The inaugural meeting was held at Ramsgate RNA on 31st January
2009; the attendance was 14 of which 10 joined... A Branch Committee
was elected, Peter Nixon (Chairman), Mike Foote (Secretary) and
John (Dinger) Bell (Treasurer).
Monthly meetings were held at Ramsgate RNA and by April membership had grown to 16. Peter and Mike said that recruiting new members would be a slow process and were pleased the Branch was growing at a steady rate.
4th April: FAAA AGM and Reunion Weekend at Bosworth Hall. This was attended by the Secretary who had booked as a Daedalus member before the Kent Branch was formed. During the weekend he managed to recruit 2 members for the Kent Branch.
1st May. Pioneer Memorial Service at Eastchurch Isle of Sheppey.This also marked the start of the celebrations for 100 years of Naval Aviation, organised by the FN100 Team.
7th May: The Secretary attended a Fly Navy Heritage Trust event at HMS President. This was to launch stamps depicting Naval Aviation, and a bottle beer consisting of a 4X beer and “Pussers Rum” called “Swordfish”.
10th May: Trip by Kent Branch members to visit and tour HMS Illustrious at anchor in London. The day out was attended by a combined party of FAA and Channel Dash members.
By June the Kent Branch membership had reached 19.
17th June: Jim Loveday offered to give members a tour of Southwark Crown Court where he works as a Police Liaison Officer. Dick Richards and Mike Foote made the trip to London for the visit and also met up with members of HMS Belfast Association, of which Jim is an honorary member.
18th June: Members who served at HMS Peregrine made a nostalgic return to the air station, which is now HMP Ford. It brought back many happy memories and was a very interesting day.
27th June: Members joined with the Ramsgate RNA for a coach trip to attend Veterans Day at Chatham Dockyard.
9th July: Garden Party at the Palace. This was one of if not the main high light of the year for the FAAA. The weather was good and those of our members who attended had a very good day out.
3rd October: The Secretary attended as the Branch delegate the FAAA General Meeting at Derby.
21st October: An invitation was extended to the Branch by HMS Belfast Association for members to join them in a Trafalgar Day lunch in London. This was taken up by three members, Jim Loveday, Mike Foote and Dick Richards; it proved to be an excellent run ashore.
8th November: It had been agreed by the members that we would lay wreaths at Ramsgate and Margate Remembrance Sunday Parades. The wreath at the Margate Parade was laid by our Treasurer John Bell.
14th November: The Branch held a Taranto Night Dinner at The Racing Greyhound in Ramsgate, 26 members and family attended, who all declared the event a great success. This has become a fixture in the Branch calendar.
16th December: HMS Belfast Association extended an invitation to those members who attended the Trafalgar Lunch in October to join them onboard HMS Belfast for a Christmas Dinner.
21st December: Unfortunately the planned Christmas Social Evening had to be cancelled due to the very severe and adverse weather conditions.