Annual Reunion Dinner - 5th March 2016

The 2016 Annual Reunion Dinner will be held on Saturday 5 March at UK Paper Clubhouse, Avenue of Remembrance, Sittingbourne. The Bar opens at 6.00 pm, dinner at 7.00 pm.

The cost is £20 per head to include dinner and coffee. Phone Chris Laming on 07736 728744 to book your place now.

Guest speaker: Steve Bedelle

We are delighted that Steve has agreed to speak at the 2016 dinner. He has enjoyed a long and illustrious career in the Royal Navy and in the Royal Canadian Navy and will entertain us with tales of globe-trotting, the Falklands Conflict and general derring-do:

Lieutenant Commander (Royal Canadian Navy) Stephen Bedelle joined Borden Grammar School in 1969 and left after ‘O’ levels in summer 1974.  He joined the Royal Navy in January 1975, aged 16, as a Junior Electrical Mechanic, and after a year of training joined his first ship, HMS Euryalus, a Plymouth based Leander class frigate.  Having only ever been abroad once before joining the Navy (a day trip to Ostende), his first trip abroad with the good ship Euryalus was of course, to Ostende.  A Caribbean deployment late in 1976 more than made up for this somewhat disappointing start to his globetrotting adventures, with visits to several tropical islands and two trips to Rio de Janeiro.

Further sea time in HM ships Cardiff and Avenger, which included service in the Falklands Conflict in 1982, was followed by extensive training courses, then two more years of sea time in HMS Scylla and promotion to Chief Petty Officer Weapon Engineering Artificer in 1986.

After promotion from the ranks to Sub Lieutenant in 1990, another two years at sea beckoned, this time in HMS London, a Plymouth based frigate, which included trips to the States, Russia, the Gulf of Oman and Singapore

Various shore appointments in the Portsmouth area culminated in promotion to Lieutenant Commander in 2003 and a final golden goodbye posting in 2005 to Halifax, Nova Scotia, on exchange with the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) for three years, ending a 34 year career in August 2008.  However, the opportunity to remain in Canada and continue serving, only this time with the RCN, was too good to pass up and he has served a further seven and a half years with the RCN in Canada’s capital city, Ottawa.

Stephen has been married to Kim for 31 years and they have a 29-year-old daughter, Emma, who lives in Toronto.