Hello boys,,I know you will have read the previous posts regards this idea,well now it is time to ask for your help in getting this idea up and running..Over the years there has been 1000s of posts on the sites ie best posting,loved the place,loved the people,,well if you ever go back you will find that apart from a few buildings the only marker of the RAF presence are 2 little brass plaques on the guns outside of the old HQ,not much for 20yrs of RAF presence.What we would like to do is give some sort of lasting gift in the form of a scholarship.It will be called the Gan airmens scholarship and solely provided by the people that served on Gan.In the event that we dont collect enough money,we will instead buy something for their medical centre..If it really takes off we will hold some kind of draw for one of you to go out and make the presentation [got to be worth a few quid eh] I have today opened an account with HSBC,called Gan scholarship fund,,you can go to your local HSBC and make a donation or on the internet banking or send a cheque to me made out to Gan scholarship fund..I will leave the details at the end of this post..If possible could you give me a name and your last 3 so as to enter you in any draw we may have,and could you try and contact any old Gan mates and tell them what we are trying to do.Also can I thank you in advance for any or all of your donations.I will update the amount collected at regular intervals..Thank you Larry Account details Sort code 40-33-20,,account number 81466046 My adress Larry Dodds Inver Wreigh,,Thropton,Northumberland,,NE65 7JD...
Hello boys,,couple more cheques and a pile of Maldivian money arrived today,all from people I know[thank you]..Keep it going boys,we will get something provided for the island,be it a scholarship or something for the hospital..Thank you Larry
I'm sending a cheque for £52. That's £1 for every week spent on the island, counting down the days to go home! In hindsight £1 a week to live in paradise seems a small price to pay for a very worthy cause. Come on guys..........send what you can afford, no matter how little. Every penny will help.
Larry, Do you think Taff could put a 'Highlight' on the Home Page to draw peoples attention to the Scholarship and the comments on the Message Board?
Hello Mike,,,got some more stuff for Taff to put on the site,so I shall ask him if he can front page the fund.....tHANK YOU FOR THE DONATION,,,its going along nicely....Larry.....PS nowt off Tatters yet[Chairman of 3rd division Elgin City]he wont escape!!!L.
Hello Will,,,you can either send me a cheque made out to -Gan airmens scholarship,,or go to any HSBC branch with the account details,and put in as little or as much as you like..My adress and account details are at the top of this post,,and can I just say thank you in advance,,and also if you want any dvds,ie lonely menmy own visits 69/03/4/5 or the 2010 reunion,just e-mail me your adress,,there is no charge...Larry
Hi Larry ,just a quick message to apologise for my choice of word in my letter to you with payment to scolarship fund vaunted was far from correct meant talked about in regard to your Gan videos think I need some retraining in the words of the English language.Cheers Bob Young
Hello all,,just an update on the fund so-far..As of lunchtime today the fund totalled £732..I will add that all of this was deposited by me in the form of cheques received from a lady and several gentlemen,,all of whom were known to me with the exception of Bob Young--so can I once again say a big thank you to those who have donated uptill now..Thank you the other lads in anticipation of further support..Larry
Hello all,,just an update on the situation----several lads have suggested if it would not be better if we could find 60 or so gannites that would give £50 per year for the next 3yrs,,it may end up with something similar,my only reservation would be that the idea was for a Gan airmans scholarship provided by lots of ex-gan airmen as opposed to just a few.Remember there was in excess of 10,000 men served on Gan which would bring the individual cost down to almost nothing..As we approach our first £1000,I will tell you that this is down to one Lady and 8 gentlemen[with several pledges on their way]I thank Taff for front pageing the scholarship with the hope it reaches lots of other lads..Thank you Larry
hello boys,,had a phonecall and a couple of e-mails asking what amount were we thinking about per donation.Can I just say, just give whatever you feel comfortable with.If you donate directly at your local HSBC,could you e-mail me with something like Larry put a few quid in the fund today Joe Bloggs last3 123 I would like nothing better than to think we had reached the target and we were running some sort of competition to send one of you out there to do the presentation..Early days yet but the cheques are coming..Thank you Larry
Thank you Pete;;just had a cheque from the Phillipines and one from New Brunswick---we are all over the world but we all remember GAN..The fund is trickling along nicely so thank you all once again...Larry
Hello boys,,,just an update on the fund--as of today 29th july the fund stands at £1489,now that is tremendous seeing as it was only started one month ago.I now hope that the word is spreading and lots of other lads will join in and give their support.Thank you Larry----PS sent 5 dvds out today[3 people] Lonely men my own dvd 69/03/04/05,,and the Gan reunion 2010,if you want copies just ask,,there is no charge.L
Hello boys,,regards dvds etc,sent about 20 this last week,,but today received a magazine article from Mike Coster[mcu]called --The prisoners of paradise,by Anthony Davis also written around 1968..Anybody want a copy[2 pages]just e-mail me..Also busy building a new reunion dvd from private video,,will let people know when it gets done...Larry--PS dont forget to promote the scholarship fund when you get the chance...
