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New Zealand Representative
Welcome to Mr Brown, who was attending a Commission Meeting for the first time as the representative of the New Zealand High Commissioner.
New Year’s Honours List
Sir Victor Garland, the Australian High Commissioner had had a knighthood conferred on him in the New Year's Honours list and Major Gibson, the Commission's Chief Records Officer, had been appointed to be a member of the Order of the British Empire.
Deaths of Staff
Report of three deaths of staff in service since last meeting: Mr Baber, the Commission's Senior Architect, Lt Col David, District Inspector, United Kingdom Area, and Mr Kristov a Gardener in Bulgaria.
Minutes of 547th Meeting of the Commission
Mentions the minutes were circulated, approved, and signed.
Matters Arising From The Minutes of the 547th Meeting
There were no matters arising.
France Area Headquarters, Beaurains, Arras
Mention that the Chairman and Mr Matthew had attended the Reception given for local personalities at the new office. Comments on general appearance, including the gardener’s house and gardener’s mess room, as well as resolution that the additional property now acquired to extend the Commission's France Area Headquarters at Beaurains, Arras, be developed as proposed in the Paper presented to this Meeting, at a cost not exceeding £35,000.
Report of the 589th Meeting of the Finance Committee
Item 7 concerned substantial expenditure on repairs to the air conditioning system at Head Office, after frost had damaged part of the control system.
Item 9 concerned four appointments of staff. Mr Osborn would become Director of Works in succession to Mr Dukes who was retiring on 31 March under the Job Release Scheme. He was replaced as Organisation and Audit Officer by Mr Penfold, who had been with the Commission for eighteen years and who, in turn, was to be relieved by Mr Bannister. The fourth appointment concerned Mr Graham Reddie who would become Legal Adviser and Solicitor in July following the retirement of Mr Morgan.
Annual Report of Exhumation and Reinterments: 1981
Note that the Members took note of the paper submitted at the Meeting.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission Superannuation Scheme (1952): Appointment of New Trustee
Following resolution passed at the Meeting:
a) That, on the resignation of Mr T A Burns as a Trustee of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Superannuation Scheme (1952), the Commission records its appreciation of the services he has rendered in this capacity since his appointment in 1979.
b) That, pursuant to the provisions contained in the Deed of Trust dated 28 July 1952, Mr Ronald Richard Clothier be nominated as a Trustee of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Superannuation Scheme (1952) for a period of 3 years from 22 March 1982 to fill the vacancy arising on the relinquishment by Mr Burns of his appointment as a Trustee of the Scheme.
c) That the appointment be effected by a Deed of Appointment of New Trustee and that the seal of the Commission be affixed to and the Proper Officer sign the said Deed.
Commonwealth-Foreign Joint Committees: Appointment of Members
Commonwealth-French Joint Committee:
Sir John Fretwell KCMG (British Ambassador, Paris)
Commonwealth-Netherlands Joint Committee:
His Excellency Jonkheer J L R Huydecoper Nigteveld (Netherlands Ambassador, London)
Unmaintainable Graves – United Kingdom
Approval of proposals to commemorate twenty-eight burials of the 1914-1918 War in Crystal Palace District Cemetery, Beckenham, Greater London by the erection of a new Screen Wall memorial in the same cemetery, the nine burials of the 1914-1918 War in Dunston (Christ Church) Churchyard, Tyne and Wear by the erection of a single Special Memorial, suitably superscribed, in Gateshead (Saltwell) Cemetery, Tyne and Wear and the four burials of the 1914-1918 War in Higher Broughton (St John) Churchyard, Greater Manchester by the erection of a single Special Memorial, suitably superscribed, in the same churchyard.
Execution of Documents
Resolution for signing and confirmation of documents referring to transfer of land at Leamington Spa, a small workshop for use as a headquarters for one of the mobile groups in France, as well as the boundaries of land comprising Agira Canadian War Cemetery in Sicily. Also refers to a monthly rented garage in Belgium and the renting of residential accommodation for the new local supervisor in Tunisia.
