Packing the “virtual” AGM, a Trustee Board meeting and ceremonial unfurling of the Regional Flagship Pennant into one day was always going to need a tight schedule, but it worked. We got away with it! The advantage being that it minimised travel for those board members who live some distance away.
The day started at 10.30 with the AGM; possibly better described as “postal” rather than “virtual”, thanks to Covid-19. The resolutions had all been circulated in Full Ahead with a postal voting form but it seemed strange to be doing it this way instead of a friendly chat and the formal meeting on board the ship. A more in-depth report will appear in the next Full Ahead but, in summary, the resolutions put before the members were passed, although Laurie Parsons withdrew his nomination to the Trustees some weeks before the meeting. The annual report was accepted and auditors re-appointed. Richard Halton and Bob Stokes were both unanimously re-elected to the board. We moved on to regular Trustee Board discussions and waded through the usual reports and other matters; finishing, for once, in good time; before 1 o’clock. Time for a much needed cuppa, and a sandwich from the nearby superstore.
Photos: Bob Wilde and Richard Halton
Now for the highlight of the day. We wanted to make a ceremony of hoisting the pennant, signifying Medway Queen’s appointment as National Historic Ships Regional Flagship 2020 for the South East, but had to plan something that would not contravene the Covid restrictions and would not endanger our volunteers or members of the public. We went ahead with just a couple of invited guests and the press/TV news but, unfortunately no members of the public. Our volunteers who work so hard on every aspect of the restoration project were able to be there – it was their day!
Our President, Admiral Lord West and the Mayor of Medway, Cllr. Habib Tejan, arrived exactly on time, the weather cooperated (for a change) and a small party proceeded on board. The tide was rising and the NHS-UK ensign flew proudly at the stern of the ship. The TV crew from ITV Meridian were ready and Lord West hoisted the pennant on the jack staff at the bow and pulled the lanyard to unfurl it. Cameras clicked and whirred and we all breathed a sigh of relief! Lord West said a few words and then he and Mayor Tejan were conducted round the ship by Pam Bathurst and Noreen Chambers, who now combines volunteering on Saturdays with being a Vice President. They inspected the Aft Saloon and the Engine room before proceeding back to the Visitor Centre for tea and biscuits. All masked and distanced as necessary of course.
Thanks to Pam’s careful planning and hard work preparing for the day all went as it should. We must thank her and the volunteers for their efforts in preparation and Lord West and Mayor Tejan for coming along to make the day special.