Hello Frank and Rod from Maastricht,,both donations arrived safely,but can I ask the lad who sent the £50 note to e-mail me his last 3 if he wants to be considered to go out to Gan in the event we get enough money to reach the target[£10000]and send someone to do the presentation..Thank you Larry-------PS any ex-gan army are welcome and invited to join in.....
Hello boys,,in reply to a query from one of the lads who have made donations[this lad actually gave £100]regarding sending one of you out there if we reach our target..He was asking or suggesting,that a man who gave say £50 should have 5 chances as opposed to a man that donated £10,,that seems straight forward and sensible to me,and if we do reach the target we will work out some sort of draw to that effect...Larry
Hello Boys,,just a little story regards trying to contact ex-gannites..Well I put a free advert in our local evening paper,,one of those little sections where people look for info on lost relatives/friends etc,and yesterday received a letter and a cheque from my old section Sgt,,Ted Ainslie,who's brother still lives up in Newcastle and sent the cutting down to Ted in Middlesex.The last time I saw Ted was in the Blue Lagoon,as one of my Guests as I was leaving Gan,jan70,I still have my boarding pass with his signature on.So there you are boys--hunt about and you can find old friends.Now can I ask you to keep sending your donations in,,maybe get yourself a week on the island,whatever you feel like donating ,she all adds up..Thank you Larry
Hello boys,,just an update regards the account..The total on the 16th sept is £1569..Been a quiet few weeks regards donations,but is slowly creeping along.I must have contacted 15/16 ex-gannites of my sort of time through forces re-united,but apart from a couple asking for dvds had little response/replies.I am thinking that for a lot of people ,Gan was just another page in their book of life and that was all it meant.For the rest of us,Gan meant that little bit more,hence trying to leave some sort of memorial to the Adduans from us airmen.Join in if you can,the details are at the top of the page..Larry-----PS have been given some private dvds of the reunion and am now in the process of editing and making another 2010 reunion dvd.If any of the lads that were there have any video tape/disc could you send me a copy..Thank you ..Larry
Hello boys,,I have just been informed by the Atoll chief that Addu and in particular Feydhoo has been decimated by storms,with over 600 houses on Feydhoo damaged and 80% of them uninhabitable,with families having to move in with other families,meaning sometimes 30/40 people living together.Other islands are also suffering with Gan being flooded and the tower and its comms being U/S.The army are doing their best to pump away the floods and repair the damage but the weather is holding the operations up.Once again they are asking the government for help,but is again falling on deaf-ears,but the capital Male is announcing to the world how much they have donated to the Pakistan flood relief!!! If you lads who read the letter from the Feydhoo people[its on the site ref Gan scholarship]If you think they are kidding in thinking that they have been left to fend for themselves,believe me they are once again in real trouble,only this time not with the RAF leaving..If it gets really bad and no government help is forthcomming I will double the fund myself and with the lads permission,send it out to their medical centre..Check the story out the Addu website...Larry
Hello boys,,just to say that the people of Gan/Feydhoo are now back on their feet,thanks to immediate government action [and the sun],with promises of new drainage systems and financial help to the worst affected.We will never know if any outside pressure had been applied,but all your e-mails or phonecalls didn't do any harm...My contact on Feydhoo,who wasn't born when the RAF left,tells me the Feydhoo people knew we were trying to help because they regularly look at the Gan websites.He also said ex-raf would always be welcome on their island,the people on the reunion would no doubt agree on that....Larry
