HRFCA members gather in Dundee for annual meeting

May 8, 2024
Seated attendees applauding

Highland RFCA members gathered on 20 April for the Annual Association Meeting (AAM).

75 attendees made the journey from across the Highlands and Islands to Discovery Point in Dundee. This was the second time the venue has hosted the AAM, following a successful first event in 2023.

HRFCA Chair, Captain (Retired) Nick Dorman RD VR RNR, opened his final meeting as the Association Chair by welcoming and thanking members.

Chair speaking from lectern
Captain Dorman delivering his opening remarks.

HRFCA Deputy Chief Executive, Major (Retired) Tom Kerrigan, then turned to the official business such as the Election of Officials and Resolutions. After the voting took place, he thanked those office holders who are stepping down this year, including the outgoing Southern Area Committee: “I would like to record thanks to Captain (Retired) Chris Smith RN, Major (Retired) Wendy Findlay and Major (Retired) Mike Edwards as their responsibilities are taken on by the team from the Eastern Area Committee as the Area Committees merge today. Thank you for your valiant efforts to keep the old Southern Area Committee afloat.”

Attendees sitting during election of officials
The Election of Officials and Resolutions in full swing.

Major Kerrigan then handed over to HRFCA President, Robert Balfour Esq, who proposed without objections that Wing Commander Dr David Caddick MBE PhD RAuxAF replace the appointment of Association Chair. The new Chair took the floor to conclude the Executive Board business. He took the opportunity to thank Captain Dorman for his service to the Association and wish him the best for his new venture as Chair of the Council of Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Associations (CRFCA).

The new Chair smiling with the Royal Research Ship Discovery and V&A Dundee in the backdrop
Wing Commander Dr Caddick as the newly appointed Chair.

HRFCA Chief Executive, Brigadier (Retired) Mark Dodson MBE DL, then delivered his Annual Report. He gave a detailed update on the activities and environment HRFCA has been operating within over the previous year.

Chief Executive speaking from lectern
Brigadier Dodson taking questions at the end of his report.

CRFCA Chief Executive, Major General Jamie Gordon CB CBE, took the floor next to brief members on recent changes.

Chief Executive of the Council of RFCAs speaking from lectern
Major General Gordon addressing the audience.

He was followed by keynote speaker, General Sir Richard Barrons KCB CBE, who delivered a thought-provoking presentation entitled ‘The Future of Warfare is Here and the Reserve is Vital’. The Founder and Co-Chair of Universal Defence & Security Solutions covered the new strategic context for the UK’s Defence and security; how the ‘character of conflict’ is changing; and the implications for the Army and its Reserve in the 21st Century.

Keynote speaker presenting from behind a lectern
General Sir Richard Barrons delivering his keynote address.

Members and guests had the opportunity to network during the buffet lunch provided by Discovery Point. 

Attendees standing and sitting during lunch
Members enjoying networking during lunch.

Updates from the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force took place in the afternoon. The following single Service representatives provided presentations: Naval Regional Commander Scotland & Northern Ireland, Brigadier Andy Muddiman ADC; Commander 51 Infantry Brigade & HQ Scotland, Brigadier Jody Davies MBE; and Air Officer Scotland, Air Commodore Bill Gibson MBE ADC. Members were then able to interact with them during a tri-Service Q&A.

Representatives from the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force
From left: Brigadier Davies, Brigadier Muddiman and Air Commodore Gibson during the tri-Service Q&A.

Lastly, President Robert Balfour Esq delivered closing remarks.

President speaking from lectern
Balfour Esq closing the meeting.

Members and guests had the opportunity to take part in a free tour of Discovery Point and Royal Research Ship Discovery.

Armed Forces Covenant signatory and Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Bronze Award holder, Dundee Heritage Trust, has responsibility for Discovery Point, home of Royal Research Ship Discovery, and Verdant Works.