On Saturday 19th November old friends gathered in Winchester for our Annual Reunion. The day started with our traditional memorial service in the Cathedral centred around the Welsh slate plinth for the Book of Remembrance which had been moved to a much more convenient location in the north aisle.
The short service was led again by Canon Brian Rees who included the late Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth as he remembered those who have died in the past year. The lesson was read by Richard Morris and the Book of Remembrance page was turned and names read out by Tony Groves. After we stood for a minute’s silence in remembrance Nirmal Thapa, late Pipe Major 1 RGR now retired, played a lament from the gallery above the north door. Gary Ghale then laid the wreath at the Book of Remembrance. Then outside into the almost sunshine we posed for a group photograph.
Back up to the Gurkha Museum, with much to discuss and report on this year the AGM started slightly early. At its successful conclusion a vote of thanks was proposed by our President Brigadier John Anderson to our Chairman Duncan Briggs and his team for their hard work to produce an important update to the Association’s Rules which was accepted virtually unanimously. The bar beckoned and we joined the ladies and guests in the McDonald Gallery.
The guests included Canon Brian Rees and his wife Susan, Major Tim Cummings OC (Gallipoli) B Company 2 RGR and his wife Claire, Chris Clarke late 2GR who has done a sterling job as current co-ordinator of The Cuttack Lunch Club and, with her husband Julian, Nicky Prentis who for many years has provided the technical support to our Association website. All were warmly welcomed in the Chairman’s after lunch speech.
No sooner had we finished a delicious curry prepared and served by Bhindya’s team and toasted His Majesty The King (this still takes getting used to after toasting the Queen for as long as anyone can remember!), the People of Nepal and the Regiment when Piper Nirmal played around the tables, including the ever popular ‘Black Bear’ accompanied by plenty of table thumping. Brigadier Christopher Bullock was invited to offer the quaich to Nirmal.
Old friends re-met, new friends made and those no longer with us remembered, it was a most enjoyable and successful day.