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PHOTOS: The Commissioning Service for the new Royal Naval Association branch in Torfaen

A commissioning service marked the official opening of the new branch of the Royal Naval Association in Torfaen.

The home for the branch is Panteg House in Griffithstown where guests gathered for the service last Saturday afternoon.

Shipmate Gordon Williams, the area chairman, said there were 21,500 veterans in Gwent and 23,000 members of the Royal Naval Association in Wales. He said it was “absolutely fantastic” that a branch had opened in Torfaen.

A reverend stands to say prayers
Reverend Frank Wells

The branch chaplin, Reverend Frank Wells, led the Act of Dedication, Prayers, The Blessing of the Branch and The Naval Prayer.

a man cuts a cake watched by other people
Lord Murphy of Torfaen cuts the commissioning cake watched by Branch President LT. LLoyd Jones

Lord Murphy of Torfaen was invited to cut the commissioning cake followed by traditional tots of rum being shared among the room (including a tray of non-alcoholic rum). Shipmate Bryn Carr, vice chair of the branch, announced two toasts, one to the King and the second to the new Torfaen branch.

a woman shared a tray of rum
Traditional tots of rum are handed out at the service

The event was attended by around 40 guests and included Cllr Jon Horlor, Torfaen Council’s Armed Covenant Champion, Nick Thomas-Symonds, Torfaen MP, and Cllr Anthony Hunt, leader of Torfaen Council.

Nick Thomas-Symdonds said: “It was an absolute privilege to attend the commissioning of the Torfaen branch of the Royal Naval Association, and I would like to thank them for the invite to this special occasion.

“The Royal Naval Association do fantastic work in supporting former and current Naval personnel and their families, so I am delighted to see a branch set up here in Torfaen, and I look forward to working with them in the future.”

Following the service, guests enjoyed entertainment from Cwmbran’s Bois Y Bryn sea shanty choir.

The Royal Naval Association describes itself as ‘a family of current and former Naval Service personnel, relatives and supporters of our country’s Royal Navy.’ The website’s about us page says:

Whether we are catching up with friends at our regular social events, fundraising, advising on welfare and employment matters or just providing an arm around the shoulder, our natural willingness to help others stems from the tradition and camaraderie that life in the Royal Navy instils. Everything we do is inextricably linked to our core values: Unity, Loyalty, Patriotism and Comradeship.

£100 donation from CADESA

The Cwmbran and District Ex-Services Association donated £100 at the service towards the branch’s fundraising appeal for its own Standard- a handmade flag that is used at services.

Join the Royal Naval Association in Torfaen

New members are welcome to attend their monthly meeting at 7.30pm on the last Thursday of every month in Panteg House, Griffithtown.

Photos from the service

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Posted inNews

PHOTOS: The Commissioning Service for the new Royal Naval Association branch in Torfaen

group of people hold the royal naval association flag
Guests outside Panteg House with the Royal Naval Association flag