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Reunion Report 2017 (5th November 2017)
My report from the Reunion and AGM weekend is now available here.
Doreen Whiteoak RIP (1st November 2017)
Our Chairman - Ray Whiteoak - contacted me at the beginning of the week with the sad news that his wife, Doreen, passed away at the weekend. Doreen had accompanied Ray on many occasions to our Reunions but was unable to be at the 2017 event due to an accident earlier in the year.
We extend our condolences to Ray, his family and friends.
AGM and Reunion 2017 (21st October 2017)
Another successful Reunion was held at a hotel just outside the City of York during the weekend of 13th - 15th October 2017. Attendance this year was slightly higher than in 2016 which was very rewarding for the Committee and the organisers - Isle of Wight Tours. The writer and his wife travelled up to York on the Thursday and, despite some aggravation on the M1 which required SatNav to do a bit of re-routing, arrived safely and met up with Secretary David Green and his good lady in the hotel car park. Good timing! Accommodation was at the Mercure Fairfield Manor Hotel, on the A19 just outside the York 'ring road', and it turned out to be ideal for our purposes. The majority of members arrived during Friday, and there was a good opportunity for meeting old friends and colleagues during the evening. A full report for the weekend, including key points from the AGM will be posted shortly.
Chinese Linguists (6th October 2017)
I was invited to join members of No.2 Mandarin Chinese Course for their annual reunion and luncheon at my local Golf Club on October 4th hosted by Lance Slater and with Jim Wilson - the author of 'Chinese Whispers' - present. Prior to lunch, we shared many common reminiscences by watching a collection of B&W and colour photos taken in Hong Kong in the 50's.
The group are anxious to contact other members of No.2 Course (1956 - 58), so if you are reading this and perhaps known someone who was at RAF Worth Matravers in Dorset at that time, please ask them to contact us via this website.
Blind Veterans UK (12th Sept 2017)
Our member - Neville Parkin - has provided information about this organisation with which he is associated.
Their website, which can be found at https://www.blindveterans.org.uk is very informative and their telephone number is 020 7723 5021.
Graham Ball RIP (12th Sept 2017)
Sad news received a little while ago, about the passing of Graham Ball who died peacefully in hospital at the end of August. His funeral took place at Colwyn Bay Crematorium on Monday September 4th. Graham was a wireless operator and served at Little Sai Wan between 1954-55 and had been a member of the Association for many years, attending several reunions in the early 'Noughties'.
We extend our condolences to his family and friends.
Albert Forsyth RIP (4th July 2017)
Albert was a Wireless Operator and was based at Little Saiwan from 1953 - 56. He had been a member of the Association for many years, and attended a couple of Reunions in the early/mid-'Noughties'. It was Albert who established the Heraldic details for the 367 Signals Unit, RAF crest and motto, details of which appear on our 'History' page.
We extend our condolences to Hazel, their family and friends.
John Ranson RIP (19th June 2017)
More sad news as we learn of the passing of John Ranson this month. John was a radar mechanic based at Little Saiwan from 1954 - 1955. He had attended a number of our reunions with wife Myra, the last one being in 2014 at Lincoln, but declining health precluded any further attendances. He was a licenced Amateur Radio Operator with the callsign G7NDD.
We extend our condolences to Myra and their friends.
Contact from an 'Old Timer'! (19th June 2017)
We have been contacted by probably one of the oldest surviving members of 367 WU (Wireless Unit), the predecessor of 367 Signals Unit. Harold Hill was a wireless operator with 367WU from 1942 until his return to the UK from Hong Kong in 1946 on a TAOS Victory ship. These ships were built in large numbers in 1944/45 mainly in shipyards in the United States and were general purpose cargo vessels. They superceded the 'Liberty' ships, and were slightly larger and faster to protect against U-Boat attack.
Welcome to our Association, Harold. Hopefully we will meet you in York later in the year?
John Noulton RIP (9th May 2017)
Sad news from John's companion - Vivien, that he passed away on May 4th. John was a Linguist and served at Little Sai Wan and Battys Belvedere in the final years of RAF occupancy and didn't find our Association until 2015, following a visit to Hong Kong. John was a member of No.8 Chinese Linguist Course and trained at Pucklechurch and Tangmere. He returned to Hong Kong as a civilian operator in the mid-60's via Bletchley Park and Tangmere, and attended our Reunions in 2015 and 2016.
We extend our condolences to Vivien, his family and friends.
AGM and Reunion 2017 (3rd May 2017)
All the documentation for this years AGM/Reunion, to be held in York over the weekend of 13th-15th October, has now been sent out to members in the UK, and those outside the UK who might consider attending. If you are reading this and have NOT received your package, please contact us here.
Ping Shan (3rd May 2017)
Back in September 2016, I reported on contact with our Association from Ian Kwong who was trying to locate his family grave - in what then was to us the New Territories (See item for 8th September 2016 below). Our member - Jim Macfarlane - has been in conversation with Ian and shared some of his own researches for the area. Jim has recently been in touch and this is an extract from his e-mail:
'He (Ian) was successful in finding the grave location. Itís to the north of the old Ping Shan Police Station and is marked red on the map / aerial photo [not attached here Ed ] The memorial itself was unfortunately bulldozed by the neighbours, who started building a logistics warehouse a few years ago. Apparently some nearby squatters had told them the Kwong family had moved abroad. It wasnít destroyed owing to development in the 1980ís or 1990ís as he had earlier thought.'
