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Celebration of former sailors

PUBLISHED: 17:14 29 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:56 03 March 2010

A 100-STRONG crew of former sailors, wives and friends gathered at the Manor Ballroom, in Ipswich, for the annual dinner and dance of the Ipswich Branch of the Royal Naval Association.

A 100-STRONG crew of former sailors, wives and friends gathered at the Manor Ballroom, in Ipswich, for the annual dinner and dance of the Ipswich Branch of the Royal Naval Association.

The former sea dogs were joined by guest of honour, Chief Constable of Suffolk, Paul Scott-Lee, who they entertained in traditional naval style.

Mr Scott-Lee was "piped aboard" on arrival by Shipmate, John Dent, a virtuoso on the bosun's pipe.

Before dinner, branch padre, Rev John Waller, of Waldringfield, said the form of grace famously used by Admiral Nelson.

Later, in the evening, the RNA National Council Member for East Anglia, Hertfordshire and Essex, Shipmate Doug Carter, proposed the "loyal toast."

Mr Scott-Lee gave a warmly received speech about the application and enforcement of the law, referring to similarities between the police force and the Navy.

This was followed by a raffle of sets of historic naval key rings. Association President Captain Tom LeMarchant, successfully bid for a set, and immediately presented it to the branch collection of naval memorabilia.

Before dancing got under way, Captain LeMarchant's wife, Valerie, was presented with a large bouquet of white chrysanthemums by former branch Skipper Chairman, shipmate Jim Osborne.

The RNA returns to the Manor Ballroom on the December 16 for its annual carol service.

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