Two significant events for the Orihuela Costa Branch of The Royal British Legion last week, the ‘big reveal’ of the total amount raised by the 2018 Poppy Appeal and the very first appearance of the RBL Concert Band at the Town Hall Carol Concert on Saturday evening.
On Thursday local Poppy Appeal coordinator Eddie Coleman, with the assistance of nine lady members, announced that the branch had once again surpassed all expectations with their Poppy Appeal by raising the incredible sum of €49,162.80, over 4,000 more than last year, which in itself was a record amount.
From small beginnings only 9 years ago, when the branch was first formed, and supporters collected a little over €6,000, the amount has increased year on year, thanks to the hard work and dedication of it’s enthusiastic members.
Golf contributed €9,000 to the total amount thanks to the generosity of local societies and the efforts of Mick ‘the grip’ Reeves, Mick Gossage and Mike Probert.
There was a sizeable amount collected at Iceland in San Javier by Diana Wiltshire and her army of volunteers while a number of other branch members spent four days at Alicante-Elche Airport where the poppy boxes attracted worthwhile donations in both Euros and UK Sterling.
In addition to the donations gathered from the sale of poppies fundraising has continued all year round, one valuable source of income being the bookshelves, managed by Don and June Williams and that are located in a number of bars around the region.
A super evening also at the Playa Flamenca Town Hall on Saturday where the RBL Concert Band were out once again, under the direction of David Last, to play a selection of Christmas Carols, along with approximately a hundred people of mixed nationality.
Organised by the Councillor for Foreign Residents Sofia Alvarez, they played a dozen or so popular carols including the Spanish classic Fum, Fum Fum, although many of the traditional moves associated with the song were sadly lacking, presumably as a result of the gathered ensemble being 50 or 60 years older than the children who usually act them out.
This was the first such gathering of carols organised by the town hall but it certainly won’t be the last. As the RBL MD said he now knows what is expected so there will be no excuse why the crowd can’t be multiplied tenfold when the band plays again next Christmas.
Perhaps the absence of a P.A. system will also be addressed for 2019 although, with a small choir provided by the Studio 32 Theatre Group encouraging the gathering to join in, it still proved to be a thoroughly enjoyable evening.
Spain District North of the RBL has 19 Branches and all of them arrange regular and varied social events, as well providing support to our beneficiaries. Local Branches meet in Gran Alacant, Torrevieja and on the Orihuela Costa. New members are always welcome and you do not need to have an Armed Forces background to enjoy all the Branch has to offer.
Locations and details of all the Branches can be found on the website: www.britishlegion.org. uk/counties/spain-north.
For welfare support and information, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 676 451 780.