Team members at MREW Annual General Meeting and Business Meeting

Today three team members in various capacities attended the AGM and the following business meeting of our national body: Mountain Rescue England and Wales.

Held at the usual venue of Lancashire Constabulary Force Headquarters at Hutton, Preston, the day started with the usual sub committee meetings.

The three attending from our team were Team Leader, Garry Rhodes MBE, as representative for Bolton MRT, Elaine Gilliland in her role as MPSRO Regional Representative to MREW (also sitting on the MREW Training Sub Committee and MREW Forward Planning Group) and our Trailing Search Dog Handler Steve Nelson, attending in the capacity of SARDA Wales representative to MREW.

The AGM included the election of Officers for 2014 – 2015, with newly elected to term Chairman Mike France and Secretary Keith Gillies formally taking up their onerous posts.

Three very special presentations then took place:

Outgoing MREW Chairman Dave Allen OBE was warmly congratulated for his achievements in post by MREW President Peter Bell.

Peter Bell outlined Dave Allen’s “phenomenal contribution” to mountain rescue, and his life from Trawlerman (out of Fleetwood we believe) to Doctor, to Anatomist to Surgeon, now retired from all.

His contribution to mountain rescue starting with Furness MRT as was in the 1970s through to National Office was outlined, particularly his major contribution to mountain rescue casualty care.

The best wishes of all were expressed to Dave for his service, with the presentation of crystal glassware and well wishes to him and his wife Sheila on his retirement from national office.

Next was Peter Howell’s honouring outgoing National Secretary Peter Smith OBE.

Peter outlined Peter Smith’s life from that of Queen’s Scout to joining Calder Valley Team in 1972, and his two terms of tenure as Team Leader, and his roles at a regional level within MPSRO, particularly with regard to the MPSRO Foundation Course and Party Leaders’ Course (which has now evolved in to the national Party Leaders’ Course).

Peter was presented with a crystal glassware whisky decanter, to mark his retirement from post as MREW Secretary.

Finally Peter Bell gave an overview of Tony Jones MBE’s fantastic 50 years service to UK mountain rescue, including an almost endless listing of the committees, groups and officer roles locally, regionally and nationally he has held.

Tony (Doctor Anthony Jones MBE) was then presented with an MREW 50 Years Service to Mountain Rescue framed certificate, to a long standing ovation from the very large number of members from MREW present today alongside allied organisations attending and their representatives.

The main business meeting, now under the new Chairmanship of Mike France followed (with a relatively early finish).

Finally as an aside, our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE renewed acquaintances with SWERA regional representative (and WILSAR member) Mike Childs, who passed on his best wishes to Bolton MRT team members Chris Tennant and Alan James, having first met them at the Leeds University MR Conference.

Mike also passed on favourable comments about our website and associated Twitter and Facebook feeds (webmasters and contributors all take a bow!).