Last year Major Bob Heron decided that the time had come for him to hand over the reins of looking after our Association affairs and the Halifax office although he generously agreed to remain ‘in harness’ until a successor had been found. I am extremely grateful to Bob for staying on as it has enabled a proper plan to be thought through and put into effect. I am writing now to let you know what will be happening.
I am delighted to say that Captain John Hogg has agreed to oversee the running of the office. John will be well known to many of you and thus needs no introduction from me other than to say that he had a distinguished career in The Dukes and served for over 29 years in the army retiring in 1994 since when he has run his own business. He has recently retired fully and has now, very generously offered to look after our Association affairs in Halifax. John will not be on his own: there will be two other volunteers who have agreed to help and they are Irene Crowther and Linda Butterworth both of whom will I am sure be known to many of you. This new team come not only with an abiding interest in The Dukes but also with a variety of skills that I know will be of real benefit to our Association.
Further to this the Trustees decided last year that, with Bob retiring, the time had been reached to contract out the day to day management of the accounts of the Regimental Trust Funds. The requirements placed on charities to have their finances well run (and thus in good order) means that, without a volunteer available with the required knowledge of bookkeeping, this is the best way forward. Following a selection process, that included interviews, the decision was made to give the contract to Joanne Bratley of Hawley Business Solutions of Northowram, Halifax. Of interest Joanne’s uncle was Rueben Holroyd who served with the Dukes in Korea and whose firm published the Iron Duke for many years. Joanne will be responsible for running the accounts only: the Trustees will continue to have full responsibility for and control of all investments. This new way of managing our financial affairs will begin with the start of the next financial year (1st April 2017) when Bob Heron will formally hand over the running of the office to John Hogg.
One other important piece of news is that Lieutenant Colonel Peter Cole, for many years one the leading lights in the Army Cadet Force in the West Riding and a cap badged “Duke’, has volunteered to oversee the archives. Peter has had a life long interest in The Dukes and is thus an ideal person to take on this vitally important task. He will be assisted by Margaret his wife together with ‘Dinger’ and Mary Bell who have very kindly offered to continue to look after our archives together with Peter.
Thus there will be much change to the office team in Halifax in the coming months but I am confident that our Association will continue to be as well administered by the new team in the future as has been the case over the many years years Bob has been responsible for it. Finally, on behalf of us all could I offer our sincere and heartfelt thanks to Bob for all those years of service. He has looked after our affairs with outstanding loyalty, care, diligence and commitment. We could not have asked for more.
Brigadier Andrew Meek