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Admiral Arthur Phillip Commemoration Bathampton - October 12, 2018

Copy of Speech by Dr Ian Henderson from Kings College

The High Commissioner and Branch President Mrs Kay Pavitt Laying a Wreath to the Admiral

Vale Branch President, Richard Pavitt - Nov 2016

Published 5th November on the Britain Australia Society National Website

It is with very heavy heart that we relate the news that the President of the West Country Branch of the Britain-Australia Society passed away in his sleep in the early hours of this morning.

Richard Pavitt was longstanding Chairman of that branch and more recently voted as its President. It has been by far the most dynamic of the branches, leading the way for the others, and that was entirely down to Richard’s enthusiasm, energy, commitment and persistence.

He had also been a Board Member of the Society and Trustee of the Britain-Australia Society Education Trust. For the latter organisation he was at the centre of the many wide-ranging commemorative events in July 2014 and the success of those was firmly a result of his contribution.

We will miss Richards guidance and friendship very much and pass our deep condolences to his wife Kay and their family.

AGM 2017

APRIL 2015

ANZAC Day Luncheon and Service of Remembrance

26th April 2015

In this centennial year commemorating the ANZAC landings at Gallipoli, 70 members, guests and friends gathered at the Infantry Officer’s Mess in Warminster and later at St John’s Church, Sutton Veny to remember those who fought and those who lost their lives in the conflict.  We were joined by representatives of the Australian and New Zealand High Commissions, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission as well as honoured guests, Professor Bridges and Lady Emma Kitchener.

For full details please see the June 2015 newsletter

Keith Newton and Major General Bill Sowry at the Infantry Officer’s Mess, Warminster


Australia Day Service and Luncheon

25th January 2015

Sunday, 25 January saw 27 B-AS members and guests make their way to Sherborne Abbey to celebrate Australia Day in a service led by Canon Eric Woods. The Canon did an excellent job of welcoming and including the party in the celebration and also, very generously, hosting the Society at the Vicarage for pre-lunch drinks. This was followed by a very successful lunch at the Eastbury Hotel where Professor Christina Slade, Vice-Chancellor, Bath Spa University gave a very stimulating address and guests enjoyed a two-course lunch with Australian wines.


Visit of Vice Admiral Ray Griggs:

Vice Admiral Raymond James "Ray" Griggs AO, CSC, RAN (born 1961) of the Royal Australian Navy, the current Vice Chief of the Defence Force (VCDF) stopped in Bath on his way to NATO Conference in Wales to pay his respects at the Armillary Sphere outside the Assembly Rooms on 24 September 2014






Death of Lady Downer:
It is with sadness that we announce the death in London of Lady Mary Downer on 14 October 2014, aged 89.  A cremation and service officiated by the Dean of Westminster took place at Mortlake Crematorium in London on 22 October 2014. 

We were honoured to have Lady Downer with us just a few days earlier at the annual celebrations for Arthur Phillip in Bath which she attended as the guest of her son, HE The Hon Alexander Downer AC, the Australian High Commissioner to London.


Lady Downer with her son, HE The Hon Alexander Downer, Australian High Commissioner to London & The Mayor of Bath, Cllr Cherry Beath


Holder of the Branch Boomerang 2014 – Stephen Bird, Head of Heritage Services, Bath:

The Branch has a tradition of presenting a Boomerang to someone who has provided outstanding services to the branch to be held by them for a 12 month period.  Branch President, Richard Pavitt, presented it to Stephen Bird, Head of Heritage Services in Bath. Stephen has worked tirelessly with the branch over the past 3 years to develop the initial plans, find the location and obtain approval for the beautiful new Admiral Phillip Memorial. Stephen has been a wonderful supporter of the branch and foreign Britain Australia relations.

Stephen Bird, Head of Heritage Services, Bath with Boomerang next to the Armillary Sphere




Vice Admiral Raymond Griggs, Royal Australian Navy at the Armillary Sphere

Visit of the Queensland Governor:
On 6 October the West Country Branch had the pleasure of welcoming the new Governor of Queensland, HE The Hon Paul de Jersey, to Bath.  As part of his introduction to the role he was visiting the UK with his wife and aid, being shown around by the Queensland Agent General, Ken Smith. Usually these visits do not extend beyond London, so we were delighted he agreed to spend a day in Bath to visit St Nicholas’ Church, The Memorial, attend a civic reception with the Chairman of BANES and the Mayor of Bath, dine at the Pump Room, visit the Guildhall and sign the visitor’s book.

Queensland Governor, HE The Hon Paul de Jersey with members of the West Country Branch and representatives of St Nicholas Church, Bathampton
Arthur Phillip Birthday events and lunch:
On 10 October we welcomed an array of high profile guests to celebrate the birth of Arthur Phillip including HE The Hon Alexander Downer AC, Australian High Commissioner to London; Lady Mary Downer; and Kevin Skipworth VCO, the Agent General of Western Australia.

The Boomerang in situ in Stephen’s office


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