Director-General’s Tour in Egypt, Kenya, and South Africa, January - February 1982
Refers to the report of the Director-General’s tour with comments about water and electricity supply at Cairo War Memorial Cemetery, Halfaya Sollum War Cemetery, and explanation of the functions of the Commission’s Agency in Kenya.
Tours By Head Office Officials
Firstly refers to tour of Iraq, Cyprus and Syria by Assistant Director-General (Operations) in January 1982, with comments about the misuse and condition of Alwiya Indian War Cemetery.
Also refers to tour of Nigeria, Sierra Leone and The Gambia by the Director of Horticulture in January/February 1982, with comments about screening of King Tom Cemetery and the replacement of bronze plaques with marble ones. Mentions the war cemetery in Gambia would be featured in a guide produced by the local tourist board. Mentions difficulties of carrying out work in Nigeria without an Agency in place and assistance from Nigerian Army with memorial in Lagos.
Mr Gomme discussed his visits to Sai Wan War Cemetery and Stanley Military Cemetery, with comments about the vista becoming massively developed with the erection of flats at Sai Wan and use of the cemetery for recreation by locals, as well as problems of soil erosion at Stanley Military Cemetery.
Refers to the ceremony of the unveiling of the tiger replica at the Indian High Commission. The ceremony had been beautifully planned and conducted by Brigadier Madan and had been followed by a delightful reception.
Brief mention of Mr Roberts, the British Ambassador's meeting with Yasir Arafat in Beirut.
Comments about completion of work in Aden where photographs were displayed at the Meeting.
Discussion about reduction of working week for staff in France.
The Chairman drew Members' attention to the dates of the Commonwealth-Italian Joint Committee and to the changes of dates of forthcoming meetings in June and September.
Refers to farewell to Sir Robert Black who was retiring as a Commissioner and that Sir David Muirhead of the Diplomatic Service should be appointed in his place.
Discussion about Daily Telegraph article on Quangos where it had been deemed inappropriate for the Commission to be included in the list of Quangos.
Mentions departure of Mrs Hodgkinson, who had been catering for Commissioners, visitors and staff for nearly ten years.
Comments about forthcoming Commonwealth-Italian Joint Committee meeting.
Comments regarding agreement with Papua New Guinea concerning war graves.
Air Chief Marshal Sir John Barraclough KCB CBE DFC AFC FRSA (Vice-Chairman of the Commission), in the Chair
Sir Arthur Hockaday KCB CMG (Representing the Secretary of State for Defence)
Mr R A Gomme (Representing the Minister for Housing and Construction)
Mr G A Cowley (Representing the High Commissioner for Canada)
Mr R H Robertson (Representing the High Commissioner for Australia)
Mr B M Brown (Representing the High Commissioner for New Zealand)
Mr A E van Niekerk (Representing the Ambassador of South Africa)
Brigadier V Madan VSM (Representing the High Commissioner for India)
Sir Robert Black GCMG OBE
Miss Joan Woodgate CBE RRC
Sir John Winnifrith KCB
Mr Edward Gardner QC MP
Lord Wallace of Coslany
Sir Edward Goschen Bt DSO
Admiral Sir David Williams GCB DL
General Sir Robert Ford GCB CBE
Mr A S Laing CBE MVO (Deputy Director-General)
Mr Peter A Scott BSc FICE (Honorary Consulting Engineer)
Professor J P M Brenan MA BSc FLS FIBiol VMH (Honorary Botanical Adviser)
There were also present:
Mr P R Matthew (Assistant Secretary, Assistant Director-General (Operations))
Mr J Saynor (Assistant Secretary, Assistant Director-General (Administration))
Mr I E Morgan (Legal Adviser and Solicitor)
Mr J B Paton NDH (Director of Horticulture)
Mr P H M Swan (Director of External Relations)
Mr H Westland MIPM (Establishment Officer)
Mr S G Campbell MC (Director of Information Services)
Mr W J Symons (Chief Finance Officer)
Mr N B Osborn ARICS (Assistant Director of Works)
Mr D Kennedy (Director, Outer Area)
Mr J P Gee (Secretariat)