Murcia Branch Activities During Poppytide

The Murcia Branch was proud to represent our Branch again this year at the Benidorm Poppy Appeal 2022 Launch held on 15th October 2022.

Billie Graham-Thomas 2022 Poppy Launch Benidorm
Billie Graham-Thomas 2022 Poppy Launch Benidorm

Our Branch Standard Bearer and Social Secretary David Haynes (Veteran) was honoured to parade with the Murcia Standard.

Carl Thomas (Veteran) the Murcia Branch Chairperson was honoured to be asked to parade the RAFA Standard. 

The Murcia Branch Community Support Representative and District North Caseworker Billie Graham-Thomas (Veteran) was honoured to parade up front as unfortunately the Chelsea Pensioner who would normally have been present had been taken ill that morning. 

Falkland Island Remembrance Parade Dave Bioletti 2022
Falkland Island Remembrance Parade Dave Bioletti 2022

The Murcia Branch Secretary David Bioletti a Falkland’s Conflict Veteran and South Atlantic Medal Holder was chosen along with his wife Julia Bioletti, who is also a Veteran and the Murcia Branch Treasurer and Membership Secretary attended the Falkland Island’s 40th Commemoration services.

The Murcia Branch was able to collect for the very first time in the Region de Murcia International Airport with kind permission of AENA.  The collectors were all committee members and did very well for the Poppy Appeal 2022 and more importantly raised awareness that the Royal British Legion is here in Spain.

We collected in several locations around Mazarrón and Bob Hurley collected in several venues around Calasparra and Cehegin.

Lesley Sampson, Gary Paul, Chip Adcock, Dave and Julia Bioletti, Dave and Adrienne Haynes, Carl Thomas and Billie Graham-Thomas collected on Camposol A and B. 

Irene Curtis collected on Condado de Alhama. 

We are so grateful again to be assisted by the Costa Cálida Chronicle who have collected for the RBL for some 15 years and have collected on behalf of the RBL Murcia Branch again this year, collecting an amazing 1,000€ for the Poppy Appeal 2022. Thank you to all their staff and advertisers who donated through their magazine.

The Ex-Serviceman’s Association Mazarrón District worked with us in collaboration for this year’s Poppy Appeal.  Their Association donated a wonderful 500€ to the Poppy Appeal 2022 and collected in the Puerto de Mazarrón area during Poppytide 2022 including outside the Food Co Store.

The Camposol gardening group Green Fingers raised a fabulous amount of 329€ with a beautiful Poppy Display.  

Ladies’ Chatterbox group donated 100€ from a collection held on the 27th October and donated a further 50€ when Billie Graham-Thomas the BCS rep gave a talk at one of their meetings.  

Mr Tony ‘Pompey’ Day and his wife Lynn Day held an Armistice Day event raising an amazing 400€.

Murcia Branch Armistice day service 2022
Murcia Branch Armistice day service 2022

On Friday morning 11th November 2022 we gingerly gathered at Los Palacios Memorial Garden, Camposol A for the first-ever RBL Murcia Branch Armistice Day Service.We waited with bated breath as the heavens opened and it poured with rain. My phone buzzed away with “Is the service going ahead?” and I held off until the very last minute to announce what we would do. Suddenly the skies cleared and the sun broke through.

Murcia Branch Armistice day service 2022
Murcia Branch Armistice day service 2022

It was like a sign had been sent to say, “Carry on.” As I lifted my head to look around at the small group who were busy prepping for the service, I saw people arriving in their droves. There were over 100 people in attendance, including the Mayor of Mazarrón Senor Gasper Miras Lorente and several other Councillors. Murcia Branch Chairperson Carl Thomas marched on the Murcia Branch Standard Bearer and Social Secretary David Haynes. Billie Graham-Thomas started the service off and explained that normally it would be our branch secretary Dave Bioletti. However, he and his wife Julia, our Branch Treasurer and Membership Secretary were in the Falkland Islands for the 40th Anniversary of the conflict. Pastor Duncan Tart presided over the service.

Murcia Branch Armistice day service 2022
Murcia Branch Armistice day service 2022

Lesley Sampson the Murcia Branch Poppy Appeal Organiser read ‘The Red Poppy’.

Billie E Graham-Thomas Branch Community Support Representative and District North Caseworker read ‘If you speak of me.’

Mr Baz Hamilton BEM and Veteran read ‘Unless You’ve Been A Soldier.’

Mr Bill Roberts a Veteran and chairperson of ESAMD read ‘A Message From The Fallen.’

Sierra Golf Resort Remembrance Monument 2022
Sierra Golf Resort Remembrance Monument 2022

FAST were kindly in attendance.

The photographer Mr Roy Alderslade took photos of the service.

Mr Bob Stocks a Veteran provided the electricity for the equipment.

Most importantly THANK YOU to all who attended to pay their respects to our fallen from the First World War to present day conflicts.

Remembrance Sunday on 13th November 2022

Carl Thomas Murcia Branch RBL Chairperson was asked to read a letter from a First World War soldier at a local service within Murcia. Our Standard Bearer David Haynes was requested to parade the Standard at the same service within Murcia. The service was also attended by Billie Graham-Thomas.

Remembrance Sunday 13th November 2022

Lesley Sampson, Murcia Branch Poppy Appeal Organizer took part in a service at the Sierra Golf Resort in Murcia which was well attended.

We thank you for all your support and remember every single cent we collect in Spain goes to our serving Members, Veterans and their families.

Details for the RBL Murcia Branch:

Chairperson Carl Thomas
Murcia.chairman@rbl.community

Branch Secretary Dave Bioletti
Murcia.secretary@rbl.community

Branch Treasurer and Membership Secretary Julia Bioletti
Murcia.treasurer@rbl.community

Poppy Appeal Organizer Lesley Sampson
Murciarbl.poppyappeal@gmail.com

Branch Community Support Representative Billie Graham-Thomas
Murcia.bcs@rbl.community

Instagram @murciarbl

Webpage https://branches.britishlegion.org.uk/branches/murcia/news/murcia-branch-in-the-news/

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