Thanks to Jim for his assistance to Ian.
AGM and Reunion 2017 (30 March 2017)
All the information for the 2017 AGM and Reunion to be held very close to the City of York in early October, together with Booking Form, etc. will be distributed to the membership shortly. For those members who do NOT have access to the Internet, we plan to include the 2016 Report with the Summer Newsletter, as it did not get issued last December.
Spring Newsletter, etc. (27 March 2017)
Due to unforeseen circumstances, we were unable to bring you the usual Winter Newsletter last December. However, I am pleased to report that the Spring Newsletter has just been issued, along with the latest membership list, and the Association Survey form (see item 6th December 2016 below.) If you are reading this and have NOT received these documents, please get in touch with us here. I am also delighted to advise that Book 18 is winging its way to all members - mine arrived today! For all our non-email members, Book 18 will be accompanied by the Spring Newsletter, etc.
Roy Henderson (5th March 2017)
Some of our members may remember Roy, who served with 367SU from January 1955 to February 1956, although I don't think he ever joined the 367 Association. Sadly, we learn from Eddie Edwards of the ex-RAF Aerial Erectors Association, that Roy passed away on February 23rd after a period of illness. We extend our condolences to his family and friends.
Kung Hei Fat Choy
An interesting article marking the Chinese New Year from the Gwulo website here.
Membership Survey (6th December 2016)
At the 2016 AGM, the future of our Association was discussed, as with each passing year, we see a slow but inevitable decline in our membership. It is intended to conduct a survey early in the New Year, firstly to establish how well the Association meets member's needs, and secondly to consider the future of the Association. Watch this space!
Charlie Langridge (6th December 2016)
Charlie was one of the guys known as 'Aerial Erectors', the team who were responsible for erecting, installing and maintaining the complex aerial systems used at Little Sai Wan and at other RAF bases. He was stationed at LSW around 1957/58 and may well have been known to some of our members. We have just been informed by Eddie Edwards - webmaster for the ex-RAF Aerial Erectors Association - that Charlie passed away in October this year. The Aerial Erectors Training School is currently based at RAF Digby, a place familiar to several of our members, although it is planned to move to RAF St Athan in 2017 after 58 years in Lincolnshire.
RAF Detachment Labuan (8th November 2016)
The Association has recently been contacted by David Bale, the author of the book 'RAF Labuan, Borneo'. David is attempting to raise sufficient funds from those who served at this RAF outpost, and others, to have an inscribed floor plaque made and installed in St. Clement Danes, the RAF's adopted church. David writes:
'You may know that St Clement Danes Church in The Strand was heavily bombed and post war was adopted as the Royal Air Force church. You may, like me, have contributed the odd shilling or florin at a pay parade towards the church restoration. The floor of the church, of Welsh slate, is inscribed with the badges of over 800 RAF commands, groups, stations, squadrons and other formations, but there is no memorial to RAF Labuan, which existed as a RAF Detachment for many years before becoming a RAF Station for the duration of the Indonesian Confrontation.'
If you would like to contribute to this worthy cause and need further information, please contact us here.
There is also an interesting web site relating to RAF Labuan at:
2016 AGM & Reunion (20th October 2016)
The 367 Association's 23rd AGM & Reunion was held over the weekend of October 7th - 9th at the Kegworth Hotel & Conference Centre, just southwest of the city of Nottingham. For the second year, the organisation was in the capable hands of Isle of Wight Tours, and although numbers were down this year, the weekend was very successful. A full report will be made available shortly and will be distributed to members along with the Winter Newsletter.
No 2 Chinese Language Course - Reunion Lunch (20th October 2016)
I was very pleased to be able to join this group of ex-Saiwanners again, when they met for their Reunion Lunch at my local Golf Club on October 4th. Our member Terry Joyes was also in attendance. Andrew Suddaby's book 'Call Up - National Service in the RAF' circulated amongst those present and received many plaudits. I was also able to show our collection of photographs, again courtesy of Andrew's efforts. Hopefully a photo of the group will be available shortly.
Silent Key - Bob Shepherd (14th September 2016}
Sad news received yesterday via Ray Whiteoak, that our old friend Bob Shepherd passed away on September 12th after a period of illness. Bob was one of our 'older' members, serving as a W.Op. at Little Sai Wan between 1951 and 1952. Our condolences go to his family and friends.
Ping Shan (8th September 2016)
Via our website, we have been contacted by a Chinese gentleman by the name of Ian Kwong, who is researching his family history, and trying to locate the original family graves near Ping Shan in what was to us in the 60's, the location of RAF Kong Wei in the New Territories. Apparently, the graves on a hillside have been re-located as a result of infrastructure changes during the last 60 years. Our member Jim Mcfarlane has been able to provide Ian with an aerial photo taken in 1962, and comparing this with current images on Google Earth, it is clear just how much the area has changed.
