Friday 18 August saw the 4th annual Warrant Officer, Senior NCO and Civilian Instructor dining in night which was held for the first time at Royal Air Force Collage Cranwell.
For the first time, those gathered to enjoy the special evening numbered almost 60 South and East Midland Wing staff members.
The guests for the evening invited by the Wing Warrant Officer, Rob Phillips were, Squadron Leader Carl Wilson, representing Wing Commander Nigel Dickinson who was unfortunately unable to attend the event, Squadron Leader John Hill MBE, Flt Lt Allan Munns and Mrs Julie Houlton from RAF Wittering stores. Also attending the evening was Warrant Officer Paddy Caffrey, Squadron Warrant Officer of 504 Royal Auxiliary Air Force Squadron who was in his second year of attending the dining In night, an indication of the close ties between the South and East Midlands and the RAF Cottesmore based auxiliaries.
Before the meal commenced the Wing Warrant Officer, preceding over the evening, called those assembled to a minutes silence as a mark of respect for a member of the Warrant Officer team, WO Alan Childs who passed away recently.
The evening meal began with an excellent starter of Fried Brie with caramelized red onion relish, followed by a succulent pan fried fillet steak served with vegetables. After this fine main course, dessert consisted of a superb raspberry pavlova accompanied with fine wine, port and liqueurs.
In his speech, delivered after the Loyal Toast given by Sgt Jenna Harkin, the Wing Warrant Officer offered congratulations on behalf of all members of the WO/SNCO/CI cadre, to Wing Commander Dickinson on his appointment to the Order of the British Empire. WO Phillips praised members of the Wing who had contributed to the running of the Staff and Cadet Training Teams and had also gone the extra mile in their duties, going on to thank uniformed and non uniformed staff for setting an example by volunteering their services to the ATC. WO Phillips said, “You display a commitment to your communities, without thought of reward. I truly believe that it is good honest people like you that turn the wheels of community spirit, by ‘Doing Your Bit’, and many people in society could learn by your example”.
Presentations were made in recognition for his outstanding work to WO Alan Wiggs who again made arrangements for the evening. WO Phillips made a presentation of a bottle of malt whiskey and in case it was too strong for WO Wiggs, a bottle of Baby Sham!
Mrs Houlton was presented with flowers and wine in recognition of her contribution to the Wing and WO Eileen Smith of 126 Squadron received her Clasp to the Cadet Forces Medal. Squadron Leader Wilson pleasantly surprised one member of the SNCO team, by announcing the promotion to Warrant Officer of 1360 Squadron’s Flight Sergeant Jo Fowler.
With the end of the formal dinner and presentation, the night continued in the mess until the early hours for what was the most successful WO/SNCO Dining In Night yet.
By WO R.C. Phillips