ACA Woking News by Bill Bawden, PRO

15 May 2012

ACA Man Carries the Flame

Eric the torch bearer

With the Olympic flame now on its progress throughout the Kingdom, the Association has taken pride in that one of the first bearers of the torch was past chairman Eric Smith.

Unbeknown to Eric, he had been nominated by his children to carry the flame and he did this over a section of the route near Land’s End and close to the scene where, as a young RAF helicopter winchman, he performed a daring rescue operation in 1962 resulting in his award of the George Medal.

This story has received coverage on television and in the national and local press and that lasting memento of the occasion, the golden-coloured torch, will now occupy a place of honour in Eric’s home.

The scheduled guest speaker at the May meeting at Fairoaks had to cancel his appearance due to illness, but the last-minute substitution of a series of short films organised and shown by David Jackson fully made up for this in entertainment value.

We record with regret the death of our colleague Derek Roberts.  The Association was represented at his funeral at Eashampstead Crematorium.

Arrangements for the attendance of ACA members at such sad occasions has, for the past few years, been the province of welfare officer Ron Houghton.  Ron has spent many hours visiting those of our number who have been in hospitals and nursing homes, diligently keeping the members informed of the casualties and corresponding with and sending condolences to relatives.  Sadly, Ron himself has now become too unwell to continue these duties and has reluctantly resigned his appointment.  His will be a hard act to follow, but nonetheless a volunteer is required to fill this important post as anno Domini takes its increasing effect on the membership.

As he has said to others so often, we now say “Get well soon, Ron”.

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