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The Chairman welcomed Mr Manley who was attending a Commission Meeting as the representative of the South African Ambassador for the first time.
Birthday Honours List
Announcement that Mr G E A Lee, Head Gardener 1st Class in France Area had been awarded the BEM in the Birthday Honours List; the BEM had also been recently awarded to Nai Pramote Limtrakul, Group Supervisor, Thailand.
Mr A Taffin
Announcement of the death in service of Mr A Taffin, a gardener in Belgium.
New Zealand High Commissioner
Report that the Commission had written to Sir Douglas Carter, expressing regret at his departure and saying how much the cooperation of New Zealand House during his time as Commissioner had been valued. Sir Douglas Carter's successor, Mr Leslie Gandar, had visited Head Office in late July.
Matters arising from the Minutes of the 537th Meeting
a) Presentation of the Commission’s film by the Chairman.
b) Update on the situation in Iraq.
c) Update on proposed Economy measures for the Commission.
d) Update on the France Area Accommodation.
e) Report on two incidents of theft at Cologne (Southern) Cemetery, including two
motor mowers and update on proposed security measures to be taken there.
60th Annual Report and Statement of Accounts
Approval of the 60th Annual Report and Statement of Accounts of the Commission for the year ended 31 March 1979.
Amendments to the rules of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Superannuation Scheme (1952)
Approval of Amendments to the rules of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Superannuation Scheme (1952) including authorisation to the Trustees of the Scheme to make such modifications, alterations or additions to the Rules of the Scheme as may be necessary or expedient.
Adoption of the Report of the 579th Meeting of the Finance Committee
Item 2 dealt with a proposal to increase the Vice-Chairman's salary to £8,000 per annum from 1 April 1979 and £8,500 per annum from 1 April 1980.
Item 3 proposed 5 annual payments of £31,000 to the Trustees of the Superannuation Scheme.
Item 4 dealt with Roadside Direction Signs.
Items 10 and 12 dealt with improvements in pay for various groups of staff following changes in United Kingdom Civil Service rates.
Malta – Service Cemeteries
Update on the proposal by the Maltese Government to move graves in Service Cemeteries in Malta, including a report from Mr Matthew on his visit to Malta.
Historical Notices in Cemeteries
Update on proposed historical notices in Cemeteries where it had now been decided that etched stainless steel would be used for the notices.
Commonwealth-Foreign Joint Committees: Appointment of Members
Commonwealth-Belgian Joint Committee:
Son Excellence Monsieur Georges Gramme (Ministre de l'Interieur)
Monsieur Edouard Janssens (Directeur General des Affaires Nationales Ministere de l'Interieur)
Commonwealth-Danish Joint Committee:
Mr Jens Ulf Jorgensen (Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs)
Mr Johan Otto Stephensen (Cultural Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Commonwealth-French Joint Committee:
Monsieur Christian Pattyn (Directeur du Patrimoine Ministere de la Culture et de la Communication)
Commonwealth-Japanese Joint Committee:
Mr Yoshihiro Jibiki (Director, Second West-Europe Division Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Mr Saburo Ishiwata (Director, General Affairs Bureau Yokohama City Office)
Commonwealth-Netherlands Joint Committee:
His Excellency Sir John Taylor, KCMG (British Ambassador, The Hague)
Flushing (Vlissingen) New General Cemetery, Netherlands
Approval of the proposal set out in Paper CEM 20166 and dated 20 September 1979 to exhume the 34 Commonwealth 1914-1918 War burials from Flushing (Vlissingen) New General Cemetery and to re-inter them in Flushing (Vlissingen) Northern Cemetery.
Unmaintainable Graves - Broughton Church Cemetery, Humberside
Approval of the proposal to commemorate one burial of the 1914-1918 War in Broughton Church Cemetery, Humberside by the erection of a Special Memorial, suitably superscribed, in the same church cemetery.
