1475 (DULWICH) SQUADRON ATC staged their fourth and now famous Christmas concert in aid of the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund at the Central Church of the Royal Air Force, St Clement Danes in London on Thursday evening 13th December 2007 featuring the full chorus of the internationally renowned London Welsh Male Voice Choir with international soloist Ann-Louise Straker, soprano.
The Jack D Lane DFC Memorial Christmas Concert, to give it its full name is produced by 1475 Squadron ATC every two years in memory of the unit’s Patron, who was a WWII member of Bomber Command RAF. To date, and with this year’s concert generating a further £6184.75, the concerts have raised just under £24000 for the RAF Benevolent Fund. To a packed house, the Choir and Miss Straker gave a contemporary, traditional, and seasonal performance, which delighted the audience. Amongst the guest were Air Marshal Sir Rob Wright, Air Chief Marshal Sir David Cousins, respectively Controller and former Controller of the RAF Benevolent Fund, and their ladies, Lord Swansea, Air Commodore P P Reddy Air Advisor from The High Commission of India and Mrs Reddy, personal representatives of the Lord Mayor of the City of London and members of the Haberdashers’ and other Livery Companies.
Last May, The Squadron was honoured with the presentation, by the Chief of the Air Staff, of the ATC Certificate of Merit and the RAF Benevolent Fund Poignard
by the Fund’s Controller, in recognition of the Squadron’s fund raising initiatives for the RAF charity. The Squadron holds very dear its obligations to the RAF family in keeping with the Fund’s motto: The Debt We Owe. In his foreword, the Squadron Commander, Flight Lieutenant Kevin Mehmet RAFVR(T) said: “As can be seen from the Lord Mayor’s endorsement, 1475 Squadron holds unique appointments, patronages and honours. 1475 Squadron is by any definition a remarkable unit, but all that cannot count for anything if we do not play our part in the community and in particular within the Royal Air Force family; ‘our family!’ I am grateful to you all for supporting us in fulfilling that role. I thank you all for supporting such a worthwhile charity that is the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.”
None of the concerts could happen with out the cadets. 14 of whom, under the command of Sgt Raymond Lim and Sgt Stephen Coulstock, worked extremely hard as ticket sellers and collectors, ushers, cashiers, programme sellers, and not to mention doing the job of tidying up afterwards. The highest praise was paid to them by the Compere, Mr Berwyn Evans who thanked them and said that they were a credit not only to the Corps and the uniform they wear, but also to the young people that make up our society. The concert was dedicated to the memory of the late Air Marshal The Lord Garden who died in August 2007. Lord Garden was President of London and South East Region Air Cadets and a keen supporter of 1475 Squadron.