The first South-East gathering of the year was held on Saturday 28 April 2018 at the usual venue, The Pippin, Maidstone, Kent. It was once again organised and arranged by Biff Way with the able assistance of Netta. Fifty-four former members, wives, partners and guests met up with friends, old and new. It is at such gatherings that former members meet unexpectedly. On this occasion two former WPOs met for the first time since passing out from the same squad in 1978.
Two other members met up for the first time in 50 years. So it is really worthwhile attending a gathering and you could be surprised by meeting a long-lost colleague. Mike Coleman (Chairman) addressed the gathering, expressing his thanks to Biff for all his hard work in starting the South-East gathering some five years ago and that due to his efforts it had gone from strength to strength. Mike said that, in recognition of this, the Branch Committee had agreed to appoint Biff an Honorary Life Member of the UK Branch of the Association. Mike asked Peter Phillips (President) to speak, and he congratulated Biff on his splendid work and presented him with his HLM certificate. Peter presented Netta with a lovely bouquet of flowers for her work in supporting Biff. The applause, following the presentations, showed the honour was well deserved.
A finger buffet was tasty, plentiful and thoroughly enjoyed by all. Thanks to the generosity of those attending, a very successful tombola was held raising £230 for Association funds. A big vote of thanks goes to Anne Johnson for selling the tickets and to Betty Simpson and Helen Tate for sorting the many and varied donated prizes.