Bill Price, Jo and Peter Hodge MBE
A wonderful occasion unfolded in the Hythe Sailing Club on Saturday 19th of June 2010, flags were flying, union jack serviettes, war time songs, and large model flying aircraft suspended from the ceiling. Vice Commodore Trevor Tennison welcomed the Veterans and guests to the Club facilities. Hythe Sailing Club members Sue Mitchell organized the decorations, with a very special decorated cake, while Fiona MacKenzie-Grist provided a sumptuous buffet. Gift-wrapped chocolates were given to the ladies. Over forty people enjoyed the waterfront atmosphere, celebrating fifth year of the D-Day Sailing Cup, an exciting event on the Club’s sailing calendar..
David and Christine Witcher won 2010 D-Day Sailing Cup. “We were quite surprised to win as we finished because we won on handicap.” David works as an engineer, and his wife Christine who is a nurse, commented things don’t always go smoothly, so they were delighted to win.
It was a day for the Normandy Veterans to remember the history of the war time activity in the areas of the waterfront. Veterans and invited guests, saw MP Desmond Swayne present the cup to Christine and David. Ninety-five year old Veteran Bill Price (L d’Hon, the originator of the Cup) presided while MP Dr Julian Lewis presented a cheque sponsored by Lymington boat builder Jeremy Rogers. Jeremy was unable to attend as he was sailing his yacht Contessa during the weekend Around the Island Race.
Also present was Peter Hodge MBE (Queens honours awarded this year) and his wife Jo, who helped ‘cut the cake’. Peter was the General Secretary for the Normandy Veterans Association and was instrumental in finding funding for Operation Overlord for the NVA in 2009. This year about 400 NVA were recently subsidized through the Operation Overlord Fund for the 65th Anniversary of the Liberation of Holland.
The welcoming address by Veteran Bill Price (L d’Hon), reminded everyone that it was 70th Anniversary of Dunkirk, the Battle of Britain, and the Blitz.
The significance of the occasion recognized Operation Overlord as a turning point in warfare operations to liberate France and Europe by the channel crossing on 6th June 1944 from Southampton waters in world war history.
Toast was made to Her Majesty the Queen and all our service men and women.
Vice Commodore Trevor Tennison, Bill Price, MP Desmond Swayne, Christine and David Witcher and MP Julian Lewis