NEWS & EVENTS
DISTRICT INVOLVEMENT IN THE GREAT PILGRIMAGE 90
As many will already know, the Great Pilgrimage 90 will take place in Ypres next month. Two of District North Spain's Branches, Mojacar and Hondón Valley are sending their Standards to take part in this once in a lifetime event, marking the 90th anniversary of the first such Pilgrmage in 1928. Belwo, you can find the text of the press release issued by Mojacar Branch.
LOCAL MEMBERS OF THE ROYAL BRITISH LEGION TO REPRESENT MOJACAR AT WW1 COMEMMORATIONS IN BELGIUM
Michael Coote and Christine Coote will travel to Europe for The Royal British Legion’s Great Pilgrimage 90 - 5-9th August 2018
Members of the Mojacar branch of The Royal British Legion are to join thousands on a pilgrimage of Remembrance to World War One battlefield that culminates in a parade and ceremony in Ypres as part of the end of the First World War centenary commemorations this August.
The Royal British Legion event, known as Great Pilgrimage 90 (GP90), takes place between the 5th and 9th of August and will be one of the largest in the charity’s history.
GP90 will mark 90 years since the original Royal British Legion Pilgrimage in 1928, which saw 11,000 World War One veterans and war widows visit the battlefields of the Somme in France and Ypres in Belgium, a decade after the conflict ended.
That Pilgrimage culminated in a march through Ypres to the Commonwealth War Grave Commission’s Menin Gate Memorial for a ceremony to commemorate the launch of The Hundred Days Offensive and in remembrance of those who never returned.
Local Legion members, Michael Coote and Christine Coote will represent the Mojacar Branch and the local community at the event, as Standard Bearer and wreath layer respectively.
Michael and Christine will tour some of the same battlefields and cemeteries visited by those on the 1928 Pilgrimage, before marching along the original route through Ypres, to the Menin Gate on the 8th August, bearing their branch standard and a wreath.
They will join more than 2,200 other Legion representatives and dignitaries, including Civic and military guests from the UK, Commonwealth and Northern Europe who are taking part. Once at the Menin Gate Christine will lay a wreath on behalf of the Mojacar community.
Andrew Richardson, Chairman of the Mojacar Branch of The Royal British Legion, comments: “Great Pilgrimage 90 is a unique opportunity for the Legion community to come together and bear our Standards along the same route in Ypres taken 90 years earlier by the veterans and widows of the First World War. The Mojacar Branch looks forward to proudly representing Mojacar at the event.”
As local champions of Remembrance, the Mojacar Branch of The Royal British Legion is looking to work in partnership with their community to bring their unique Remembrance message to the Menin Gate, on their wreath, where it will be displayed in a wreath installation for viewing by the general public until the end of August.
The parade will start at midday and we encourage the public to make the trip across to Ypres for the 8th August and fill the Market Square to watch the parade, One Hundred Days ceremony and then enjoy an afternoon of musical entertainment including The Central Band of the Royal British Legion.
NEED ASSISTANCE IN ALICANTE PROVINCE?
Did you know that Alicante Provincial Government has a department specifically aimed at helping the Province's many non-Spanish residents? They can be contacted for help and advice on 965 10 73 91 or by email at email@example.com . There's also lots of useful information on a huge range of topics available online in English (as well as Spanish and other languages) by following this link.
ARMED FORCES DAY - ORIHUELA CATHEDRAL
Armed Forces Day exceeds expectations in Orihuela Cathedral
First observed in 2006, Armed Forces Day in the United Kingdom is an annual event to commemorate the service of men and women in the British Armed Forces. Here in Spain the event was celebrated on Saturday 30 June to also include all those security forces, including the Irish Services and the Guardia Civil, National and Local Police here in Spain, to raise awareness and appreciation for those who look after our well-being, especially those who are currently on active duty.
The event, which was also mentioned in a BBC report, was held for the first time in Orihuela city where over 200 British and Spanish servicemen and veterans, led by the Torrevieja Pipes and Drums, and including 4 Chelsea Pensioners who had travelled to Spain especially for the event, marched the short distance from Plaza Teniente Linares, along Calle Mayor de Ramón de Cajal to the 13th Century Orihuela Cathedral.
After they were greeted at the door by the city’s mayor, a 45 minute service, held in English and Spanish, was conducted by the Chaplain of the Royal British Legion (Spain North), Pastor Keith Brown, along with the Cathedral Dean, Father José Antonio Gea.
The Chelsea Pensioners marched into the Cathedral accompanied by “Boys of the Old Brigade” played by the newly formed band of the Royal British Legion, Spain. To the tune of “The Royal British Legion March” they were followed by the Standards of the RBL Spain North, RAFA, RNA, RMA, British and Spanish military veterans.
During the joint denomination service of readings and hymns, conducted in English and Spanish, there was further musical and choral accompaniment by the Royal British Legion Band in Spain, the Crescendo International Choir and opera singer Paul Michael, who performed a moving solo gaining rapturous applause.
