets with funding for activities and equipment which cannot otherwise be funded.
And finally, a word of thanks and appreciation for Lt Col David Reeve, who retires at the end of this month and who has been an outstanding CEO and tremendous support to us all.
Having been associated with our County ACF and WM RFCA for many years, I am of course, very sad to be stepping down as your Honorary Colonel, but I do look forward to keeping in touch in the years to come. And so it is with a heavy heart that I must say farewell and behalf of my wife Sally, best wishes for Christmas and the future to you all.