2009 "Graduation 50th Anniversary" reunion planning

2009 marks the 50th Anniversary of our graduation from RAF Halton.

Ivor has started initial planning for the 2009 Reunion and has already ‘e’ mailed members with some suggestions. He has asked members for their views and suggestions so I encourage everyone to put forward their ideas, etc. so that we can consider all the options and get an early resolution for the time and place.

I guess the dates and venue and an estimate of numbers attending are the most important issues to fix as soon as possible, preferably before Christmas. The sooner we have dates fixed we all can put them in our diary and particularly for our overseas brethren; they can start making their trip plans. If we get our bids in early, hopefully Ivor can negotiate a good deal with a hotel and get a confirmed booking. Thereafter, we can get to work on the itinerary and activities that should give us all a memorable reunion weekend.

So please take the time to quickly respond to Ivors’ ‘e’ mails so we can get the reunion arrangements up and running.

A few thoughts to ponder:

I dare say each of us has different memories of our graduation and events leading up to the “great” day. I’m afraid my recollections have become somewhat blurred with time and the following is about all I can offer as reminders, with a little help from my “Halton souvenir box”.

I have a copy of our Graduation Dinner menu on the 23rd March 1959 but I don’t remember which mess the dinner was held in (maybe it was 3 Wing?). I know some of the members that attended because my “souvenir menu” is covered with various signatures.

Obviously the menu also tells me what we had to eat but I don’t recall anything about the quality and appearance of the food although it looks like quite a good menu, particularly for 1959. Please recall, it was served in a mess not renowned for its cuisine. Maybe we should consider replicating the graduation dinner menu at the 2009 Reunion – just for old times’ sake!

I also have a copy of the Graduation Programme for 25th March 1959 and recall that it was a grey, cold day when the parade took place on Henderson & Groves Square (in greatcoats). I have little recollection of anything else that happened during the graduation parade other than my parents were there to witness the event.

Among my Halton souvenirs there is an invitation card to our Graduation Dance in the Station Concert Hall on the 25th March (8 – 12pm). I have absolutely no memory of that event but I do vaguely recall that a bunch of “enthusiastic new airmen” went to the Red Lion in Wendover at some time during the evening to celebrate with a few “well earned” drinks.

We also assembled in the Burnett Main Gym where certificates and prizes were awarded but I don’t know when that happened. It must have been well ahead of Graduation Day because the Graduation Programme has a photograph of all the prize winners.

Help to fill in the ‘memory blanks’ would be much appreciated.

John Burt