Aberdeen Branch AGM and Dinner
12 December, 2012
Aberdeen Branch AGM and Dinner
12 December 2012 Aberdeen UK
The 2012 Aberdeen Branch AGM and annual dinner was held on 12 December at the Marcliffe at Pitfodels. We were delighted to see a very strong attendance of 258 members and guests.
The event was generously sponsored by Apache, Framo Engineering, Kongsberg, Petrex, Subsea7, Technip and Wood Group Kenny. Following last year’s format, the sponsors provided video footage, which was shown on video screens during the dinner.
The evening was coordinated by a local master of ceremonies, Stuart MacBride, who controlled the flow of the evening with authority and good humour. The attendees enjoyed a drinks reception in the ballroom before the meal. Branch chairman David Kaye welcomed everyone to their tables, including special welcomes for the SUT guests and for the representatives and guests of our sponsors, and then presented the branch report. The summary included a number of successful branch events this year, including the recent Christmas lectures for local schoolchildren and the launch of the new branch group for developing professionals, SUT+. David ended by reporting that, after three years as branch committee chairman, he would stand down after the AGM and hand over to the new chairman, Chris Milner.
Following a very enjoyable meal, Stuart MacBride hosted the regular ‘Heads and Tails’ game, supported by SUT Chief Executive, Bob Allwood. The lucky winner left standing at the end was Stefi Hooft Van Huysduynen of BP who received a prize of £250. More importantly, a very generous sum of £3120 was raised for the SUT’s Education Support Fund, which will support students studying undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses in marine science and technology.
A number of awards were announced after the Heads and Tails game. The first of these was the Martin Richmond Award. The award was set up between the SUT and J P Kenny in memory of Martin Richmond who sadly died from cancer in 2006 while chairman of the Aberdeen Branch committee and employed by J P Kenny. The award is made to a postgraduate student studying a subsea-related course under demanding and mitigating personal circumstances. The winner of this year’s award was Sameer Chapgaon, a recent graduate from the Subsea Engineering MSc programme at Aberdeen University. Sameer arrived in Aberdeen in September 2011 and completed his course while working night shifts to help fund his studies. Sameer graduated this summer with distinction, and is now employed at Wood Group MCS Kenny.
Sameer’s prize for the Martin Richmond Award comes from a related competition, for an original piece of artwork from a student at Robert Gordon University Gray’s School of Art. The winning artist was Laura Mullen, a third year student in the painting programme at Gray’s School of Art. Laura’s painting was on display throughout the evening.
The final award of the night was the SUT Aberdeen Branch Award of Merit. This award is made to an individual who, at the discretion of the branch committee, has made an outstanding contribution to branch activities, underwater technology, the underwater industry and the aims and objectives of the Society. This year’s winner of the award was Dave Smith of the National Hyperbaric Centre. Dave has had a very successful career in the development and sales of diving equipment, combined with his business achievements in the growth of the world’s largest diving equipment supplier, Divex, the Professional Diving Academy, and more recently with the National Hyperbaric Centre.
The final entertainment of the evening was provided by our after dinner speaker, John Simonett. John is a former schoolmaster and top level rugby player, who left teaching in 1985 to become a professional speaker and presenter. John gave a very individual, varied and extremely entertaining talk combining stories from the rugby world and his childhood in Scotland with some remarkable feats of memory and some astonishing magic tricks; reflecting his membership of the Magic Circle.
The evening closed with thanks to our sponsors, John Simonett, Stuart MacBride, Bob Allwood, the Marcliffe Hotel and Spa, and a special thanks and flowers for Kirsty Webster and Dawn Geddes of the SUT who worked hard to ensure that the evening was such a success. A highly successful AGM and annual dinner ended with much discussion of John Simonett’s entertainment as many satisfied diners stayed into the late hours.