Awards for Hondón Valley and Orihuela Costa at RBL Annual Conference
The National Director of Membership, Emma Cannings, was in Benidorm to attend the 2018 Annual Conference of the Royal British Legion Spain, District North and to present awards to branches from the Hondón Valley and the Orihuela Costa.
The Hondón Valley Branch received the annual Recruiting and Retention award, while the Branch Poppy Award went to the Orihuela Costa Branch.
Emma outlined the positive steps being taken by the RBL in the areas of recruitment and membership renewals. She spoke of governance and of the RBL structure, after which she explained how the organisation is working towards simplifying many of its rules and procedures.
The meeting itself largely covered reports and forward planning, during which Chairman Don Cubbon spoke of his delight at the launch of a new branch in Murcia, the new District Magazine and the imminent introduction of a Facebook page, which will cover the whole of the District area.
The District Community Support Officer, Pamela Twissel Cross, introduced Billie Graham-Thomas, who had been medically discharged from the Royal Navy and who was now a beneficiary of the RBL Welfare System. Billie spoke of how her life had been changed by the assistance she had received from the Legion whilst living in Spain. This inspired Billie to go on and become a Welfare Case Worker for the RBL.
Pamela then presented a short video showing further examples of the support that the District has been able to provide to local beneficiaries. Over 200 reported cases had received visits from her volunteer caseworkers during the previous year.
Alicante’s British Vice Consul, Sara Munsterhjelm, addressed the conference. She spoke of the importance of the RBL in providing the Consulate with a link to the expat community. She then gave a BREXIT update covering healthcare, pensions, voting in local elections and onward movement within the EU.
The Poppy Appeal Organiser, Robin Hargrave, announce the total achieved by the 2017 Appeal was 169,622€, an increase of 2.65% on the previous year. He thanked the many individual and branch Poppy Appeal Organisers who had worked so hard to ensure such an encouraging result.
The election of new committee members saw Ken Matthews, Susan Shaw, Christine Walden, Eddie Coleman and Kevin Reardon elected to the District committee.
Following the reaffirmation of the District Standard, a welcome to the new Vice Chairman, Lt Col (Retd) Nick Keen, the national anthems of the UK and Spain were played prior to the marching out of the District Standards.
RBL Murcia Branch
The meeting in February was chaired by Carl Thomas in the absence of Steve Carne who was unwell. Everyone wished Steve a speedy recovery.
Carl reported back on the Annual Conference in Benidorm that he had attended and gave a quick resumé of recent welfare cases that he and Billie had been involved in. The Murcia Branch standard had been raised at a recent funeral in Mazarrón after a request from the family.
Due to personal circumstances, the posts of Treasurer and Poppy Appeal Organiser have become vacant. If you feel that you can fill either of these posts, please contact any committee member or email email@example.com
The new venue for the next few month’s Quiz Nights is the Hotel Argos, Calasparra which is on the road from Cehegin to Calasparra. There is plenty of parking and is easy to locate. Please book your teams as soon as possible and confirm if food is required.
Sunday March 4th – Teams of 4 8€. Oven cooked chicken/chips 8€.
Sunday May 6th – Teams of 4 8€. Food tbc.
Anniversary Celebration Lunch – Saturday April 7th
This will be held at The Sanctuary, Calasparra. This event is to celebrate the 1st Anniversary of the RBL Murcia Branch and it is hoped that this date will be celebrated every year. The Sanctuary was chosen as the venue this year as this is where the inauguration meeting was held. Other venues throughout the area will be considered for future celebrations.
Lunch will include a full menu with choice of main course and wine/beer/soft drinks during the meal. More information tbc.
March Meeting – Thursday 29th March 7pm @ La Tapizzeria, Avenida Cuidad de Mataro No 12, Cehegin.