Governor-General Commends RAFA for Remembering Veteran Servicemen

Sir Patrick Allen urges members of RAFA to continue their efforts in supporting ex-service men and women.  

Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen reminds all Jamaicans to be appreciative of the selfless contribution that has been offered by servicemen and women and commends the Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) for remembering the veteran servicemen over the years.

Sir Patrick Allen engages 92 year old veteran, Major Victor Beek (Ret’d) who served in the Battle of Britain and returned to the Jamaica Defence Force Air Wing where he served as a pilot. Looking on is Major General (Ret’d) Robert Neish, President of RAFA.

In toasting attendees at the RAFA Annual Commemorative Reunion Dinner on Thursday September 17, 2015 Sir Patrick Allen acknowledged the organization’s commitment to its ex-servicemen whose courage and fortitude continues to benefit the nation.

Sir Patrick Allen raises a toast to RAFA.

“RAFA is here supporting and remembering the veterans and the serving air force personnel who need that type of reassurance that when they are not in active service, they will still be given the support of RAFA and it is in our best interest to keep this association intact, vibrant and active,” the Governor-General stated.

Sir Patrick Allen with an ex-serviceman who celebrates his birthday at the Annual Reunion Dinner.

“We want to recognize the many Jamaicans who participated in one way or another. They gave selfless service in defence of the Allied Forces, in a determined effort to avert global dominance of a single social or political ideology,” Sir Patrick Allen expounded.

Major General (Ret’d) Robert Neish, President of RAFA in his address echoed similar sentiments and an arousing conscience call. “Those who went abroad nearly 75 years ago and served -some didn’t come home. Those that did, made a lasting impression on Jamaica. They made a valuable contribution to the country and they continue to serve,” Major (Ret’d) Neish stated.

The annual RAFA dinner is part of a week-long celebration which started with a Church Service on Sunday (September 13, 2015), a visit to the National Heroes Park on Tuesday (September 15, 2015) and a wreath laying ceremony at Up Park Camp.

Other RAFA Activities

The wreath laying ceremony was attended by the Hon. Steadman Fuller Custos of Kingston, His Excellency Mr. David Fitton, British High Commissioner and the Ms. Collen Pigeon, Charge d’Affairs, Canadian High Commission, as well as the other distinguished ladies and gentlemen who made it their duty to attend in honour for the significant contribution and involvement of the Jamaican servicemen in the Battle of Britain. 

As Patron of RAFA, the Governor-General was also paid a Courtesy Call by members of the Jamaica Defence Force Air Wing on Tuesday September 8, at which members were allowed to launch their Wings Appeal Campaign as an awareness and fundraising venture and presentation of trophies were made to officers and cadets from the Jamaica Combined Cadet Force who emerged as top units from the 2014 fund raising initiatives.