Having been invited to the neighbouring Kinloss RAF base for lunch in the officers’ Mess a month or two back, Richard Coates our Public Relations officer, returned the compliment, inviting the Wing Commanders to visit The Park and have lunch with us on Friday 21st November. I asked him to report how this auspicious visit went:
“On the appointed day a minibus arrived with the Base Commander, Group Captain Garfield Porter and several of his senior officers, two public relations staff and a couple of civilians who work on the base in the areas of health and safety and the environment.
They were guided around The Park, with first a tour of the Field of Dreams, the whiskey barrels, Bag End and the Nature Sanctuary. Then the Universal Hall and into the Living Machine before heading to the Community Centre for lunch. The officers were animated and fascinated by what they saw.
Most of them had not visited before or only fleetingly, perhaps to the Phoenix store. They all expressed great appreciation and interest both in what we are doing here and how we do it, and were glad to find our doors wide open and so welcoming.
They showed particular interest in the Living Machine as they are looking into setting up a Reed Bed system to deal with the toxic run off from the chemicals they have to use to keep their aircraft ice-free at all times. Admiration was expressed for the Hall and our guests were fascinated by the quality and variety of the organic food served up for lunch. The two listener-conveners of the NFA (New Findhorn Association), Kay Kay and Richard Brockbank helped to fill in the answers to questions about our wider and growing community.
The RAF personnel, being in effect on duty, had to wear uniforms and so it was obvious who they were as we stood round and blessed the lunchtime food. There was good-hearted camaraderie between them and the community staff and guests. All in all the day presented a wonderful opportunity to re-establish connections with our nearest neighbours and to realise how much we have in common.”