Silent Key - Barry Cooper (8th September 2016)
As is often the case, we only learn about the passing of one of our members when we try to contact them at the beginning of each new subscription year. This is the case for Barry Cooper sometime in the recent past. Barry was a member of the RAF Police, and was stationed at Little Sai Wan from 1955 - 58. We would offer our condolences to his family and friends.
Silent Key - Maurice Day (28th June 2016)
Sad news from Maurice's son Stewart, advising that his father passed away recently. Maurice had been a member of our Association for many years and was a regular attendee at AGM and Reunions - he was at nine events from 2004 onwards (my earliest record), latterly accompanied by his son. He had many good friends from his days with 367SU between 1952 - 53.
The following information regarding Maurice's funeral have been received from Stewart'My fathers funeral will take place at Amber Valley Memorial Park and Crematorium, Swanwick, Derbyshire, DE55 1BH, at 1500hrs Friday 1st of July, Obviously there is an open invite to anyone who may wish to attend.Should anybody enquire about the gift of flowers or donations these are being handled by the Co-operative Funeral care Heanor, Holbrook Street Heanor, DE75 7AY, (01773 713089). Donations are being collected on behalf of the Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Association which is working to find a cure for the illness that my father was diagnosed with.'
The Association extends condolences to Maurice's family and friends.
Reunion 2016 (10th June 2016)
Registrations for this year's AGM and Reunion are coming in steadily, and it is good to see a couple of our newer members attending, and the return of some old friends we haven't seen for a while. It should be another successful event with Isle of Wight Tours at the helm. The choice of hotel just south of Nottingham appears to be ideal, and the cruise on the River Trent should be a pleasant Saturday excursion with a spot of 'retail therapy' in the city for the ladies.
The final reminder with all documentation for the Reunion will accompany the Summer Newsletter which is due in a couple of weeks. The 367 Association Committee look forward to meeting old friends and colleagues in October.
Spring Newsletter (4th April 2016)
Due to outside pressures, our Newsletter Editor was unable to meet his usual target of issuing the Spring Newsletter at the Spring (or Vernal) Equinox this year - being retired is not one long holiday, there are hosts of other pressures on our time! Not to worry, the Newsletter is, as usual, a good read and full of important information relating to our 2016 AGM and Reunion. This year we are visiting the Midlands, staying just to the SW of Nottingham City. For the second year running, the event has been organised by, and will be coordinated by Isle of Wight Travel (IOWT}, and will take on board the comments from the Survey conducted following the 2015 event. We look forward to seeing many of you at the Reunion. So, if any members are reading this and have not yet received their Newsletter, contact us here.
Silent Key - Len Jessett (1st March 2016)
Sad news from Bob Shepherd, advising that our old friend Len Jessett passed away on February 24th. He had been in rather poor health for a while and was confined to a wheelchair at the last Reunion he attended back in 2009.Bob had known Len as a close friend since late 1950 when both of them completed the WOP 52 Course at Compton Bassett and, when offered, they accepted a posting to RAF Hong Kong under the "Y" Scheme. They arrived in HK in March 1951 when the Korean War was at its height. Len was one of the sadly declining "1951/52" group in the 367 Association who were the last to start the 367 SU experience at Tai Po Tsai, before the Unit moved to LSW/Cape Collinson in June 1951, long before there was any residential accommodation at LSW.
Len's funeral will be held at 12.45 on Monday, March 14th at The Medway Crematorium, Robin Hood Lane, Bluebell Hill, Chatham ME5 9QU We offer our condolences to Len's family and friends.
Silent Key - Alan Perry (19th February 2016)
In November 2015, Alan's son, John, contacted the Association to obtain a copy of a photograph of his father which had appeared in Book 17. Our Archivist also found a short article written by Alan which appeared in Book 7, and both have been copied to John. The photograph was given by John as a Christmas present to his father, who had fond memories of his time in the Far East.
Sadly, we have just heard that Alan passed away on February 15th following a heart attack. Our condolences go to Alan's family and friends.
Gong Hei Fat Choy 2016 (7th February 2016)
Monday, February 8th, 2016 marks the start of the Year of the Monkey in the Chinese Calendar. Celebration throughout Chinese communities traditionally start on the preceding evening, and continue until the 15th day and the Festival of Lanterns. Those of us who were fortunate to be in the region at the time of the Chinese New Year, will well remember the crowds; the colour and the noise! Strings of small red firecrackers were let off everywhere to ensure that evil spirits were driven away. In fact, red is the thematic colour for the celebrations, with house doors being adorned with red decorations, and gifts of money (real or imitation) being presented in red envelopes. In the Mandarin dialect, the greeting is Gong Xi Fa Cai.
Does anyone remember Donald Clare? (1st January 2016)
Donald Clare was at LSW in 1960/62 and was a Chinese linguist. We have been contacted by his daughter who would like to get in touch with anyone from LSW days who remembers him. If you can help, please contact me here.
Happy New Year to all ex-Saiwanners (1st January 2016)
Best wishes to all ex-Saiwanners, their family and friends, and to all visitors to this web-site.
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