C-IN-C HOSTS VETERAN OFFICERS-07 NOV 2021
It cannot be inherited, nor can it ever be purchased, I have earned it with my Blood, Sweat and Tears.
I own it, forever the Title : “VETERAN”
One of the significant and much awaited Naval tradition during the Navy week celebrations is the Veterans’ lunch being hosted by CinC every year. The bliss of interacting with like minded Veterans is priceless and evident during such a buoyant gathering. 07 Nov 2021 was the day when VAdm R Hari Kumar PVSM, AVSM, VSM, ADC, Flag Officer Commanding in Chief of the Sword-Arm of our fine Indian Navy invited all Veterans with spouses of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Karnataka for lunch. Invitation was flashed in major local dailies much in advance. All roads of Navy Colaba converged onto IMSC as hundreds of Veterans with their good ladies started gathering at Dhanush complex starting 11:30 AM. It was absolute delight for the NFMC managing committee to interact with senior veterans and usher them in to the Sea Lounge. Among the Senior Veterans who graced the occasion were Adm L Ramdas and Adm Vijai Shekhawat our former CsNS, VAdm Girish Luthra and VAdm SPS Cheema, our former Patrons and Cs-in-C, VAdm IC Rao, VAdm SKK Krishnan, RAdm GC Thadani, RAdm PK Sinha, RAdm RK Shrawat & RAdm RJ Nadkarni with their good ladies. Cmde PK Malhotra, President NFPC and Veer Nari Poonam Gulati from Pune drove down to be with us.
Cdr Vijay Vadhera, President NFMC had suggested to LtCdr Subin, Secy IMSC for ample seating arrangement close to the dais for senior aged at the Drona hard. The Commander-in-Chief was welcomed by VAdm K Swaminathan (COS), RAdm Sanjeev Sharma (CSO(P&A)) and Cdr Vijay Vadhera, President NFMC on arrival at 1215 hrs and escorted to the Drona hard. The Secy NFMC took to the dias and announced for 2 mins silence as homage to the Veterans and Veer Naris who had departed for the heavenly abode since the last gettogether. He then requested the Commander in Chief to address the Veterans. The C-in-C in his address briefed the gathering about the Naval activities in the year gone by, clouded by the Pandemic of Corona, the Naval plans for the future and the welfare measures by the Command particularly the ECHS issues and efforts on the welfare measures for Veterans in Pune. The CinC then presented to President NFMC a cheque of Rs One Lakh for the welfare of Veterans’ fraternity. NFMC is grateful to the CinC for the goodwill gesture.
Cdr Vijay Vadhera was then invited on stage and briefed everyone present on the continued efforts by NFMC in enhancing the Chapter’s membership that had shot upto 1292 including 4 former CNS (amongst them Adm L Ramdas and Adm VS Shekhawat were present), 13 former C-inCs (including VAdm Girish Luthra and VAdm Cheema, who were present), 269 outstation, 49 overseas members, 65 Octogenarians, 45 Gallantry awardees and 91 Veer Naaris, NFMC being the largest among the 16 Navy Foundation Chapters. He then mentioned about the activities spread throughout the year. He also highlghted the plans that are afoot for the celebration of the 2nd Veteran’s Day activites on a grander scale with ample media publicity. The Trophies are ready for the Serving offrs Vs Veterans for the Cricket competition and J-24 Sailing Race 0n 02 and 03 Jan 2022, followed by the 2nd Vetrans Day Parade on 09 Jan. The Veterans Day, 14 Jan shall start with homage to the Martyrs at the Colaba War memorial by laying of wreath by all the three arms of the Service, President NFMC and other Veteran foundations. This will be followed by the 19th Soman Memorial lecture for which VAdm Pradeep (Billoo) Chauhan, DG NMF, a well-known defence and strategic affairs analyst has been invited. He then mentioned about our active, updated and vibrant NFMC website that boasts of a matrimonial portal that has been successful in 3 matrimonial alliances so far. Cdr Vadhera assured the CinC on behalf of the Veterans that whenever a need arises, for additional manpower by the Sword Arm of our Great Navy, we Veterans, who are retired but not yet tired, will always be there to chip in at an instant notice, to defeat the nefarious designs of the enemy. (Link of Videos below after the Pics that speak) He was grateful to INHS Asvini to have rendered immediate medical help to Veterans during the Pandemic. INS Angre, Shikra, Kunjali, Tanaji, ND and Hamla are always forthcoming and could always be banked upon in crisis. We are indeed blessed to be in the Lap of Indian Navy that cares for its Veterans and Veer Naris.
Later the bars were opened and the veterans interacted with each other and dwelled on their past nostalgic memories in the Navy over a glass of beer and a delectable meal. All the Veterans and Veer Naris that I interacted with were of immense praise for the arrangements made by IMSC for the function, including additional designer shamiyana with Karaoke and dance music. The southern corner of IMSC was vibrant with buoyant Veterans dancing away (Vids below). Everyone captured enough memories to glance back in footprints of time to come. Until we meet again for the Beating Retreat, Ladies and Gentlemen; Cheers.
Shano Varuna … Jai Hind !
PS- Kindly double click and zoom the Videos attached at the bottom.
THE PHOTOS THAT SPEAK