Major (Retired) Gordon G Bonner – Trustee-Secretary-Fundraiser
In 2009, both Chepstow and Arborfield old boys’ associations were working on ideas for a memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum (NMA). It was Gordon Bonner’s idea to combine these different strands which led to an initial meeting of representatives of all four major associations at the NMA in October 2009. Gordon was elected as Hon Secretary and he served with distinction in this role until May 2013. During this time plans were approved by the NMA, the project became a registered charity and the memorial was built and then dedicated in September 2011.
The driving force behind the success of the AANM was Gordon Bonner who spent many hundreds of hours planning, fundraising, liaising with many and various bodies and meticulously recording every nuance of the project.
The work of the secretary was taxing enough but Gordon also acted as chief fundraiser. Without his enthusiasm and wide range of contacts it would have been an uphill struggle to find the more than £100,000 needed to complete the project. It was Gordon who secured a final grant of £15,000 from REME Charitable Funds that cemented the Insurance and Maintenance Agreement with the NMA.
Gordon Bonner remains as a Trustee of the AANM and will without doubt continue to have much valuable input to the future development of the memorial and its importance to the old boys’ associations. He is leading on the development of a pan-association service at the AANM with the first such being held on 11th May 2014. All ex-apprentices owe a great deal to Gordon Bonner, the enthusiast who made one of the finest memorials at the NMA possible. DC