At our November meeting Dick Lord overwhelmed us with an absolutely hilarious narrative of his life as a pilot in the Royal Navy Air Arm from 1958, including the dangers and usual mishaps. Using a most vivid and colourful style of presentation, he acquainted us with the layout and technical refinements of an aircraft carrier, what was the blunt end and the sharp end, and how the huge ship behaved on the ocean waves. He described take offs and landings in a Sea Vixen from HMS Centaur, using illustrations to great effect. He was then posted to HMS Victorious where he also flew the Sea Vixen, a plane he liked very much. Afterwards he flew from HMS Hermes, and with HMS Ark Royal visited Hong Kong and Singapore.
We were treated to a host of stories, serious and funny, the most stirring one being the case of the navigator's glove serving in a dire emergency while flying at 40.000 ft. We received instructions on how to eject from an aircraft when something went wrong, plus how to survive in-flight refuelling, flying in close formation, and operating at night, the latter being especially nerve-wrecking. After all instruction, the listeners, apart from enjoying Dick's marvellous gift of the gab, felt quite certain they would be able to fly off an aircraft carrier under his expert guidance.
He was sent to the USA as exchange pilot, sailed on the Queen Mary (with his car), and travelled to San Diego, to become one of a group of eight FAA pilots, who all served with distinction. During one exercise Dick had to eject over the ocean from his Skyhawk which had developed a serious malfunction, but was fortunate to be quickly rescued by Helicopters. In 1965 he was in HMS Ark Royal, having served seven years, when he had occasion to recount the losses suffered by people he knew. He arrived at 75 names of aircrew, some of them killed by mechanical failures.
Members who missed the evening should really borrow the audiotape from the Scribe for an hour of pure technical, descriptive fun - plus! We are happy to announce that Dick has agreed to give us a further talk in July 2005, on his experiences in the SAAF.
NEW HONORARY LIFE MEMBER:
In recognition of his commitment to our Branch as former Committee Member and for his dedication over many years, the Committee Members have unanimously agreed to award Colonel O.E.F. "Ossie" Baker DTM, MM, DWD an Honorary Life Membership.
Fellow Member Gerrie de Vries informs us that all SENTINEL guns are now in their carriages at Sentinel Wines near Stellenbosch, pending a few adjustments. They are situated about 5 km from Stellenbosch on the R 44 towards Paarl and well worth a visit..
FINE MUSIC RADIO:
We remind members and their friends who wish to be interviewed for the Documentary commemorating the end of WW II - 60 years ago - to inform the Scribe a.s.a.p. This will enable him to prepare a list for submission to the Production Director of the Radio Station.
EASTERN CAPE BRANCH:
In case members missed the announcement of the formation of this Branch, here is their address: 15 Conyngham Road, Parsons Hill, Port Elizabeth 6001, Telephone (041) 373-4469, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Facilitator: Malcolm Kinghorn
Enclosed members will find Subscription Forms for 2005. We are glad to inform you that Subs have only been increased marginally to cover higher running costs. We ask Members to kindly return the completed forms with payments at their earliest convenience. Having to send out reminders and contacting slow payers by telephone (sometimes more than once) places an avoidable burden on the Committee Members concerned.
CAPE TOWN - a journey through time:
This new book by Ian Uys has the subtitle: A historical chronicle of events from BC to AD. It is a reference book describing important and (sometimes) unknown events in our area and costs around R100,00. It can be ordered from Johan van den Berg at 082-579-0386.
The first Lecture in 2005 will take place on the THIRD THURSDAY of the month.
|20th January||OPERATION MARKET GARDEN - ARNHEM REMEMBERED
Illustrated Lecture by Johan van den Berg
|10th February|| THE CURRENT SOUTH AFRICAN RESERVE FORCES AND THEIR FUTURE ROLE
Talk by Brigadier General John A. Del Monte SM & Bar, MMM
|10th March|| XENOPHON's MARCH OF THE TEN THOUSAND
Talk by Dr. Dan Sleigh
(In 401 B.C.the young infantry officer Xenophon took part in the Greek military expedition to overthrow the Persian Empire. Defeated in a single battle, and after the death of its commander, Xenophon assumed command of the Greek forces. They withdrew across 1 000 miles of enemy territory, across deserts, snow covered mountains and rivers, while continuously harried by the Barbarian tribes. This march is a classic example of a disciplined and orderly military withdrawal).
|14th April|| 1) ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
2) AN UPDATE ON THE MILITARY/POLITICAL SITUATION ON THE AFRICAN CONTINENT
Speaker: Major Helmoed Roemer-Heitman
|9th June|| NAPOLEON IN EGYPT
An in-depth illustrated Lecture with Maps by John E. Feitelberg M.I.M.M.
|14th July|| MY FLYING CAREER IN THE SAAF FROM 1972 TO 1994
Brigadier General R.S. "Dick" Lord.
|11th August|| THE ZONDERWATER PRISON by Dave McLennan
MORE U-BOAT ANECDOTES by John Mahncke
COMMEMORATIVE LUNCHEON (VE DAY)
The S.A. Legion, Cape Town Branch, is arranging a Luncheon on 7 May 2005 at Kelvin Grove. Anyone interested in details may contact the Legion at Rosedale.
Society Meetings are normally held on the 2nd Thursday of every month, at 20:00 in the Recreation Room of the SA LEGION'S ROSEDALE COMPLEX, Lower Nursery Road (off Liesbeek Parkway/Alma Road (traffic light), opposite Rosebank Railway Station, below the line. Secure Parking is available inside the premises. All visitors welcome. Tea and biscuits will be served.
Jochen (John) Mahncke, Vice-Chairman/Scribe, 021-797-5167 or 072-528-0987