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Submariners host annual widows Christmas occasion

By Ron Gordon

THIRTEEN widows joined together with members of the Submariners Association Gosport Branch and a selection of invited guests to enjoy the annual Christmas lunch event; which is organised and funded by multiple activities throughout the year to offer an enjoyable afternoon for many during a difficult period.

This year’s edition was held on December 13 (Wednesday) at the Crofton Pub in Stubbington, with all widows chauffeured to and from the lunch by volunteering branch members. These included those widows of past branch members and there is no cost to them in any way; thanks to generous donations and the auction of submarine memorabilia.

Drinks were enjoyed before everybody sat down for an excellent three course meal including food and wine; which was served up by Lesley Ure and her colleague Claire Rutherford from the Gosport Community Hub. They were both dressed up as ‘elves’ and all of their service was outstanding; the pair being aided by branch members Midge Ure and Charlie McKee throughout.

The Gosport Branch Vice Chairman, Pony Moore, said grace before introducing the top table and then toasting “absent friends”; which was followed by a short speech by Branch President, Captain Chris Groves. He thanked all those in attendance and their help in supporting the event; particularly Bertie Brothers and his wife Sue who both contributed enormously. The President further thanked the elves, waiters, and staff at the Crofton Pub for hosting the occasion in such a “grand manner”.

Once the meal and speeches had been concluded it was “Caroloke’ time; which proved to be an enjoyable combination of traditional Christmas Carols and songs from “yesteryear”. The highlight was the double act of Les Catlin and Jim Fisher; the former serenading the audience with support from the latter who was the DJ and ‘sound engineer extraordinaire. Coffees, teas and mince pies were also brought out to finish the afternoon before volunteers took the windows back to their individual residencies.

Overall the lunch was a huge success and was enjoyed by everybody in attendance despite Christmas being a difficult time for many people. It was great to see all of the widows having a wonderful afternoon and this is what the event is all about. The Branch looks forward to hosting this special occasion in December 2024.

Anybody wanting to join the Gosport branch of the Submariners Association are asked to contact Ron Gordon by emailing: However all members must either be former or current submariners.

PICTURED: Widows join together with branch members and invited guests in festive event held at the Crofton Pub.