24 May 2024

RNRU Life Members Lunch Celebrates History and Looks to the Future

Written by J Campbell-Baldwin

RNRU President Vice Admiral Burns hosts Life Members at Mountbatten House

Mountbatten House, 23rd May — the Royal Navy Rugby Union hosted its annual Life Member’s Lunch at Mountbatten House, an event marked by camaraderie, reflection, and aspirations for the Union. The gathering was presided over by RNRU President Vice Admiral Burns, who welcomed esteemed Life Members with a convivial drinks reception before delivering a short, heartfelt address.

Vice Admiral Burns highlighted the numerous successes and memorable moments he had witnessed during his inaugural season as President. He praised the dedication and passion of the members, acknowledging their crucial role in the Union’s ongoing achievements. His speech resonated with the guests, setting a positive tone for the day.

Following the address, attendees enjoyed an informal buffet lunch, allowing them to share stories and reminisce about the RNRU's storied past. The lunch served as a platform for reconnecting with old friends and forging new connections within the community.

After lunch, Lt Owen Salmon RN, Senior Men's ADoR, took to the floor on behalf of the newly appointed Director of Rugby, Lt Cdr Tom Blackburn, who was unable to attend. Owen effectively conveyed the vision for the future of the RNRU, delivering the key points with clarity and enthusiasm.  The main tenet emphasised and outlined was an ambitious roadmap for the Union’s development. This vision was well received by the attendees, sparking discussions on potential new initiatives and strategies.

Photographs from the event captured moments of joy and reflection, notably a picture featuring past and present RNRU Company Secretaries, Alan Church, Clive Lambshead and Ruth Stanbridge. These images serve as a testament to the enduring bonds within the RNRU family.

The event also provided a platform for the sharing of historical anecdotes, underscoring the importance of the Union’s legacy. One attendee commented, "The history of the RNRU is so important as it shapes our future, and I am grateful to the Life Members for sharing it with me."

In summary, the Life Member’s Lunch was a resounding success, blending nostalgia with a forward-thinking outlook. Admiral Burns and Owen's speeches inspired confidence in the Union's direction, ensuring that the rich history of the RNRU continues to inform and inspire its future endeavours.

Company Secretary, Ruth Stanbridge, who was instrumental in organising the event, also expressed her satisfaction, emphasising the importance of such gatherings in maintaining the spirit and unity of the RNRU community.

RNRU: VAdm Andrew Burns, Capt Sarah Oakley RN, RAdm Matt Parr, Cdr Alan Church (Retd.), Ruth Stanbridge, Lt Owen Salmon RN.

Life Members: Adm Jonathon Band, Roger Williams, Chris Roberts, Chris Alcock, Bob Gray, Jeffrey Blackett, Geraint Ashton-Jones, David Hambrook, VAdm Tim McClement, Steve Harland, Clive Lambshead.

Images by Cinnabar Studios.