The reunion, in this our centenary year, took place over the weekend 5th, 6th and 7th of May. We are indebted to the Station Commander for welcoming us back to RAF Waddington and putting many station facilities at our disposal.
The button below will activate a link direct to the Reunions tab, where you can find a report covering the reunion weekend’s activities, along with accompanying photographs.
At the conclusion of the annual dinner, members and guests were invited to help themselves to a special edition of the Association Newsletter, which had been produced to celebrate our centenary. Members who were unable to attend the reunion may order a copy of this special edition from the Secretary at £5 per copy, including UK postage, or £7 for overseas residents. Please make cheques payable to No 44 (Rhodesia) Squadron Association.
The 2017 Golf Match Report
The plan to de-couple the golf match from the main reunion worked well and we were due for eight players competing for this year’s honours. Sadly a late family emergency brought the number down and so it was three pairs that assembled for the match: Team 1 Keith Douglas with Nick Dennis, Team 2 Simon Baldwin with Paul Millikin and Team 3 Bob Manser with Peter Moore.
As usual on meeting up there was much banter and hedging of bets on handicaps and such whilst the bacon butties and coffee were consumed. Then out onto the course for the serious business of the day. Belton Park Golf Course was in very good order with well kept fairways and quick but true greens. Unfortunately the weather was a bit below par for late April with a temperature of just 9 deg C combining with a stiff breeze to give a pretty chill feel to the day; felt most by Bob Manser who had just returned from honing his game in the Southern Hemisphere and who sported a tan that got him the nickname ‘Mahogany Bob’. Large showers passed by but we were spared the worst and stayed fairly dry as some fine long range accurate golf shots began to pepper the greens (well close for bomber crews!). It was also proved again that the definition of a putter is…’a golf club designed to get the ball three quarters of the way to the hole’!
Back in the clubhouse we dined on a very fine pie together with chips and peas washed down with a jar or two. The team scores were calculated using the ‘Better ball’ system and very tight it was: Team 3 Mahogany Bob and Peter 38 points, Team 1 Keith and Nick 39 points but, taking the fizz, clear winners and 44 Sqn team for 2017 were Team 2 Simon and Paul with 42 points, well done. As for the individual Champion again it was close; third came Nick Dennis with 31 points, second was Simon Baldwin with 34 points but the deserved winner was Paul Millikin with 37 points, so he received the chocolate balls!
Well played everyone. More importantly this was tremendous fun with fine fellowship and just a great day out. Next year we will stick with the de-coupling plan; you will get plenty of notice of the date so, 44 Squadron golfers, see you there.
The committee met recently to discuss, among other things, dates for next year’s reunion. Please set aside 11 - 13 May 2018 for our next annual reunion. By then construction work on the International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC) should have been completed and a visit there will almost certainly feature on Saturday’s programme. The IBCC’s Chadwick Centre will have a conference facility, which we hope to use for our General Meeting. Outline planning is in its infancy but it is hoped to hold Sunday’s service of remembrance at Dunholme Lodge Farm. Further details will appear on the website as soon as arrangements can be confirmed.
Golf Match 2018
Ever-mindful of how busy everyone has become, another note for your diaries. Any member out there able to wield a golf club, regardless of the degree of skill, please support the 2018 golf match. It will be held at Belton Park on 2nd May 2018, which is the Wednesday of the week preceding the 2018 Reunion. The popularity of this event grows year on year. Some say it is worth turning up for the pre-match social chit-chat and bacon butties alone, but there are other attractions: a spot of gentle exercise over 18 holes set in the pleasant surroundings of Belton Park, followed by a convivial lunch of pie, chips and peas in the clubhouse.
The organiser and tournament director is, as always, Kevin Lawry. Anyone wishing to play should contact Kevin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Membership Subscriptions - It’s That Time Again
Annual subscriptions are due on 1st November. Timely payment will be much appreciated by the Secretary, so please remember to pay what remains a modest amount (£10), to the Secretary by the end of October.
We are delighted to welcome the following new members to the Association: Mrs Z Noyes, R L Standing and Mrs J White. Further details can be requested from the Secretary.
President: Air Commodore S A Baldwin MBE
Chairman: Group Captain J Laycock (Ret’d) BA
Secretary: Squadron Leader H M Horscroft (Ret’d)
9 Church Lane, Eagle, Lincoln LN6 9DJ
Telephone: 01522 868 653
Editor: Squadron Leader P J Leckenby (Ret’d) MBE