The Following is a copy of the Minutes of the Chicksands Y2K Reunion Meeting:
26 January 1999, Meeting Minutes
Minutes of the Chicksands Y2K Reunion Meeting
Held at the Fort Meade Officers' Club
26 January 1999
Jed Handspicker, US Coordinator
Bill Grayson, Co-MD coordinator and advisor
John and Betty Kelley
George Cunningham, JOCC Alum Coordinator
Informal discussions were held, between 1800 and 2100
Following are the results of our first meeting:
1) Fixed registration fees as follows:
- 15 US Dollars - Early Individual
- 25 US Dollars - Early Family (2 or more)
- 20 US Dollars - Late Individual (after 31 July 1999)
- 30 US Dollars - Late Family
These fees are meant to cover administrative costs, associate with the Reunion planning. These are to be non-refundable fees. Keep in mind, since there will be fund-raising going on, prior to the Reunion, if there are still costs that can't be met for certain projects or events, either we will ask for some small additional fee, or some projects/events may suffer cancellation. I don't really see this as a major problem, as yet.
2) Postal address for fee collection:
P.O. Box 4053
Crofton, MD 21114
Checks should be made payable to: RAFCAA (RAF Chicksands Alumni Assoc)Bill Grayson will be working with local financial committee members to keep track of incoming funds and also account for their disbursement.
3) Account for maintaining reunion funds:Maintained in Maryland.
Might require some disbursement of funds to coordinators in the UK
for events like the dinners and dances, paying for project materials,
etc. Any voluntary donations, above and beyond the registration fees
are more than welcome. These should be separate checks with some sort
of notation or accompanying note, to indicate specific intentions of
how it is to be used, whenever that would apply.
4) Airfare cost problems:
Can anyone say "Y2K?" Yes, the choice of year is going to have a bit of a negative impact on long-range planning for airfare costs/discounts/etc. It is HIGHLY unlikely that we will be able to confirm any cost or scheduling information, until January 2000. There are a few alumni and/or their spouses who are in the travel industry, trying to help us out with this problem. Projections are running anywhere from 500-800 US Dollars, at present. Take 650 US Dollars as an averaged, ballpark figure for now.
5) Billeting situation in local area:
The same week we are holding the Reunion, it seems that Silverstone has decided to also run the British Grand Prix. Since this will put a bit of a cramping on available lodging, it is highly suggested that we start making reservations for local lodging at the earliest possible time.
Northampton area is going to be swamped with Race attendees. Hopefully, Brig Holtom will find us SOME space within base buildings (Dorms and some vacant base housing... This is still being worked, so no idea on how many of these facilities will be available to Reunion attendees). Also, for ANY rooms that become available on Chicksands, itself, a first-come-first served situation will be the determining factor in who gets to stay where. Not sure what the costs will be, yet, either. Zan Taylor's page is going to try and provide points of contact in local lodging facilities and should be checked periodically for updates.
6) Publicity issues:
Although, to date, all publicity has been through the Internet or wordof mouth, there is a need to get the word out through publications and possibly pamphlets of some sort. Already, we have had some entries in a few different publications. This will have to be a regular kind of activity and will require a small committee, probably including at least one member of each Region to populate and run it. I would think that at least a couple of the Regional Coordinators will be actively involved in this aspect of the pre-Reunion strategy.
We decided that there is a need to keep the projects, within a 3X3 matrix of sorts. To keep from getting overburdened with way too many possible ideas and to prevent us from "spreading ourselves too thin." The three major proposed areas are:
A) POW/MIA/KIA Memorial:
I. Pre-Reunion: Team assembles, prepares plaque, works with UK-based personnel to get flagpoles ready, gets appropriate flags, formulates the basis for the ceremony, scheduled for the 12th of July.
II. Reunion: Project would include ceremony planning final stages, assembly of the actual memorial, then, running the ceremony itself.
III. Post-Reunion: Starting with the Pre-Reunion planning stage, effort
should be made to find a way to set-up a fund that will be set aside for
Memorial maintenance. This should preclude losing this memorial, again. Coordination with Brig Holtom will be essential.
