The weather might have been a mixed bag of heavy rain and glorious sunshine, but there was a beautiful glow inside the Stormont Hotel, Belfast over the weekend of the 22nd to 24th of March 2024. 

David George and the Northern Ireland Branch helped to organise and hosted this year’s  Submariners Association AGM and reunion, making it a truly Gala Weekend.

That saw a return of numbers of attendees to nearer, pre Covid levels with, 133 guests enjoying a carvery dinner and live music on the Friday evening, by The Brokers Group.

AGM attended by 22 branches

Saturday saw the usual association’s, annual business of Church parade and AGM attended by 22 branches. Followed by a short SAC meeting and then the ever-popular Tot Issue.

Then although the Hotel bar was open, many of the guests took up the free coaches laid on by Giles Tours Belfast to take in some of the sights of Belfast.

” Here’s to nights we’ll never remember.
With friends we’ll never forget.”

 

The annual group photo

Saturday Evening started with the annual group photo taken by a brace of WO Cox’ns, enough entertainment to make anyone chuckle. Then with all the guests seated in the Ball Room we were again entertained. Treated to a display of Irish Dancing by the Bangor School of Irish Dancing. The standing ovation at the end and the glowing smiles of pride of the young ladies’ parents watching on spoke volumes of the Dancing Schools value to the weekend.

The Hotel laid on a fabulous dinner, the food was good and the drinks a plenty, old acquaintances remade, and new ones made over the evening and the speeches short informative and entertaining. The Dinner was concluded with the drawing of the raffle which raised £500 and then the Auction which included online bidding for nearly a dozen donated items. Presented by the WO Cox’ns version of Ant and Dec, bringing the total raised on the evening to over £1,200.

The evening ran into the night and the wee hours of the morning for many in the Hotel Bar. The weekend felt this year more like a holiday than an AGM and Reunion. The flights and ferries out and home giving it that unique feeling.

They have heard it many times already, but I would like to thank all of those who worked to make this annual event one that I, and all those who attended, one that we will all remember for the right reasons, and that will make us smile.

Mark (Barney) Pugh

Davey George & Amanda Batten
West Riding Branch Friday night
West Riding Branch Saturday night
Irish Dancing by the Bangor School of Irish Dancing
Absent Friends
Hull Branch Saturday night