Archive for November, 2014

Chairman’s 150th Event message 2014

Dear Members,

Bill3 (2) - CopyIt seems just like yesterday that we were enjoying ourselves at the 150th Reunion Event at JSMTC, and now it’s the countdown to Xmas! That beautiful sunny weekend in June on the banks of the Menai will certainly be one I’ll remember for a long time. Memories, mostly fond, shared with so many wonderful friends, some returning to the Inde for the first time since their school days; and to meet so many family members attending along with Old Boys was a privilege. For those of you who were not able to join us, and of course there will be many reasons why you could not, you missed something very special.

For those who had to sit through my speech on the night, you will remember I said a lot of thank you’s, and it will be remiss of me not to record them again here. Without the incredible efforts and support of these individuals, the event would never have got off the ground.

First of all to Lieutenant Colonel John Shirras, Commandant JSMTC for his approval in allowing the event to take place, and WO1 (RSM) Andy Johnson, for his amazing support to our event committee in bringing it all together. To Charlie and the Sodexo team for providing such fabulous food on the night, truly remarkable considering the numbers being catered for in a marquee. To the Salon Orchestra of the Central Band of the Royal Air Force for providing such delightful music, adding a touch of sophistication and gravitas to the evening. To our President, Sir Michael Bibby for his most generous financial support, without which we simply would not have been able to fund such a splendid anniversary function; his attendance along with Lady Bibby making the evening even more special. And of course to the amazing Elaine Humphries, ably supported by Tony Eastham, for her leadership of the 150th Anniversary Committee. Such inspired and creative ideas, brought together to create and deliver an absolutely outstanding weekend. There are not enough adjectives to describe the impact Elaine had on the weekend. Simply breathtaking.

But the special thank you must go to those of you who attended and gave to those worthy causes our Association support, you are all so incredibly generous, it is humbling. We raised a total of £5,400 over the weekend, amazing and humbling. Thank you!

Planning is now underway for the 2015 reunion weekend; it will of course revert back to the normal format, but with a few changes based on lessons learned from 2014. I would ask that you take a moment to please consider nominating a fellow member for the annual allowance to our ‘Less Fortunate Members’. This is a monetary award up to a maximum of £300 to go towards the costs associated with attending the annual reunion. The recipient must be a fully paid up member of the IOBA and not have been to a reunion under this proposal previously, and the name will be kept confidential by the committee.

Deo Adjuvante, or translated into English,  ‘With God’s Help, there is nothing to be afraid of’. And of course in Inde speak, ‘The Inde Way, get stuck in and get it done!

Thank you

Brigadier Bill O’Leary TD ADC DL

Dedication to: Mac McNeill 1941/42

It is with sadness and deep regret of the passing of,

Mac McNeill – Indefatigable 1941/42

Died on 18th October 2014

Mac McNeill 1941_42 BOA70 26052013 (7)

      BOA Star BOA70 Logo

Our sincere regards and condolences goes to Mac’s wife Lille and family.

Ian Parr 74/75 presented Mac with his 2014 reunion / 150th anniversary first prize at home on June 20th.  Ian went on to say, ‘Mac received his raffle prize with great pride, though not in the best of health Mac made us very welcome and shared his warm humour.’

Mac McNeill 1941_42 receiving the 2014 1st Prize (1)   2014 150th Badge Mac McNeill 1941_42 receiving the 2014 1st Prize (2)

Mac’s memories of the old school and the association were truly Indefatigable, Mac was one of our founding members and a great friend of many Indefatigable Old Boys.

Mac sums up the IOBA, in his own words;
Watch Mac McNeill 1941/42: (within 9:49 – 10:33) at the 2013 IOBA 30th reunion.
The 30th Indefatigable Old Boys Annual Reunion 360p

Victory at last: Medal honour for hero sailor 

May 05, 2013

01 Mac McNeill 1941 42Mac’ completed two treacherous trips across the Arctic Ocean guarding convey ships taking vital supplies to the Russian Eastern Front during the Second World War.

The Arctic Convoys – trips Sir Winston Churchill called ‘the worst routes in the world’ the lives of more than 3,000 Royal Navy personnel and merchant seamen between 1941 and 1945.  Mac, completed two convoy missions in 1944 on board aircraft carrier HMS Furious and on the battleship HMS Rodney.

Mac’s route took him from Loch Ewe in Scotland to Murmansk in Russia – through fields of German U-boats and planes flying overhead. It took about eight or nine days to get there, then the same time to get back again” .

“We had to zig-zag to be safer. Speaking as a kid of 17 by that time it was exciting, but it was frightening. You did not know what you were getting into until you were there.”

02 Mac McNeill 1941 42Campaigners fought a long battle for recognition and Prime Minister David Cameron announced the Arctic Star Medal in December 2012.

Born in Salford and he joined the Royal Navy aged 15 after leaving the Indefatigable, said: “It has been a long wait, but it is worth the wait. It is a great honour and I pay tribute to those who lost their lives.”   He was a great-grandfather of eight and was proud of being recognised for his service – Mac paid tribute to the many sailors who are not here to be honoured in person.

Arctic Convoy veteran dies days after being honoured in hospital bed for wartime bravery

Oct 21, 2014

Mac McNeill passed away less than a week after being presented with the Ushakov medal by Russian officials in a private ceremony.

03 Mac McNeill 1941 42Mac died on Saturday 18th October 2014 aged 88.

Arctic Convoy veteran died five days after being decorated in his hospital bed for death-defying missions to protect vital supplies during World War Two.

His Ushakov medal marked 69 years since the war ended, after British defence chiefs agreed to honour the thousands who risked their lives in freezing Arctic convoys.

The new Arctic Star medal was introduced last year, and the ceremony at Manchester Town Hall marked the moment veterans were officially allowed to take medals from Russia.

All donations to the funeral directors: S Wellens 121 Long Street, Middleton Manchester M24 6DL so that can be sent in one lump sum with Mac’s name on it: Help for Heroes

13/11/2014: 150 turn out for funeral of Arctic Convoy hero Mac.

Mac coffin is carried into church  Mac with his wife Lille

Mac coffin is carried into church.                         Mac with his wife Lille.

IOBA Memebers present: Indefatigable Standard Bearer: Marc Hardman 1961, Tom Keyes 63/64, Tony Eastham 75/76, Millie Evans (Derek Evans. 41/42), Steve Owen 78/79 & Steve Humphries 75/76.

With great sadness – RIP Mac.
Steve Humphries 75/76.
Indefatigable Old Boys Association (IOBA): Secretary & Archives
© 2014

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