Unmaintainable Graves - Castleton Moor (St Martin) Churchyard, Rochdale, Greater Manchester
Approval of the proposal to commemorate two burials of the 1914-1918 War in Castleton Moor (St Martin) Churchyard, Rochdale, Greater Manchester by the erection of a single Special Memorial, suitably superscribed, in the same churchyard.
Unmaintainable Graves - Denton (Christ Church) Churchyard, Greater Manchester
Approval of the proposal to commemorate the four burials of the 1914-1918 War and the two burials of the 1939-1945 War in Denton (Christ Church) Churchyard, Greater Manchester, by the erection of a single Special Memorial, suitably superscribed, in the same churchyard.
Unmaintainable Graves - Dudley (St James) Churchyard, West Midlands
Approval of the proposal to commemorate one burial of the 1914-1918 War in Dudley (St James) Churchyard, West Midlands by the erection of a Special Memorial, suitably superscribed, in the same churchyard.
Execution of Documents
Confirmation of the action for the execution by the Commission or on its behalf of the documents, Serial Nos Part I 557 to 559 and Part 11 152 to 156, referred to in the Schedule laid before the Meeting and signed for identification by the Commission's Legal Adviser and Solicitor.
Note that the President had visited Sai Wan Bay War and Stanley Military Cemeteries and had recently gone to Japan where he would be visiting Yokohama War Cemetery.
Report from the Chairman on his tours of the Eastern Mediterranean Area, and the north of England and Southern Scotland.
Report from Sir Robert Black on his visit to France; Report from Sir John Winnifrith on his visit to Belgium and France.
Report from Lord Wallace on his visit to Malta.
Note the Chairman drawing member's attention to the Gardeners' Service at Westminster Abbey at 12 noon on Friday, 9 November for which invitation cards had been sent.
Reading of letter from Mr Wheeler, who was leaving London in December, expressing the enjoyment he had experienced whilst representing the South African Ambassador at meetings.
Announcement that Mr Ayers was attending the meeting for the last time as he was leaving to work for the Highlands and Islands Development Board, to be succeeded by Mr Gee in the Secretariat.
The Commission's appreciation was expressed to Major Van Vliet and Warrant Officer Peelen who had written a book titled 'Zvevend Naar De Dood, Arnhem 1944' (Drifting into Death, Arnhem 1944) about Arnhem and its aftermath, and had kindly presented the Commission with the royalties from their first edition and were here to present the royalties from their second edition. The two authors were presented with two engraved crystal goblets and their wives with bouquets.
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 G.A. Cowley (Representing the High Commissioner for Canada)
Mr B.J. Lynch (Representing the High Commissioner for New Zealand)
Mr A.L. Manley (Representing the Ambassador of South Africa)
Brigadier Mayadas (Representing the High Commissioner for India)
Mr P.C. Aggleton (Representing the Minister for Housing and Construction)
Sir Robert Black GCMG OBE
Miss Joan Woodgate CBE RRC
Sir John Winnifrith KCB
Mr Edward Gardner QC MP
The Lord Wallace of Coslany
Air Chief Marshal Sir John Barraclough KCB CBE DFC AFC
Mr A.K. Pallot CMG (Director-General)
Mr Peter A. Scott BSc FICE (Honorary Consulting Engineer)
Professor Peter Shepheard CBE BArch PPRIBA MRTPI PPILA (Honorarv Artistic Adviser)
Professor J.P.M. Brenan MA BSc FLS FIBiol VMH (Honorary Botanical Adviser)
There were also present:
Mr A. S. Laing MVO (Assistant Secretary, Deputy Director-General)
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 W.H. Dukes OBE (Director of Works)
Mr J.B. Paton (Director of Horticulture)
Mr P.H.M. Swan (Director of External Relations)
Mr W.J. Symons (Chief Finance Officer)
Mr G.A. Cheater (Director of Information Services)
Mr D. Kennedy (Director, Outer Area)
Mr D.L. Ayers (Secretariat)
Mr J Gee (Secretariat)