President Dinah Barrand welcomed 44 members (including 6 new members) and 4 visitors to the first meeting of 2019 for BRWI and the first meeting at the new venue, reading a poem which gave a taste of the fabulous meetings, outings, camping trips, lunches, teas and swims for members to look forward to during the year.
Debbie then introduced Tony Harris who, dressed as one of the first class passengers, gave a fascinating talk on the Titanic and its fateful last voyage. Using evidence gathered from a variety of sources, Tony posited the theory that the Titanic was in fact the Olympic, its sister ship, which had been seriously damaged in a collision while on sea trials. Discovered to be under-insured (like its twin it was deemed to be unsinkable), a plan was hatched to switch the ships and sink the Titanic/Olympic on its maiden voyage which by that time had been heavily over-insured – but no loss of life was anticipated as a ‘rescue’ ship had been commissioned to be close to the Titanic when the accident occurred. As we now know, the scheme did not go to plan and there were terrible losses – although many members were pleased to hear that the founder of Gordon’s Gin survived!
It was a riveting presentation leaving members having some doubts about their long held views about the Titanic and its fate. Food for thought!
After a vote of thanks from Debbie, Jan and Stella then gave a brief summary of each of the six 2019 resolution suggestions and members were asked to vote for their choice.
The two charities selected by members for this year were announced – Bognor Food Bank and Tangmere Dementia Hub; these are organisations which provide a much needed service to the local community and to which members can give practical support.
During refreshments, members had the opportunity to sign up for upcoming activities, enjoy some cake and catch up with friends.
After our Treasurer Joyce had given a brief financial report, Gina then announced the ‘Anything Nautical’ competition winners which had been selected by Tony Harris. 1st was Jack, 2nd was Joyce, with Gina coming 3rd.
The Competition Cup was presented to Annie Smith, the overall competition winner of 2018 with Karen 2nd and Sarah 3rd. Congratulations to Annie! Gina reminded members that February’s competition is ‘My Happy Song’.
The draw for the £100 bursary then took place with Jan and Debbie taking first and second place, and Chris Hutchins and Flo as first and second reserve.
Rosemary Coleman was also presented with the Best Idea Award (for the monthly coffee morning) having been absent for the presentations at the December meeting.
Members were briefly reminded of particular events for their diaries – the coffee morning hosted by Sarah on 12th February, the camp in Kent on the weekend of 16-18 August, and the forthcoming beach clean organised by Sussex Wildlife Trust.
Finally President Dinah closed the meeting and wished all members and visitors a safe journey home.
Words: Gina Fitch-Roy
Photos: Kate Claisse and Katie Lyne
To see the full meeting record, please click here