B) Priory (Inner and outer garden work, possibly purchasing some period
furniture for placement inside the Priory):
I. Pre-Reunion: Working with the Friends of the Chicksands Priory to
assess what work needs to be done, what kinds of furniture are needed, where to purchase furniture, how we might involve students of the Shuttleworth Agricultural College, pre-purchase of plants for the garden, etc.
II. Reunion: Project would involve the actual cleaning up of garden areas, planting, moving furniture (even purchasing if that is how it's decided), cleaning up of River Flit walk, renovation of benches?, etc.
III. Post-Reunion: Again, hopefully, some sort of maintenance fund will be established, so that the work done during the reunion is not in vane. Possibly an annual contribution from the soon to be formed "Chicksands Alumni and Friends" (CAF) to the Friends of the Priory and/or the Shuttleworth Agricultural College could be established.
C) US Museum - Already exists, but in a very small space. With need for many items of memorabilia and, possibly, a unique display presented by Reunion attendees.
I. Pre-Reunion: Coordinate what contributions will be made by attendees,
list donations of memorabilia, plan the display (plans are for a "rack" with, maybe, a mannekin, sitting the "poz", displaying the equipment and matching uniform for the appropriate era).
II. Reunion: Put the display together, gather the donated memorabilia from different eras, units, etc.
III. Post-Reunion: Again, some sort of maintenance program for the US part of the museum. Whether it requires a separate association, or is just an off-shoot of other existing ones, should probably be determined, sometime during the Reunion.
8) Events during the Reunion:
Projects - See Above (Tue/Thu) Sports - Plans are underway for a Rugby match, to probably be coordinated by Bobby and Diane Sanchez and their "local" contacts, associated with the Ampthill Rugby folks. Possibly a softball game, a soccer match, a day of cricket, darts, horseshoes, American football... to be determined by committee. Please keep in mind the possibility of sports injuries and the impact they might have on helping out with projects. The Reunion will be attended by people of varying age groups, so keep your own physical condition in mind, when signing up for any of these sporting events. The planners are not responsible for medical attention required. Dinners - Will need some committee-type people to help in the planning of various BBQs, Dances, luncheons, etc.. as outlined in the ReunionSchedule section. Some of the events are going to be very difficult for anyone other than UK-based personnel to plan. For instance, the proposed concert and fireworks. I'm counting on those to be spearheaded by either a group of folks recruited by Brig Holtom.. or, maybe, folks assigned to UK bases. I would LIKE to make it mandatory that everyone participates to at least SOME level in at least one of the projects. After all, we owe so much to the jewel in the crown of UK bases... That which acted as our home away from home for however many years we were assigned there. For those who can't help with projects, I would hope they would see fit to help out in some financial way, though I'm also hoping this only applies to a very small percentage of folks.
9) Fund-Raising possibilities:
Here's an area that is crucial to keeping additional costs as low as possible. It's also a way to show pride in Chicksands. Bill Grayson has all sorts of possible sale items/souvenirs/memorabilia that can go a long way to help us out. I will create a souvenir page, after I get some pictures of items for sale. We're going to be providing several items. Some possibilities: Polo Shirts with emblems, mugs, models of the Priory, badges, t-shirts, sweatshirts... the list goes on. There will probably come a time when I will send out a survey to get an idea of exactly what sorts of items will sell the most, what emblems of choice folks are more apt to purchase, etc. This will certainly be an on-going effort, from the time it kicks-off, up until and through the Reunion, itself. We are hoping to provide some Pre-Reunion versions, some "during Reunion" versions and even some Post-Reunion versions of different items.
This could be shirts that say "I'm going to the Chix Y2K Reunion" to one that is basically just a Chicksands shirt.. then, post-reunion would be something along the lines of "I survived the Chix Y2K Reunion." Those last ones should be high sellers amongst the coordinators and committtee members... I'm sure! Keep in mind, we're just starting to get our act together. Until now, most of the Reunion planning has been a team effort between Brig Holtom, Bill Grayson, Sharon Butcher and myself. The time has come, as they say (whomever "they" are), to share the wealth. During the month of February, I will be distributing my compiled list of interested attendees to the Regional oordinators. All the coordinators are now confirmed, with the exception of a Pacific Theater coordinator. I would like someone from Misawa to step forward, if possible, to fill those shoes. Following is a proposed schedule of events, which seems to be fairly stable in its general outline. Obviously, there are 16 months before the grand event... so, some changes are more than likely to occur. However, the general schedule is likely to stay exactly as is. I've included arrival and departure dates that would allow for staying over one Saturday (weekend).... as this is the norm for most reduced, round trip airfares:
Sunday, 9 July 2000:
Early arrival of attendees
Monday, 10 July 2000:
Rehearse, set-ups, tests, initial meetings and final planning for the rest of the week. For committee members, this will be a work day... for others, probably a get settled and meet old friends day... :-)
Tuesday, 11 July 2000:
Work Projects and Sports Day - See notes on Projects and Events for more details BBQ by decade groups w/ ice breakers. Evening closes with a Barn Dance.
