Farewell to Chairman Steve Richards

Sunday saw Operation Covid initiated and whilst Chris was on his walk along with Steve to catch up before Steve moves out of area it was found that several other branch committee members were taking their exercise at Trenance Boating Lake as well. Well Cornwall and Newquay, in particular, are small worlds when it comes to bumping into veterans it would seem !

Follow the link for a Video of our encounter !

All change for the RAF Association at RAF St Mawgan

At the October Committee Zoom meeting Founder Chairman Wg Cdr Retired Steve Richards handed over the chain of office to Newquay Councillor, and former Flt Sgt Mr Alan Goudge.

During the latter half of 2012 Steve along with a small team including the late Wg Cdr Philip Lamb, the then Station Commander RAF St Mawgan, set in motion the birth of the RAF St Mawgan Branch of the Royal Air Force Association. The inauguration took place in the TE Lawrence Mess on the Station at the end of January 2013. In fact, it was the first ever branch to be set-up ‘behind the wire’ on an operational RAF Station, something that has been an attraction to some of the 180 members now.

Branch Media Communications Officer, and former Founder Treasurer, Chris Cox said “ Since then, the branch has gone from strength to strength. Several trophies have been won by the branch over this time including the Cup for the first branch to retain 100% of membership at renewal, together with the coveted Presidents Cup awarded for the best of the 450 branches in the country, this was awarded by Air Marshall Sir Dusty Miller RAF.

Many thousands of pounds have been raised on behalf of the Wings Appeal over the years and many speakers have been welcomed to branch meetings along with many memorable social events including our RAF 100 Formal Reception and Dinner at the Atlantic Hotel in November 2018.”

The object for which the Association is established is to promote, through the comradeship engendered by its members, the welfare by charitable means of all serving and former members of Her Majesty’s Air Forces, their spouses and dependents, together with the widows and widowers and dependents of those who died whilst serving or subsequently. “

Steve is now moving out of area so that he and his wife Carolyn can be nearer to family and in particular their grandchildren, so we salute his contribution and give thanks for all he has done and achieved for the branch and wish them both well for the future.

He said “ Leaving the Branch and its members will be a quite a difficult move for me.   I have had an incredible time, from helping to form the Branch seven years ago and then working with an amazing set of people who have raised around £50,000 and provided a significant amount of welfare support to the RAF Association and local RAF veterans and families.  This could not have been possible without our Committee and the tremendous support from the Station Commanders and members of RAF St Mawgan during my time.  Thankfully, the Branch, now led by Alan Goudge, will no doubt secure even more support for the RAF Family in these difficult times and on into the future.”

In his stead we welcome back Founder Secretary Alan Goudge who, after a spell as a Branch Support Officer for the RAF Association, steps up to take the branch forward as its new Chairman.

Alan said “ With the Chairman Wg Cdr Steve Richards (Retd) leaving to pastures new, the RAF St Mawgan RAFA Branch Committee approached me for consideration on the now vacant post of Chairman. Having previously been the Secretary for over 5 years and employed with RAFA for 5 years as the South Western Area Branch Support Officer, I felt that I could add some benefit to maintain the standards that have been accustomed to during Steve’s tenure. It is with great pride that I have accepted the post as the new Chairman and will enjoy working with the dedicated Branch Committee over the coming years. “

Our local RAF Association Branch volunteers normally collect donations for our Wings Welfare Appeal in key local events, locations and supermarkets.  This year, COVID-19 has put an abrupt stop to that.

With many of our volunteers considered to be at high risk from COVID-19, we decided to move this year’s collection online, in the form of a ‘JustGiving’ page.  It is hoped that the online payment facility will enable more people than ever before to donate, as the traditional street collections had relied on passers-by having loose change in their pockets.

To donate to the RAFA RAF St Mawgan Branch’s Wings Appeal collection, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/RAFA-StMawganBranch-WingsAppeal

For more information on the branch please visit www.rafastmawgan.org or our Facebook page @rafastmawganbranch or by email to secretary@rafastmawgan.org

Some of Steve’s Highlights ……