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On Wed 13th December the Gosport Branch of the Submariners Association held its annual Widows Christmas Lunch. At the lunch the widows of past branch members were wined and dined at no expense to themselves.  This is funded entirely by the branch members who raise funds throughout the year by donations, raffles, and auctions of submarine memorabilia. The widows are chauffered to and from the lunch by volunteer branch members. This year 13 widows and 30 branch members, their wives and guests attended the lunch at The Crofton pub, Stubbington.

Pre Lunch drinks were enjoyed before sitting down to an excellent 3 Course Meal with wine plus coffee/tea and mince pies. The food and wine was expertly served up by two of Santa's Elves in the guise of Lesley Ure and her colleague Claire Rutherford from the Gosport Community Hub . The Elf service was at its finest and were ably assisted by branch members Midge Ure and Charlie McKee who were probably the best paid waiters in the kingdom!    

The branch Vice Chairman, Pony Moore, said grace, introduced the top table and toasted "absent friends". There then followed a short speech by the Branch President, Captain Chris Groves, who thanked all for attending and their help in supporting the event, especially Bertie Brothers and his wife Sue who both contributed enormously to the success of the day. He also thanked the Elves, the waiters and all the staff at the Crofton pub for hosting the event in such a grand manner. 

On completion of the meal and speeches it was 'Caroloke' time, with a singalong of traditional Christmas Carols and songs from "yesteryear", the highlight of which were the double act of Les Catlin and Jim Fisher. Les seranaded the assembly with help from Jim who was also the DJ and sound engineer extraordinaire.

The lunch was a huge success and was enjoyed by all. Every year it is a joy to see our widows having a wondeful afternoon at a time which may well be difficult for some of them. Its the look on their faces and the thanks that they give to the branch members that ensures the Gosport Branch will continue to provide the lunch for our widows.    

By Bertie and Ron

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