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Professor J P M Brenan and Mr L J H Gibson
Chairman's Welcome to Professor Brenan, the newly appointed Botanical Adviser, who was attending a Commission Meeting for the first time, and Mr Gibson, Director, France Area who would be retiring at the end of March.
New Year Honours List
Announcement that in the New Year Honours List the High Commissioner for Australia Mr Gordon Freeth, had been appointed KBE, Admiral Sir Frank Twiss KCVO, and Mr Arthur Hockaday KCBY.
Announcement that Mr D J Urquhart, the Head Gardener at Cannock Chase War Cemetery had been awarded the BEM.
Mr R A Thomas and Mr G Ifantidis
Announcement that recently Mr R A Thomas, Assistant Director of Agriculture for the Gambia, who assisted the Commission in maintaining war graves in that country, had been appointed Honorary OBE.
Announcement that Mr George Ifantidis, Local Supervisor, Greece, had been awarded the BEM.
Mr A Rackman, Mr D Demirel, and Mr M Tesema
Announcement of the deaths in service of Mr Abdul Rackman, a gardener in Bangladesh, Mr Dogan Demirel, a foreman/craftsman in Turkey and Mr Mamo Tesema, a watchman/gardener in Ethiopia.
M. R Costard
Announcement of the death of M. Raymond Costard, Director-General in the Ministry of the Interior, Brussels, who had been an official member of the Commonwealth-Belgian Joint Committee since 1969.
Matters Arising from the Minutes of the 531st Meeting
a) Update on Pakistan's membership of the Commission.
b) Update on Head Office Air Conditioning System.
c) Update on the Situation in Iraq with a report from Mr Nelson the Director, Eastern Mediterranean Area on his visit there.
d) Update on problems with the water supply at Tobruk War Cemetery.
e) Update on the Revision of Rules to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Superannuation Scheme (1952).
f) Update on progress made on the Historical Notices in Cemeteries and agreement on the colours to be used in their production.
Update on the effects of Economy Measures taken by the Commission starting in 1975 and note of the savings made, with a note that the Commission had been able to economise and yet maintain standards, with members being requested to report any apparent decline observed when touring.
Adoption of the Report of the 573rd Meeting of the Finance Committee
Details of changes to be made to Commission expenditure.
Item 1 was the annual authorisation of expenditure.
Item 3 sought approval for recommemoration at Heliopolis War Cemetery of those formerly honoured on the Port Tewfik and Aden Memorials.
Item 6 concerned the disappearance in April of the Caretaker at Kirkee War Cemetery while on a visit to Bombay which had been followed by the discovery that £600 of the Commission's money, which had been in his charge, was missing.
Membership of the Finance Committee
Agreement that the appointment of the High Commissioner for India as a member of the Finance Committee is extended for one year from 1 April 1978, and that the High Commissioner for Canada is appointed a member of the Finance Committee for a period of three years from 1 April 1978.
Commonwealth War Graves in the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen
Approval of the Proposals set out in Paper reference CEM 21460, REC 17/117 and dated 16 March 1978 to exhume the remains of the 8 Commonwealth war dead in Holkat Bay Military and the 31 in Sheikh Othman Cemeteries and to re-inter them in Maala Cemetery, and to commemorate the 2 Commonwealth war dead in Perim and the 9 in North Point Cemeteries, access to whose graves is not permitted, on a special memorial in Maala Cemetery; Update on the Lagos and Nigeria Memorials.
Lagos and Nigeria Memorials
Mentions that all three memorials had been dismantled and incorporated into a cenotaph at the entrance to a new stadium. Proposal to erect panels explaining the significance of the memorials.
War graves and memorials in Jamaica
Approval that the proposals set out in Paper reference REC 17/60 and dated 16 March 1978 to commemorate, on a new screen wall memorial in Kingston (Up Park Camp) Cemetery, Jamaica, those buried in outlying and abandoned sites in Jamaica.
Update on the maintenance of Naval and Military Cemeteries in Malta.
Takoradi African Public Cemetery
Approval of the proposal set out in Paper reference CEM 19530 and dated 16 March 1978 to exhume the 82 1939-1945 War burials, and the single non-war burial, from Takoradi African Public Cemetery, and to re-inter them in Christiansborg War Cemetery, Accra.
