Conference, Blackpool 16th - 18th May 2014
Secretary Ken Curlewis, as delegate attended the RAFA
Annual Conference 2014, held between 17 - 18 May in the
Winter Gardens, Blackpool, accompanied by wife
At the morning meeting on Saturday 17th, chaired by Air
Marshall Sir Dusty Miller, the Worshipful Mayor welcomed
all attending the Conference, where the programme
included the Annual Report for 2013, given by the
Chairman of Central Council, a Financial Report by Hon
Treasurer. Discussions on ten resolutions, after which
either approvals or rejections were decided, the
election results to the new Central Council and finally
a Presentation by the controller of the RAFBF.
Following lunch, in the afternoon, the Director of
Welfare addressed the meeting and this was followed by a
parachute display by the RAF Falcons, on the North
In the evening meeting, trophies were presented by Sir
Dusty Miller, which included the "Small Branch most
Efficient Shield" to our Branch, with his
congratulations for a well deserved situation, which was
the second time it has been awarded to us, the first
time being 1995. The RAF Regiment Queens Colour Squadron
then gave an excellent Continuity Drill Display.
On Sunday18th a Parade of Branch Standards and a March
past took place, followed by a Service of Dedication by
the Chaplain to the RAF, at the North Promenade War
After returning to the Winter Gardens, the Chief of the
Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford
addressed the meeting with a very good talk on the
commitments and resources of the RAF today.
The Conference was closed with a ceremony and the
singing of the National Anthem.
Finally, as we had not been able to get a good
photograph of Sir Andrew Pulford, whilst he was on
stage, he agreed for a photograph to be taken outside of
the meeting Hall.
22 June 2014
Celebrating National Annual Conference
Presentation at monthly social evening, 12th June
Abbots Langley RAF veteran David Francis DFC, 90, to
retire from air force charity
A 90-year-old war
veteran is finally set to retire after "giving his life
to the RAF" for more than 70 years.
former flight lieutenant, of Kitters Green, Abbots
Langley, joined the RAF in 1942 and spent four years in
active service during the Second World War and a further
10 years in the Voluntary Reserves.
David Francis has since spent more than 50 years serving
the community of Abbots Langley through his involvement
in two major charities. From 1962 to 1982 he worked with
2(F) Squadron Watford Air Training Corp and in later
years combined this role with his position with the
Royal Air force Association (RAFA). He is currently the
chairman of the association.
RAFA treasurer Trevor Hayes said: "All his life he has
been associated with the RAF and he’s given his life to
In 2008 Mr Francis received the Association's National
Presidential Certificate, in recognition of his tireless
work for the charity.
Patricia Hayes, honorary welfare officer, said: "He is
very modest. He’s always been very sociable and chatty.
The family are very close and love him to bits."
Mrs Hayes added: "We presented him with a book of his
lifetime achievements. The book was full of tributes
from some of the cadets he had worked with at Watford
2F. They had written letters explaining that they
wouldn’t be where they are today without David."
Mr Francis met his wife, Edna, in 1942 when he was
working as an RAF serviceman and knocked on her door to
borrow some tea. Fellow RAFA member and wings appeal
coordinator, Emlyn Parry, said that Edna is 100 per cent
Mr Parry said: "They are joined at the hip and have a
real 50/50 relationship. Without her support he would
not be where he is today.
"David is very well known and well loved in the village.
They have been so busy throughout their whole lives but
they do it so unselfishly. They are both so unassuming
and humble and have never looked for any praise.
In July 2008 the 2F Squadron Air Training Corps
Headquarters was renamed "The David Francis
Mr and Mrs Francis’ daughter, Elaine, said of her
parents: "They are just an amazing couple who have put
so much into so many things that have helped so many
people. It’s amazing that they are both 90 years old.
Dad has done some wonderful things but mum has always
been the strength behind him. The family are all very
proud of them both."
Mr Francis is set to retire as chairman of the
association in 2014.
To sum Mr Francis up, Mr Hayes added: "You have to run
to keep up with him. He just doesn’t stop."
Emlyn Parry -
August 16th 2013
Chairman: Trevor Hayes 2 Gypsy Lane, Hunton
Bridge, Kings Langley, Herts, WD4 8PR.
331975. E mail.
Public Relations Officer: Pat Hayes e mail: