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RAFLing Association Reunion November - December 2017 in Berlin
The 2017 Rafling Reunion in Berlin – 30th Nov – 4th Dec
Despite the best efforts of the management of the Park Hotel in Alexanderplatz to sabotage it, the reunion was a resounding success. They changed venues and duration of use of them for meetings, at short notice (resulting in one of the briefest AGMs we have ever had). They cocked up booking arrangements (poor Lorraine and Dave Steenson thought they were going to be evicted before they could come to the Farewell buffet on Sunday evening). They made us live in rabbit hutches with see-through toilets and showers and charged 5 Euro for a .4L glass of that nectar we all enjoy known as Berliner Kindl. They had even downsized the lobby so that we could not congregate in numbers greater than a dozen to enjoy a bit of convivial chat. (“Do you remember so-and-so doing ..... and what about that bloke .... etc.”?)
But, they did not reckon with the fact that on our side we had that indomitable duo, Batman and Robin, otherwise known as Mike Hancock and George Bason. Thanks to their sterling efforts they managed to foil the Park’s dastardly plan (Can you hear the Dambuster’s March as you read this?) and produced one of the most successful reunions we have had. There were about 45 Rafling members plus their spouses, partners and a few relatives attending the reunion and I think a great time was had by all.
The idea behind this reunion was not to be over-organised with tours but just to do a bit of sightseeing and visit some of the 80 or so Christmas markets in Berlin. However George and Mike had amazingly contrived to get those who wanted to, a trip around RAF Gatow (I can’t spell General Steinhoff Kaserne). The trip included a bus tour of what remains of RAF Gatow and also an excellent trip around the Luftwaffe Museum. (SHQ is now a part of that museum). We are grateful to Capt Philipp Leitermeyer for a very informative tour
Notable characters were (of course) Mick Mulvaney who at 84 managed to get from California, via Iceland in order to keep the Gala evening going until almost 3am, along with other stalwarts of evening sessions, Tony Saunders, Alan Robson, Mike Hancock and his friend Gerhard, as well as a few others. Father of the house, so to speak, was Jim Martin (four months older even than Mick Mulvaney) who was there with his two sons. John Stamford who is a regular visitor to the Chicksands graduations and also an ex-National Serviceman made it and I think enjoyed it enormously.
Ron and Margaret Young, (better known as ‘Pointed Stick’) made it from Spain, despite being a spritely 80, as did Ian Wilson, Clare, Don and Sylvie Stuart and Rita Reilly. We welcomed a couple of newcomers, Harry Wilson and Mick Mariner and their wives. Even my old bridge partner Pete Hobbs made an appearance at the .Meet and Greet’ and promised he is going to renew his membership
The weather was a bit cool, but mostly the rain held off and everyone tried the glühwein (which only tastes good when the weather is cold) and had their fill of currywurst, bratwurst etc.
I think you will all agree that our thanks must go to Mike, George, Sue, Anne, Don and Dave, our illustrious committee for the hard work involved in organising such a successful reunion
All in all it was a memorable reunion and achieved the main aim of meeting and enjoying the company of old friends as well as making new acquaintances. AR
(A selection of photos from the Reunion will be added ASAP)
Letters of appreciation
Just a quick note to thank you all for making a trip via Iceland worthwhile. The family who came with me enjoyed themselves very much, despite the hotel’s shortcomings and were asking when the next gathering will be taking place!
Have a Happy Christmas and a great New Year, I hope that 2018 brings you good health and much happiness.
Mike Mulvaney and Family.
Remembrance Day Ceremony 2017
Another good turnout of RAFLING members for the 2017 Remembrance Day Parade. A big vote of thanks to Brian Scott for his excellent planning & organisation on behalf of the RAFLING Association. I understand that everyone had a wonderful day, rounded off with a good meal at Pico's Restaurant once again. (Click on photo for more images).
Dedication of RAFLING Association Memorial at Alrewas 17 May 2017
This entertaining and informative book will appeal to anyone who grew up in the 1950s and 60s, and especially to those who have had any connection with the Armed Forces in the last 60 or so years. RAFling members will find much of its story comfortingly familiar.
(Sadly John Partridge passed away in July 2017)
The RAFLing Association is pleased to announce the long overdue addition of a brand new section to the website. Thanks to the sterling efforts of Alan Robson and contributions from various sources, mainly former Chinese Linguists, we have already populated this section with background information on the RAF Chinese Linguists, including some course photographs. We look forward to receiving lots more information about the various courses and also photos if available. Welcome on board guys!
- The RAFLing Online Store is now open for business. You will find a selection of familiar items for sale at very reasonable prices. Just click on the ‘Store’ link at the top of the page and follow the fairly simple instructions to place your order. Payment is by Personal Cheque of Bank Transfer. Postage & Packing has been set at £1.99 for all items - Happy Shopping. (Please note that non-RAFLing Association members need to add 15% to the prices of all items).
- The committee has decided that RAFLING ties, badges and PoppyPins will only be available for sale to RAFLING members.