Our highlight of the year is always our annual Service and Commemoration and Parade and in 2018 we exceeded all expectations with visibly increase numbers of participants and spectators. Of particular note was the additional involvement of youth, schools and community groups which bodes well for the future. Despite recent unfortunate negative comments which were made in an open forum I was delighted with the level of media exposure both before the event and afterwards which generated many more column centimetres than we have achieved for many years. The event was also covered by Forces Television and was broadcast throughout the day, immediately after the parade. This was picked up on the Army in London website, Facebook page and Twitter account which all attracted extensive exposure and positive comment. Regional Jewish (an other local) press covered the local parades and the AJEX National Parade with extended stories and picture captions. My thanks and congratulations go to all involved in both the event itself and the work in liaising with the media in support.
We have now consolidated AJEX involvement with We Were There Too and this has given us extensive public exposure and coverage in the Jewish press in Manchester and Liverpool and beyond as well as The Manchester Evening News, Liverpool Echo and Mirror Regional Newspaper Group. I have also given three media interviews on the back of this. There were lost opportunities in the early days of WWTT but we are more than making up for this now it has been rolled out into the North West, with opportunities of further expansion into other regions at a later date. I am keen that AJEX retains its natural place as a key partner in the initiative.
You will see from the chief executive’s report, which I won’t repeat here, that progress is being made on all aspects of our re-branding – please wear your new AJEX ties and badges with pride. We are in the process of restructuring the office and our day to day operations and this will involve changes. Please be patient and give our chief executive every support.
We said farewell to Jacques in fine style to mark his retirement. It isn’t farewell as he has accepted our invitation to become a vice president of AJEX and I look forward to working with him in the future. His knowledge is invaluable.
Change is never easy but I would like to thank all the staff, executive, trustees and volunteers who make AJEX work. Your contribution is appreciated and will be essential as we move towards and exciting, in not somewhat challenging future.