The service ended with the mayor of Orihuela, Emilio Bascuñana Galiano, addressing the guests in Spanish and a little English saying how delighted he was that the expatriate community were able to hold the service in the cathedral’s magnificent surrounds. He said how moved he had been during parts of a very emotional and extremely appropriate ceremony.
Following the service a reception was held for almost 200 invited guests and attendees in the magnificent cathedral cloisters.
Guests included the British Vice Consul Elizabeth Bell, the mayor of Orihuela and many of his councillors, amongst which was Rafael Almagro, Sabina Galindo, the councillor for Tourism and Foreign Residents, Sofia Alvarez, who has provided her support to the event since it was first muted many months ago, and the Chairman of the Cruz Roja in Alicante Province. Donald Cubbon and Lt Col (Retd) Nick Keen, the Chair and Vice Chair of RBL Spain, District North, were also in attendance along with many members who had travelled long distances to be at the ceremony.
Thanks must also be provided to the Orihuela Council which provided free transport from the coast, to the Dean of Orihuela Cathedral, to the organiser Eddie Coleman of the Orihuela Costa and District Branch and to sponsors The Emerald Isle La Florida, Designaright and Quiron Hospital.
It truly was an especial occasion which it is hoped will now become an annual event in the RBL Spain calendar. Additional photographs of this moving event can be found at the following link.
POPPY APPEAL DINNER DANCE
Members of all TRBL Branches are welcome to join Javea Branch at a Poppy Appeal Dinner Dance commemorating the end of World War One, kindly sponsored by Golden Leaves. Further details, including how to reserve your tickets, are shown below.
CASEWORKERS NEEDED FOR COMMUNITY SUPPORT
The Royal British Legion (TRBL) is looking for new Caseworkers across Spain. We are looking for new caseworkers in the areas of Javea, Benidorm, Alicante, Torrevieja, Zurgena, Barcelona and Mojacar
You do not need to be a member of the TRBL or a branch of TRBL to apply. Anyone is welcome to apply, either ring or email for a chat about what is involved. There are no formal qualifications required but if you enjoy being with people and want to assist or help sign post our beneficiaries so that the quality of their life is improved, then this could be for you.
Please contact Pam on 676451780 Monday-Friday 0900-1700 or email SpainNorth.CommunitySupport@RBL.Community
RENEWING YOUR PASSPORT?
HMPO has just released two very useful videos telling you how to apply for a new passport online and how to upload a digital photograph straight into the system. No more tiresome forms – have a look at Renewing your passport online is easy, convenient and secure and How to take the perfect photo. For more information visit the GOV.UK website here to get your renewal application started.
DISTRICT CONFERENCE 2018
District North Spain of The Royal British Legion held its Annual Conference in Ciudad Patricia in Benidorm on Friday 26th Janqary 2018. The Committee and Delegates from Branches were delighted to welcome Emma Cannings, Director of Membership and Volunteering and Sara Munsterhjelm, British Vice-Consul in Alicante as guest speakers. For a fuller report on the Conference, please visit this page.
DISTRICT NORTH SPAIN IS NOW ON FACEBOOK!
District North Spain now has its own Facebook page, which we will be growing over the coming days and months. your ideas and contributions are very welcome - visit us at @LegionInSpain
NATIONAL INSURANCE CONTRIBUTIONS
If your spouse or partner accompanied on posting outside UK on posting, they can now claim Class 3 National Insurance Contributions (a new class of contribution) right back to April 1975. This could help with UK pension eligibility and amounts. You can apply even if you’re no longer serving. Follow the link to find out more. Remember that since 2010 spouses and partners have been entitled to claim Class 1 contributions when accompanying overseas - that information can also be found in the same article. Read more here...
To mark 11th November and Remembrance Sunday, a number of Services of Remembrance were held across District North Spain. Photographs of some of them are published here .
For additional information about the background to Acts of Remembrance, please visit
NATIONAL RECOGNITION FOR DISTRICT COMMUNITY SUPPORT WORKER
At the recent meeting of the District Committee, District North Spain Chairman Don Cubbon expressed his pleasure and delight in awarding a certificate on behalf of Ian Fraser-Roe (National Overseas Support Coordinator) to Pam Twissell-Cross. In recognition of her outstanding work as District Community Support Officer for the District, Pam was awarded a Certificate of Recognition in the recent Volunteer's Week. The Chairman described the award as thoroughly well-deserved and added his own thanks for Pam's unstinting efforts on behalf of those across District North Spain.
NEW LEGION BRANCH IN MURCIA (BR3710)
A new Branch of The Royal British Legion was inaugurated in Murcia on 7th April. The lovely surroundings of the Sanctuary on the outskirts Calasparra made a spectacular venue. With almost 50 people attending there was great enthusiasm for starting a Branch in this northern area of Murcia.
The is the first new Branch to be opened in the District for seven Years and Chris Wyatt, District Secretary said “We are delighted that the Legion will now have a real presence in this area of Murcia. Branch members will be able to enjoy a varied social life as well as raising money for the Poppy Appeal and helping with Community Support. We wish them all the very best for the future.”
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