Hello all,,just an update on the fund--it now stands at £1609,,still creeping along with a few new promises still to come in..Also the government is now giving any students a student loan of between £200-£500 and Addu itself will help subsidise any scholarship,so I am thinking if we can get up to £3000 we could maybe get the first student away...Larry
Just an update--total now stands at £1663,,with christmas coming we are looking for goodwill[donations]towards all men[adduans]...Realisticly we are hoping to send someone away to train as a nurse/medic..Larry.....PS I have been told that the first direct flight has happened on Gan..An Indian airline[kingfisher--]landed,direct from Mumbai, with 100+ tourists going to the resort on Herethera which must of course have re-opened..I have also been told that they got the same reception as us[reunion]at the airport,but were taken straight out to the resort,,so once again the actual adduans will not benefit from these tourists, regards spending any money on the "mainland"..Just hope the Equator village can hold out...L
Hello boys,,latest update,nothing special this last few weeks,,now stands at £1684..Doesn't look like we are going to get 1000 ex-gannites at £10each,but read on.Dick Houlston who was at the reunion along with us,has just had contact with one of the families that welcomed us out there..Their 3yr old daughter needs an immediate operation to stop her going blind.This operation would be pretty straight forward in the UK but out there-no NHS,not even a decent medical centre--the cost to move the bairn to a hospital in Malaysia/India,,$15;500,,absolutely beyond the family..What has it got to do with us you might ask,very little I would say as there are similar cases all over the world,but what I would say is if the RAF had still been there,that little girl would have been seen to.Now the RAF has lomg gone,but there is still an RAF presence,ie us.I don't think we would be able to help this girl,but what we could do, with more support,is to send someone away to train upto paramedic standard,then at least they would have a well qualified medic available to offer help.They do have infrequent visits to the islands by a doctor,but can you imagine that 3yr old girl,her eyes on fire, hoping some doctor might arrive over the next 3 months to help??? I have been told that an Australian charity often helps in severe cases like this,so lets hope....My adress--Inver Wreigh,,Thropton,Northumberland,,NE65 7JD....
Regards the last post and the state of the medical facilities,,,I have just had an e-mail from a headteacher at one of the atoll schools,who is a regular viewer of the site-----each island has a health centre but Hittadoo has a hospital built with the help of UNICEF,,unfortunately the x-ray and scanning machines are never in working order..Fully qualified doctors will not come to Addu,so "unregulated"Indian doctors sometimes [SOMETIMES]visit..They go on to say that the medical centres are nothing more than first-aid posts staffed by whatever!!----Is it worth paying to have a medic trained????
Hello Peter and all..Firstly we don't have enough money in the fund as yet,but it is still trickling in..Regards paying the medics wages,the Atoll has its own "civil-service" and pays the various staff..A new private hospital has just opened in the capital Male,,they are charging Rf600[£30]to do a breast scan.An Addu lady would have to pay for her return flight from Gan as well as her stay in Male +the scan cost..Seems silly when Hittadoo hospital has the same machine,,aparently broken,but I suspect they don.t have anyone qualified to operate it..Any of you out there who's wife has been so unfortunate as to have had to go through these procedures,,will surely tell you how important that scan could be..Just maybe we will be able to help in some way...Larry
Just a little update on that 3yr old girl with the eye problem..A team of Israeli surgeons are coming to the Maldives,and they are definitely going to Addu to do this operation..The only negative is that Jews are not usually welcome in the Maldives,and some activists are trying to stop them coming..Peace and goodwill to all men---some chance eh !!!!!
