Simon Weston CBE was in town once again last Friday evening when he presented his one man show ‘An Evening with…’ to a packed audience at the Olympia Restaurant, Mil Palmeras.
Simon, who is regarded as one of the very best speakers on the UK circuit, showed his worth as he captivated over 350 people who were there to pay homage to the Falklands Veteran.
The former Welsh Guardsman was supported on stage by one of the Costa Blanca’s foremost young talents, Rebecca Holt, who, despite her tender years, has also been a longtime champion of the Royal British Legion, organisers of the evening’s event.
And it was Rebecca who got the evening underway with one of her signature acts, a tribute to the war years for which she was dressed in the uniform of an ENSA (Entertainments National Service Association) L/Cpl. She gave a masterly performance featuring many of the period hits that were especially well received by the enthusiastic audience. As Becky brought part one of the evening to a close she was pleasantly surprised when Simon Weston then appeared on stage to present her with a jeweled poppy brooch, as a thankyou for the years of support that she has provided to The RBL in Spain.
After a short introduction by Branch President, Pastor Keith Brown, there followed a rapturous reception for Simon Weston which surprised even the man himself as he quickly realised the esteem in which he is quite clearly held on the Costa Blanca.
Simon then spent over an hour recounting his days, from the fateful invasion of the Falkland Islands in 1982 that so dramatically changed his life, through the 90 or more operations and medical procedures he has undergone, his family life, experiences, and his relationship with the royals, throwing in many anecdotes and amusing stories along the way, all the while radiating optimism, courage and strength.
His irrepressible humour and infectious enthusiasm was clearly visible as he had his Mil Palmeras admirers enraptured for almost an hour before switching from direct delivery as he then provided the audience with an opportunity for questions and answers, his final message being one of sheer determination and acceptance of whatever difficulties you are likely to meet along the way. “The only obstacles to achieving one’s targets and successes are those you create for yourself,” he said, his words never failing to inspire.
As Simon concluded his presentation the audience rose to their feet in applause, clearly demonstrating the admiration in which the Falklands war hero is still held on the Costa Blanca.
Rebecca then returned to the stage for her second spell, this time following a more modern theme, Simon continued his evening’s work where he was in great demand to sign almost 50 purchased copies of his autobiography. He then spent over an hour meeting many of the Mil Palmeras crowd before the evening was finally brought to a close.
The event was organised by the Orihuela Costa Branch of the Royal British Legion and supported by the generous sponsorship of Avalon, Currencies Direct and Sanchez Butron Solicitors with profits donated to the annual poppy appeal.
More information on the work of the RBL locally can be found at http://branches.britishlegion.org.uk/branches/orihuela-costa. The Orihuela Costa Branch meets on the third Thursday of each month at the Olympia Restaurant, Mil Palmeras starting at 7.30pm