Welcome to the Hondón Valley Branch of The Royal British Legion
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The Hondon Valley Branch is presented with the prestigious Recruiting and Retention Award.
At the District North Spain Conference on 26th January 2018, Recruiting and Retention Award for 2017 was presented to the Branch Chairman, Ian McNeil. This Award recognises an increased membership and retention measures over the previous three years.
Ian said he was very surprised and delighted and paid tribute to all the hard work by his Committee members since the Branch was inaugurated 11 years ago.
our photo shows Ian McNeil receiving the award from Emma Cannings, Director for Membership and Volunteering, together with Peggy Wyatt, Principal District Recruiting Officer and other Officers of the Branch.
Congratulations to all
CELEBRATING BURN’S NIGHT
40 Members and Guests celebrated Burn’s Night at El Nuevo Valle, Hondón de los Frailes in grand style. Tony, the Piper did us proud and got us all in the Scottish spirit, with some members even trying out their (bad) Scottish accents!
Our MC for the evening Ronnie Mannell, told us of the life of Scotland’s National Poet – Robert Burns and we then celebrated in a way that Burns would have approved of – eating, drinking, music, piping and poetry! (and of course chatting) The haggis was piped in by Tony, which we toasted with a “ wee dram “ of whiskey, before tucking into Neeps and Tatties, steak pie, and finally topping off the meal with Tipsy Laird Trifle.
There followed a number of poems and the evening will also be remembered for Neil Pavitt’s poem “There’s a Moose Loose about the Hooooose”! The evening finished with a rendition of one of Burn’s famous songs Auld Lang Syne and fitting tribute to a great evening.
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Branch AGM and Awards
The recent Branch AGM was far from a “stodgy” affair. The Chairman Ian McNeil welcomed the recent past President Peter Broadbent and his wife. After ten active years, Peter was standing down as President and the role was now undertaken by Dave Stewart. To Peter’s surprise and delight, he was presented with a Poppy Pin made from British brass artillery fuses found on the battle sites at Passchendaele. His wife Margaret was given a beautiful bouquet of flowers.
Ian McNeil said he was delighted to recognise the tremendous work for the Branch and the Legion given by the members. Firstly he presented four Branch Awards – for service over and above that expected of a member – to Neil and Lucy Pavitt and Hazel and Dudley Rice. Then came the Poppy Awards. These were presented to Neil and Lucy Pavitt, both for five years service and Dave Sparks for ten years service to the Poppy Appeal. All these awards received great applause and not a few tears from the members present.
The meeting finished with a fun event put on by Pam Edwards who now covers social activities for the Branch.
The Committee are planning an extensive social programme for 2018 and anyone interested in coming along to any meetings or events is more than welcome- you do not need an Armed Forces background to be a member of a Legion Branch. Normal meetings (except December) are held at the Polideportivo Restaurant in Hondón de las Nieves the third Tuesday of each month, 7 p.m. for 7.30 p.m.
Our photo shows recipients of Awards together with the Chairman, Past and Present President.
Annual Poppy Ball - Ya Restaurante, Aspe
The Hondón Valley Branch held its annual Poppy Appeal Ball at Ya Restaurant in Aspe in early November. Over 120 members, friends and guests were welcomed into the Ball Room beautifully decorated for the occasion by organisers Neil and Lucy Pavitt. During a delicious meal, local opera singer Manuel Lazaro sang a number of well known songs from ILL Divo and The Three Tenors, much to the delight of those attending.
Following the meal we were able to dance to the Caribbean music of Greg Bannis the energetic, ex lead singer, with Hot Chocolate. Branch member Dave Sparks also entertained us with “Sparky’s Disco”
Once again a well organised and very enjoyable evening, thanks to Neil, Lucy and their helpers. Later Neil announced that a total of 1000€ was made during the evening for the Poppy Appeal and thanked everyone for their support.
The Branch are organising an extensive programme of events for 2018 and anyone who would like to come along and get involved in all the activities will be made most welcome. We have new members joining each month and you do not need to have an Armed Forces connection to take advantage of the social events.
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Remembrance Service - 10th November 2017
The Branch Remembrance Service was held in the Cultural Centre at Hondón de los Frailes. It was a beautiful sunny day and members, friends and guests were joined with other nationalities for the Service, which was lead by the Father Ray Andrews. Once again the Spanish Choir sang songs especially written for the occasion. Victor Ramirez Segura, the local European Councillor from the town’s Ayuntamiento read one of the lessons. Following the Service wreaths, flowers and crosses were laid in front of the War Memorial where we were joined by a representative from the NATO base at Albacete. A very poignant morning.
The Branch are organising an extensive programme of events for 2018 and anyone who would like to come along and get involved in all the activities will be made most welcome. We have new members joining each month and you do not need to have been connected with the Armed Forces to take advantage of all the social activities. For further information, please contact the Secretary on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website: www.britishlegion.org.uk/branches/hondon-valley
Anniversary Celebrations (11 Years)
September saw Members celebrate the 11th Anniversary of the Hondón Valley Branch of The Royal British Legion. The Branch has grown over the years and has gone through several changes of venue in order to accommodate an ever-growing Membership.
There were still some ‘Old-Timers’ present who remembered the founding of the Branch back in 2006!
The current Chairman, Ian McNeil, paid tribute to all those who had worked so hard for the Branch and the Legion over the years. Following the formal part of the meeting, Ian and his wife Susan cut the extremely tasty cake that she had made for the occasion.
The Branch organises various events locally and has visits to other areas as part of a very varied social programme. You do not need an Armed Forces background to join a Branch of the Legion. It is a great chance of making new friends and enjoying a full social life in Spain. Anyone interested in finding out more is asked to email the secretary on email@example.com or ring 865 66 61 58. The Branch website also gives further information about our Remembrance Service, www.britishlegion.org.uk/branches/hondon-valley.
Here is the September District Magazine (look for the article on the Branch Summer Party!!)
Click on this link to see the September Magazine