Hello boys,,pre-christmas update--fund now stands at £1754 after a generous donation from one of the boys from Campbeltown--thank you for that..--I have only just learnt that there is a type of caste system that operates throughout the Atoll,with the better connected families given the best employment..This equates to around 10% of the population,with the best part of the others living in abject poverty.Those that have been back and seen the new motorcycles and mobile phones everywhere should be aware that behind this"front"lies people that are actually begging for food/handouts.,unable to access even basic medical care..The fund maybe just trickling along,but I know eventually we will be able to help somehow....Larry
Hi Larry, I am working hard on this appeal at the moment...am about to send out my letters to charities, have 111 addressed so far...another 40 - 50 to go.. keep ur fingers crossed that they bring in funds...have a promise of half sponsorship funds from a friend who is climbing Kilimanjaro later in the year...that should bring in a couple of grand may be even three with luck, I hope...also there are some more irons in the fire as it were I think u have spoken to Donna so u know what i mean...I am doing the best I can...hope to c things happening shortly...I think ur right about the equipments we need to get them sorted before we train anyone or they wont stay...if we get the equipment working ok we could even sort out some sort of voluntary service scheme...smashing place to work for 12 months I remember it well...hehehe...regards, Dick
Hello Boys,,just to update first,,the fund now stands @£1814 thanks to a couple of double donations, and a promise of a couple of cheques over the next week or so..I have been told that the Maldives sent 67 medical students to a hospital in Bangalore,to have 56 rejected for various reasons,mainly because they could not guarantee the $300 per month cost,,when a good wage on Addu is less than £100 per week,you can see how a family has trouble sending a son/daughter away to India/Malaysia to train.We,myself and Dick Houlston know of a female travel writer/journalist who has just visited Addu,and whilst there, had a look at the "medical"facilities.She wasn't much impressed at the general state of the equipment etc,and telling me that there are two donated ambulances standing U/S for the want of a couple of small parts,and other medical equipment[donated] standing unused for a lack of trained personel..The Gan airmens fund with just a bit more money could surely sort at least one of those problems out,,Gan airmen--its over to you......Now for some news about the probable end of Gan as we know/knew it..The lease on the hotel and associated facilities has only around 5 yrs left to run before the island is put out to tender once more..Now we know that Equator village will be removed,with the old officers mess becoming the sole hotel,,but the main news from Addu is--A far eastern company has already been to survey the island and its facilities/possible facilities,and I have been told that there are ongoing negotiations,,with their ideas being considered,and those ideas contain the plan to totally demolish all the buildings etc on Gan and totally rebuild a resort island catering mainly for the Chinese market..Those plans do include removing all traces of our presence,meaning disposal of the Guns/RAF plaques/monument standing outside the old HQ..The history of the place means absolutely nix to the Chinese,,so I ask you once again to try and give the people of Addu something to remember us by, whilst we still have friends and a presence on the Island
Hello boys,,just an update on the state of things on Addu..There is great unrest at the moment,due to a judge from Male cancelling the elections due on Addu this saturday.I am being told that this is just another delay in their attempt to become a city/state and all the associated benefits that would come with it.They tell me that this delay is being orchestrated by the rich and powerful families[some from addu!!]that run the government from the capital.The promises to Addu were of improvements in education/health services.civil improvements.I am being told these are being "opposed" because of the loss of massive rental income being received by the "rich families" from their property rentals in Male..Because they own just about everything in the capital,they rent accomodation to the students/hospital patients/workers/airport franchises/shops.As you can see,they don't want investment on other atolls in case they lose their monopoly on just about everything..Just think,why else has a new airport[Gan] stood virtually unused for 4yrs,the schools unable to go above secondary level,and the health services on the atoll in disaray..I have been told,that last week they had to hire a "water-boat" to bring water to Hittadoo hospital because there was no water,and continuing stories of people having to go to Male/India for treatment of broken bones,because of a U/S Xray machine..As you all know,,Male has never had any love for Addu,and as of now that has not changed..I think we may see riots/demonstrations on Addu this weekend..If their government are reluctant to help,,can we not help,,even if its just getting their hospital equipment working? I'm trying,but its over to you...
