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Hondón Valley Branch

Welcome to the Hondón Valley Branch of The Royal British Legion

To find out about The Royal British Legion, the Hondon Valley Branch and getting assistance, please click here

 

District North Spain Magazine - October 2018.  (click here for link to the Magazine)  See how many times you can see references to the Branch!!

 

Hondón Valley Legion – Changes at the top - September

 New Chairman And Standard

Last week was the first Branch meeting following the summer break.  It saw the change of Chairman as Ian and his wife at moving to another area.  Neil Pavitt has now taken over as Chairman (pro tem) and thanked Ian for all the work undertaken over his chairmanship. 

Neil then gave the Branch a humorous - and often moving – account of his attendance in August at the Great Pilgrimage in Belgium, along with Branch Standard Bearer Roger Kingham.  They joined thousands of Armed Forces veterans and supporters from across the UK and worldwide in a pilgrimage of remembrance to some of WW1’s most poignant sites.     The three day event saw the 2,200 participants visit the WW1 trenches, battlefields and cemeteries of France and Belgium.  A very moving experience.

The recreating of the historic pilgrimage of 1928 was the Legion’s biggest membership event in modern history and was a suitable tribute from the members of The Royal British Legion in honour of the First World War generation, echoing the way the British Legion community commemorated the 10th anniversary of the conflict in 1928.

The meeting ended with the Parading of the Branch Standard resplendent in its new “Ypres 2018” scroll, which was in recognition of the Hondon Valley Branch taking part. Neil then thanked Branch members for their support.

Photo:  Ian McNeil and Neil Pavitt

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 HONDÓN VALLEY BRANCH LEGION MEMBERS HONOUR WW1 GENERATION BY RECREATING HISTORIC PILGRIMAGE OF 1928

More than 2,200 standard bearers and wreath layers paid tribute to the fallen.

Members of the Hondón Valley Branch of The Royal British Legion joined thousands of Armed Forces veterans and supporters from across the UK and worldwide in a pilgrimage of remembrance to some of WW1’s most poignant sites.

A spectacular two-mile march through Ypres to the Commonwealth War Grave Commission’s Menin Gate Memorial, led by 1,100 Standard Bearers, was the culmination of the three day event which saw the 2,200 participants visit the WW1 trenches, battlefields and cemeteries of France and Belgium.

Roger Kingham and Neil Pavitt attended the Great Pilgrimage 90 as representatives of Hondón Valley Branch, as a Standard Bearer and wreath layer respectively.

Mr Neil Pavitt, Parade Marshal District North Spain, a member of the Hondón Valley Branch said “Being part of such an historic event and representing my Branch in commemorating those that lost their lives in the First World War, was an honour and something I will never forget.”

The Branch Chairman, Ian McNeil said “The Branch members are extremely proud that Neil and Roger represented the Hondon Valley Branch in this event, recreating the Great Pilgrimage of 1928 and were also able to visit various cemeteries, museums and trenches.”

Roger Kingham And Standard

 

 Roger Kingham, Branch Standard Bearer

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The Hondón Valley Branch held its Summer Party at Tipsy Terrace in Hondón de los Frailes on 15th June.  This year it was in the form of a “Hog Roast”.  The hog weighed in at 80 kilos which meant there were “seconds” and even “thirds” for some!  Thanks goes to Jo, Steve and their team for their support.

Over 100 members, friends and guests enjoyed the afternoon.  Following the meal there was entertainment from the very “energetic” and extremely talented singer Suzie G.  The heat of the day did not seem to affect her exuberance as she encouraged guests to sing along with favourite songs and then dance to the “infectious music”  - including ABBA .

During the afternoon guests could “name the Teddy Bear” – the winning name being Nibbles!  as well as two auctions and lucky number draws.  The afternoon raised in excess of 600€ which was a great sum for Legion funds.

Thanks must go to Neil, Lucy and all the many helpers who made this such a fun event.  click here to see further photos

Group 1

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The May meeting of the Hondón Valley Branch saw us wishing we had a larger venue.  It was the return, by popular request, of Neil’s Magnificent Auctions.  Neil said he was amazed at the number of good quality items donated by members and friends.  At the end of the evening, Neil and his helpers, found they had raised over 350€ with half going to the Poppy Appeal and the remainder towards the cost for two Branch members to attend in August the re enactment of the Great Pilgrimage (90 years on).  With new members joining on the evening plus a full house of regulars, it was once again a fun evening.

Ian McNeil – Chairman – said “It was a lot of hard work by Neil and his “helpers” and I would like to thank them and I really appreciate the support of our members and friends in raising such a large amount in a couple of hours.

The Photo shows  Neil Pavitt and one of his helpers - Carol

Auction 1 (1)

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The April meeting of the Hondón Valley Branch of The Royal British Legion saw the Chairman Ian McNeil presenting certificates to our Branch Poets Extraordinaire.  The poems are now displayed on this website.  The social time included a quiz of anagrams of Beatles Songs, with much mirth as the answers were “sung” by members!  There then followed the Human Fruit Machine where members tried their luck at “three fruits in a row”.  By the end of the evening some of the fruits – particularly the bananas – were inedible!  A great fun evening raising monies for the Poppy Appeal.

Our photo shows our Human Fruit Machine ie.

Lucy, Hazel and Pam

Human Fruit Machine 18

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To commemorate World Poetry Day the Branch held a Poetry Competition.  The overall Members' favourite poem was written by Chris Pedley.  Congratulations to Chris and fellow Poets.  Click here to read all the poems.

Here we have Poets Extraordinaire

l-r  Chris Wyatt, Neil Pavitt, Carol Wealleans, Chris Pedley and Peter Broadbent.

Hv Poets

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Click here to view the April 2018 Edition of the District North Magazine

https://issuu.com/rblspaindistrictnorthnewsletter/docs/district_north_magazine_april_2018

 

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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.

 2018 Agm Hondon Award Recruitment 1

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

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CELEBRATING BURN’S NIGHT

Tony The Piper

 

Guests 3

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.

For further photos, please click here

Branch AGM and Awards
Group

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

Dancers

 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. 

Diners

For further photos, please click here

Remembrance Service - 10th November 2017

Group (1)

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   secretary.hondonvalley3577@gmail.com or visit our website: www.britishlegion.org.uk/branches/hondon-valley

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Anniversary Celebrations  (11 Years)

Anyone For Cake

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  secretary.hondonvalley3577@gmail.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