Morecambe Bay Submariners Association Trafalgar Night Dinner
Having secured the outgoing COSM for the Morecambe Bay Submariners Association Trafalgar Night dinner in 2022, the Blackpool Branch of the Submariners Association challenged the Morecambe Bay Secretary to have the current COSM as the Guest of Honour at the 2023 dinner. Not one to back away from a challenge, the Secretary accepted and duly invited Commodore P E Dunn OBE Royal Navy to be the Guest of Honour at the MBSA dinner in 2023. He accepted and we then had to wait some 10 months hoping that his commitments would not change and that he would indeed address the assembled throng on this most special of Naval Ceremonies.
With a number of venue changes, the Morecambe Bay Submariners Association held their Trafalgar Night Dinner at the Midland Hotel, an Art Deco hotel on the bay, and with attendees from Blackpool they celebrated the great victory of 1805, against the combined navies of Spain and France. All 16 attendees joined in the reading of Despatches, detailing the efforts of those involved, which led nicely into the Cdre’s Speech and how that sense of professionalism and duty is reflected in the Sailors of today.
The Cdre was asked to speak about the recent media reports regarding the submarine service. Speaking with Candor, he answered the call and laid out the negative and more importantly the positive media coverage of the last year. He detailed what the navy of today is doing on our behalf and specifically the role of the Submarine Service and the challenges he faces in HMNB Clyde, the Home of the Submarine Service. Infrastructure, Material and Personnel challenges abound but we are still maintaining Operation Relentless, after some 54 Years, with some particularly long patrols. The sailors are dealing with the long patrols with their usual aplomb, but the families have been the real bearers of the burden of this important but onerous duty. The Cdre stated that the Submarine Family had been instrumental in their support of the team in the area and this will continue while the submarine service is in a period of 2BA and beyond. The SSN force has been equally challenged and yet even the oldest submarine in the fleet continues to answer the call to duty after some 32 years of valued service.
After a fine dinner and a few glasses of wine, we retired to the bar to continue discussions with the Cdre who stayed until closing time, as you would expect of the Head of the Submarine Fighting Arm. Blackpool members congratulated the Secretary on his completing the challenge and threw down the gauntlet once again, stating that a 1* was good but that the Secretary should be able to do better than that for next year. Challenge accepted, so all 2*, 3* and 4* submariners look out for an invitation from the Morecambe Bay Submarine Association Branch!