Dear RARA (UK) Members, and RAR Friends,
My appointment as Chairman of the RARA (UK) was approved by the Committee last week. I thought you might therefore be interested in what we plan to do over the next few years. Our Committee is made up of Pat Lawless, Malcolm Clewer, David Heppenstall, Keith Adams, John Hopkins, Vince Leonard, Bill Liversidge, Rory McKenna) Nigel Heppenstall, Hobo Hobson) and we plan:
• To focus on ‘Benevolence’ (raising money for, and supporting former members of the Regiment, including our seat on the Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League).
• To focus on ‘Remembrance and Social’ (An annual programme: we plan an Annual Tanlwe Chaung Day (Regimental Birthday, 25/26 April) Event at the RAR Memorial at Stafford in the UK; an AGM and Annual Lunch at the Rifles Club (October-December, London); a Phase II Project for the Memorial (Roll of Honour and Bench); attendance at the RAA Remembrance Day Parade (November, London), and support and attendance at the Annual RAA Formal Dinner (usually in May, Chatham, Kent).
• To create a Regimental Counsel to guide the work of the RARA (UK) Committee (to keep me in line (!), and to ensure that what we do is relevant and appropriate to the RAR) – a small group drawn from former members of the RAR Battalions and Independent Companies of the RAR, former African Soldiers and Officers, and RWS (attached to the RAR).
• Create an RAR Community that is wider than our current membership, providing contact and fostering our Regimental camaraderie. To create a focus for our young relatives (sort of like a “Youth Wing of the RAR”!!!!).
• Our Regimental magazine will continue as it currently does (“Nhowo”, twice a year in print and – hopefully – on line).
• Support for the “Sweet Banana Fund”, our website, and – of course – to Russell Fulton and the great work he does with our Facebook Page. We will do all that we can to promote sales of “Chibaya Moyo”, “Masodja” and the “Book of Remembrance”.
Our next event is TC Day at RAR Memorial, National Memorial Arboretum, Stafford, UK on Sunday 1st May 2016 (dates slightly out of kilter due to our wish to combine TC Day with the 100th anniversary of the formation of the RNR).
We will provide more information on this in due course.
Pat Lawless, Chairman, Rhodesian African Rifles Association (United Kingdom)