Commonwealth - Foreign Joint Committees: Appointment of Members
Commonwealth-French Joint Committee:
Monsieur Jean Philippe Lachenaud (Directeur de l'Architecture, Secretariat d'Etat a la Culture)
Commonwealth-Italian Joint Committee:
Ammiraglio di Squadra Luigi Tomasuolo
His Excellency Mr R H Robertson (Australian Ambassador, Rome)
Dottore Berardo Ienzi (Director of the Accommodation Division, Ministry of the Interior)
Commonwealth-Thai Joint Committee:
Mr J M Starey (Minister, Australian Embassy, Bangkok)
Mr R Goring-Morris OBE (Counsellor, British Embassy, Bangkok)
Annual Report of Exhumation and Reinterment Carried Out In 1977
Refers to the routine report on exhumations and reinterments and Items 11 to 14 were routine and dealt with unmaintainable graves in the United Kingdom and Australia
Unmaintainable Graves - Holyhead (Maeshfryd) Church Cemetery, Gwynedd
Approval of the proposal to commemorate one burial of the 1914-1918 War in Holyhead (Maeshfryd) Church Cemetery, Gwynedd by the erection of a special memorial headstone, suitably superscribed, in the adjoining Burial Board Cemetery.
Unmaintainable Graves – Hammersmith Old Cemetery
Approval of the proposal to commemorate 40 war burials in Hammersmith Old Cemetery on panels fixed to the reverse face of the existing screen wall in the same cemetery.
Unmaintainable Graves - Lichfield (St Chad) Churchyard, Staffordshire
Approval of the proposal to commemorate three burials of the 1914-1918 War in Lichfield (St Chad) Churchyard, Staffordshire by the erection of a single special memorial headstone, suitably superscribed.
Unmaintainable Graves – Australia – Re-commemoration in Garden of Remembrance
Approval of the proposal to commemorate the name of Private J Shea in the Garden of Remembrance at Perth, Western Australia.
Execution Of Documents
Confirmation of the action for the execution by the Commission or on its behalf of the documents, Serial Nos Part 1 543 to 545 and Part 11 136 and 137, referred to in the Schedule laid before the Meeting and signed for identification by the Commission's Legal Adviser and Solicitor.
Report of the visit of the Commission's Chairman to Heliopolis War Cemetery while he was in Egypt in January, and note that in addition to visiting Malta, Sir John Barraclough had also been to Libya. Report from Professor Shepheard on his tour in France with Mr Scott during August.
Report from Mr Saynor on his recent tour in the Middle East, with note of the current situation in Lebanon.
Report from Mr Matthew on his visit to all the cemeteries in Tunisia.
Report from Mr Symons on his visit to Israel where he had been able to visit all the cemeteries there. Note that the Diary recorded the visits to Belgium of Mr MacIntyre, New Zealand Minister of Agriculture, and Mr Garland, Australian Minister of Veteran's Affairs;Report from Mr Dukes on irrigation problems in Egypt and Libya.
Update on the Commission Display Board for Australia House illustrating the work of the Commission.
Announcement of the retirement of Mr L.J.H. Gibson and thanks from Mr Gibson for a career which had lasted 32 years.
General Sir Noel Thomas KCB DSO MC (Vice-Chairman of the Commission) In the Chair
Sir Arthur Hockaday KCB CMG (Representing the Secretary of State for Defence)
Mr R.H. Noyes Roberts (Representing the High Commissioner for Canada)
Mr F.C. Murray (Representing the High Commissioner for Australia)
Mr B.J. Lynch (Representing the High Commissioner for New Zealand)
Mr T.F. Wheeler (Representing the Ambassador of South Africa)
Sir Robert Black GCMG OBE
Miss Joan Woodgate CBE RRC
Admiral Sir Frank Twiss KCB KCVO DSC
Mr Edward Gardner QC MP
Air Chief Marshall Sir John Barraclough KCB CBE DFC AFC
Mr A.K. Pallot CMG (Director-General)
Mr P. A. Scott BSc FICE (Honorary Consulting Engineer)
Professor P.F. Shepheard CBE BArch PPRIBA MRTPI PPILA (Honorary Artistic Adviser)
Professor J.P.M. Brenan MA BSc FLS FIBiol (Honorary Botanical Adviser)
There were also present:
Mr S.A. Laing MVO (Assistant secretary, Assistant Director-General (Secretariat))
Mr J. Saynor (Assistant Secretary, Assistant Director-General (Administration))
Mr P.R. Matthew BA (Assistant Secretary, Legal Adviser and Solicitor)
Mr I.E. Morgan (Deputy Legal Adviser)
Mr W.H. Dukes OBE (Director of Works)
Mr W.F.W Harding OBE BSc (Hort) FLS (Director of Horticulture)
Mr H. Westland MIPM (Establishment Officer)
Mr G. A. Cheater (Director of Information Services)
Mr W.J. Symons (Administrator, Overseas Direct Administration)
Mr D. Kennedy (Organisation and Audit Officer)
Mr A.E.V. Shepheard (Senior External Relations Officer)
Mr L.J.H Gibson OBE (Director, France Area)
Mr D.L. Ayers (Secretariat)