Wednesday, 12 July 2000:
Service and re-dedication of the POW/MIA/KIA memorial, followed by a buffet lunch. A pageant in the afternoon, re-enacting events from the days of the Roman Empire, to present day. Fly-overs, Beating Retreat and a Dinner Dance will round out the day.
Thursday, 13 July 2000:
2nd Work Projects and Sports Day - Again, see notes below Visits of the Priory and museums will be available. A plenary meeting will be held, to map out the way ahead... allowing the Reunion to act as a catalyst for future projects and developments, as well as a new beginning for renewed interest in on-going efforts to maintain and improve the Priory and the grounds around the base, as well as the memorial. Concert and Fireworks, as well as dinner will round out this day.
Friday, 14 July 2000:
Organized visits to London, Stratford, Althorpe and other areas of interest around base. Will likely have some sort of meetings or activities for those not desiring to venture off-base. Dinner at the Priory for event organizers and their families.
Saturday, 15 July 2000:
Public Open Day - Fair. Intelligence Corps Day. Football competition for the Intel Corps Soldiers. US personnel are welcome to stay, but this day will emphasize the return of normalcy to the base. This day is what could be referred to as the UK Day.
Sunday, 16 July 2000:
Departure Day for those staying this long. Final goodbyes, tears, hugs, pictures, exchanging of addresses, etc would be likely in the early morning hours... Then off to the airport for the flight home. The above schedule would require billeting arrangements for 7 nights. Keep that in mind, as your own, personal travel plans get finalized. Assuming daily costs for individual room rates at 50 US Dollars, that brings the cost of lodging to around 350 US Dollars per person. Obviously, this is solely dependent on "quality" of lodging used. Using current costs of travel and lodging, a barebones projection of total costs, per person will range from just under 1,000 US dollars, up to around 2,000 US dollars. The amount of damage to each person's pocketbook will likely be determined mostly by lodging costs and any additonal trips, purchases, or frills which are solely at the discretion of the attendee. Although our respective committees will be doing all they can to arrange for discounted costs, keep in mind that the actual arrangements for travel and lodging rest solely with the attendees. This precludes any need for the committees to refund any costs of those deciding not to attend, at the last minute. We are strictly a volunteer organization, with no plans to profit, in any way, from this activity.
Here are some thoughts as to cost differentials:
Availability of charter air service
Creature comforts of travel (for those who might want to travel in First Class)
Billeting could range as follows:
Camping out in the local area, possible billeting on-base, local B&B's,
London discount hotels.. all the way to staying in a five-star hotel and having a chauffeur (granted, I think this would only apply to a very small percentage of attendees! :-) )
Additional costs to consider:
Food during non-Reunion sponsored eating times, travel to tourist areas, purchases while in England and membership fees for some of the organizations which will, undoubtedly be having membership drives, during the Reunion.
In summary, much has been done by a few, so far, to get the planning for this Reunion off to a start. Once all the Regional Coordinators receive their respective lists from the current world-wide database, I'm hoping that more volunteers, with more ideas will step forward.
Brigadier Holtom (RAF Chicksands' current commander) has graciously offered all of us vets, the opportunity to reune in the summer of 2000. He has allowed us to plan our wondrous event, with only minor guidelines and limits. He has also been working hard to help with coordination on the other side of the Atlantic. However, he, too, is only one person. My heart goes out to him, in appreciation for initiating this planning with much thanks and hopes for making this a memory for all of us, that will last for many, many years. Thank you, Sir!
Submitted, 28 January, 1999, by TSgt Jared "Jed" Handspicker
US Coordinator, Chicksands Y2K Reunion
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