The June meeting took place on Thursday 18th in The White Hart. Our guest speaker was John Hayward on the Royal British Legion in – Origins of the Poppy’. John began his talk by reciting a well known poem by wartime poet John McRae – ‘In Flanders Fields’. The Legion was founded after the First World War on 11 November 1921 by a Miss Michael and 5 disabled ex-serviceman opened a ‘poppy’ factory in a small premises in Bermondsey - £106,000 was raised that year from the sale of the first poppies. This grew to £14,000,000 in the 1990s and £45,000,000 in 2015. Sussex is the biggest contributor to the fund and there are now over 300,000 collectors nationally and a new ‘poppy’ factory is located in Richmond. In 1971 the ‘Royal’ prefix was conferred. The ethos of the Royal British Legion is welfare and bereavement support, which it has been providing to vast numbers of ex-serviceman for many years, including offering homes. Many people are unaware of the importance and necessity of the on-going work the RBL does and it is sometimes confused with ‘Help for Heroes’, another wonderful cause to help young disabled ex-servicemen and their families but which may throw the future of the Legion into doubt. To date £115.2 million has been raised from the poppy appeal, plus donations and legacies. So ‘remember’ to wear your poppy with pride and either become a collector or give generously when the time comes around, it is vital to keep this very valuable institution thriving! Questions were dealt with and John was thanked for his most interesting talk.
Menus were handed round for members to choose their lunches for our September meeting on Thursday 17th in The White Hart.
Teas, coffees and biscuits followed and the raffle was drawn.
A theatre trip to The Congress, Eastbourne on 16 July to see ‘The Sound of Music’ was well attended by members and family/friends and what an excellent production it was! Superb singing, acting and wonderful sets made this now ‘classic’ musical by a touring company well worth the visit. A warm afternoon with a pleasant drive and time for lunch beforehand made a delightful occasion. Many thanks to our Chair – Marian Williams for organising this.
There being no meeting in August we look forward to our annual lunch, this time in September (exchanged with the July trip) at The White Hart, Netherfield.
In October we will be ‘Extending’ ourselves in Juliet Williams’ exercise class, which is always a very happy time with lots of laughter as we try to keep in time with the movements and music!
November sees a return visit of Terry Kane with his wartime memories and 1950s’ radio programmes.
December brings us round once again to our Christmas lunch, which will be held at The Brickwall, Sedlescombe.
The Breakaway Club meets on the third Thursday of each month (except August) at 3 pm at The White Hart, Netherfield where you will be assured of a warm welcome and new members/guests are always welcome.
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