Hello boys,,an update and a query.As you may know anything concerning this account needs two signatures,,myself and Barry Turner..There is no withdrawl chequebook,meaning nothing can be taken out without both of our signatures being given on some bank form or other..The reason I am saying this,is that everything has to be seen as above board..Now the other reason--earlier this month I was given £30 by a lad to put into the Gan airmens account,this I did,which should have brought the total upto £1844.On saturday[yesterday]I received the monthly bank statement which had on it[for the first time]a direct debit to a national magazine[unknown as yet]for £12..Now I have not signed any direct debit slip and I don't suppose Barry has either,as it would take both of us for authorisation..Can any of you offer any idea of how this could happen,,I will add that I will be going to the local HSBC tommorow to cancel the D/D and ask how it has come about....Larry
Hello boys,,well I went to HSBC and cancelled that direct debit,so hope that is the end of that..One of the lads sent me[2nd donation]£20 to cover the loss,and then I received a good donation from one of the Royal Signals soldiers that served on Gan..The total[all being well]stands at £2002..We have now had donations from female Qs,officers,airmen and soldiers,so all we need now is a civilian and sailor donation to have a"full house".Getting there slowly but surely..
Hello boys,,just a quickie,,type minivan news into your search engine and read Donnas article on the price of healthcare in the southern atolls[addu]..You can then see why we want to do a little bit to help....
Hello Terry,thank you for that..Regards Donna's post on minivan news,I think she got too near to the bone as they removed it from the front page,probably because of the story where the young woman nearly lost her child,due to a difficult birth with no proffesional help and no incubator for the baby.The same family could not afford the flight to Male to the hospital there,couple of hundred dollars,but no social services to help out..Big money hotels,private jets,but none of that money goes to the Adduan people.Plenty of flash up front,but just behind the front row is abject poverty...
Hello boys,,would you believe this--after getting Hsbc to cancel that unauthorised direct debit[£12]I got the next bank statement this morning and would you believe it,,another direct debit to another magazine..this time £18..I went straight down to the nearest Hsbc to check it out..Here goes-both of those direct debits were put on by a person from the Chesterfield area,and both to health and beauty magazines!!.I had an interview with the banks fraud department and I now know the name and adress of the person.They asked me if I wanted the police involved,but I would like the person involved to refund the £30 they took..I have moved the money into another account[Barry Turner is aware]and I will not be giving the new account number out for the above reason ie unauthorised d/ds,so if anyone is sending a donation can they just send it to me,made out to Gan airmens scholarship,to my adress Inver Wreigh,,Thropton,Northumberland NE65 7JD....Now once again-the person from the Chesterfield area,,you can have a few days to refund the money,,cheque/postal order or cash,the alternative is the police and court,and with the overwhelming evidence I would think the magistrates would give you a fine that will make £30 look small-fry..Taking money from charities,exactly the same as stealing the collection box from the local shop,,just about the lowest of the low--sort it out.!!
Larry, I do`nt think you should give this prat any grace, the fact that he did this in the first place is the measure of the "MAN". He will do it again ,if not to us then to some other poor bugger. I am inscensed . GET THE FRAUD SQUAD ONTO HIM!!!!!
Hello all,,all I can tell you ,is that the money has been replaced..I should find out more the next time I deposit some money..I have by the way received a donation from a Royal Navy sailors son,who passed through Gan[11yrs old]by himself on the way to boarding school in England,and never forgot the kindness shown to him by the staff in the blue lagoon,,so if you are the man[in whites]who got him a can of coke,,he sends his thanks...Just one of no doubt a million memories from people who came to,or passed through RAF Gan..Check out my new post regards the museum on Gan...Larry