The 2009 Veterans Reunion
The 73rd annual Veterans Reunion at the Marconi Athletic & Social Club in Beehive Lane took place on Saturday 18th April. Our president for 2009 was Veteran Phil Robinson who is the Senior Vice President of Selex Communications in the UK, introduced by Veteran George Hill, OBE as ‘a Marconi man’ through and through. In his address, after agreeing that he was proud to be called a Marconi man, Phil outlined how Selex Communications had developed from Marconi Communications as he felt that in many ways Selex was the natural development of Marconi, particularly as the workforce was substantially the same. Selex’s parent company, Finnmechanica in Italy, was a similar arrangement to the old GEC with a range of activities covering defence and communications.
With the move from New Street in Chelmsford to Basildon, Selex now has much better accommodation and a better working environment. It employs about 800 people on the site and has become the preferred supplier of some military communication equipment to many organisations throughout the world. He finished by noting that change is now the order of the day, and one has to learn to adapt to it.
Our special guest this year was Mr Roger Casale who is the independent political adviser to Selex Communications and Finnmechanica UK Limited. He was introduced by our chairman, Veteran Peter Turrall.
In his address Roger outlined how he had become a labour MP for Wimbledon, his home town, in 1997, and what he is now doing since ceasing to be an MP in 2005. In his time in parliament he was chairman of the All Party British-Italian Parliamentary Group and Parliamentary Private Secretary at Foreign & Commonwealth Office. Since leaving parliament he has run a management consultancy business with involvements in the UK and Italy. In his capacity as independent political adviser to Selex and Finnmechanica he mentioned the difficulties he experiences when speaking with MPs about technology.
As has been usual at recent reunions a coaster was produced to mark the year 2009. In this case it reflected on the departure from New Street and the death of our former Patron Sir Robert Telford. All the coasters can be viewed in greater detail at https://www.marconi-veterans.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=16