April 2015

IMG_5922The Committee has asked me to design a leaflet to be used for recruitment. It is hoped to be able to hand this out at the Old Coulsdon Fair in July. See foot of page 3 for initial mock-up.

Club News

In March we welcomed back Martin Bergs (knee operation) and Arthur Trunchion (his wife has been ill). Several were absent with colds. 
39 members were present plus our speaker and his guest. 
The Chairman’s Charity collection made £42.14 and the raffle raised £40 for the Amenity Fund.

Eric Jenkinson is back home recovering from a liver transplant. He was called in unexpectedly having been waiting over a year for a suitable donor.
Please advise news of members to almoner, hughroberts67@aol.com, tel: 01737 202243. Attendance: please notify Andrew Kellard, tel: 01737 554055.

Annual General Meeting: 5th February 2015

IMG_5924Chairman’s Report: Gerry Thompson
As Officers report to the Club each month, our Chairman concentrated on the proposed change of venue for our monthly lunch. The Committee is considering an offer from the Coulsdon Manor Hotel. The offer is at the same meal price (but for only two courses) but without room charge and would be of considerable financial advantage to the Club. Dennis Evans was asked to send out a discussion document for comment before our next meeting. For expected absentees, proxy votes should be sent to Dennis.

Treasurer’s Report: Roger Davis
Following the increased subscription last year, there was a reduced deficit this year (£109 including £128 loss on the Ladies Lunch). There was a £12 surplus on outings. £750 was raised for the Chairman’s Charity (Macmillan Cancer Support) and £42 was donated to Rev. Malcolm Newman’s charity ‘Crisis at Christmas’. The Amenity Fund (contingency fund) rose to £1554 and the bank balance stands at £3386. A vote of thanks was given to our Treasurer and the Financial Report was duly proposed and seconded.

Secretary’s Report: Dennis Evans
The Probus magazine has an article on ‘how to attract new members’. Please take a copy with the attached complement slip to display in your local doctor’s surgery or elsewhere.

Membership: Reg Baker: Currently 43. Next full list in April then ¼ly updates.
Other Officers: See monthly reports.

Election of Officers
Graham Fox (earlier in year) and Martin Bergs stepped down.
The following were proposed, seconded and elected nem.con.
Chairman: Andrew Banfield: Charity ‘Blesma’ (see page 2)
Vice Chairman: Gerrard Thompson
Secretary: Dennis Evans Treasurer: Roger Davis
Committee Members: Re-elected: Reg Baker, Jim Mulvey, Phil Munson, Ian Payne, Hugh Roberts;
New: Adrian Lasrado plus (co-opted after the meeting and to be confirmed) Alan Green.

Macmillan Cancer Support

IMG_5918This is our outgoing Chairman’s, Gerry Thompson’s charity to whom we presented a cheque for £750.00 at our AGM last month.

Our guests were Paul Holland and his father who are fund-raisers for Macmillan – Paul’s wife is the official fund-raiser for our area. Paul gave us a presentation on the work of Macmillan Cancer Support.

Macmillan receives no Government funding and is entirely supported by voluntary donations. Macmillan try to reach everyone diagnosed with cancer. In 2013 Macmillan raised £186m and supported 5.2 million people. At the present time there are 2.5 million people in the UK with cancer diagnosis and this is expected to rise to 4 million by 2030.

Macmillan is the leading cancer care charity specialising in ‘living with and beyond cancer’. Two other major cancer charities complement this work – Cancer Research UK which pioneers research to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured – Marie Curie which cares for people with terminal illness.

In the 1970s people lived on average one year after diagnosis. By 1990, it was just over two years. But nowadays, the story is increasingly about living with cancer and people can expect to live around 10 years after diagnosis. Perhaps one in four people face cancer alone, but Macmillan is striving to reduce this to zero with adverts featuring the slogan ‘You don’t have to be alone’. And more and more successful treatments are gradually reducing the fear of cancer and allowing people to live a full and rewarding life.

Macmillan’s support is primarily through their specially trained ‘Macmillan Nurses’ but they also have many other projects involving ‘inclusion’ and providing ‘specialised equipment’ to hospitals.

In addition to our Probus donation we are very grateful to Eugene Lightbody who made a personal donation. And, of course, we are very grateful to Paul and his colleagues across the country for the invaluable work that they do.

New Chairman’s Charity – Blesma

Andrew Banfield was inspired to support this, his charity for the year, following the very successful Invictus Games promoted by Prince Harry.
Blesma – The Limbless Veterans: With our support, Blesma can ensure that our Service men and women, who have served our country and who endure limb loss every day, can lead independent and fulfilling lives. A leaflet on Blesma will be on your table at this meeting.


April 2nd: Ian Payne: Decimalisation
May 7th: Open Meeting: Margaret Thompson: Harpist
June 4th: Colin Jones: Around the world in 80 gardens
July 2nd: Jim Barnes: Vulcan Bomber

Outings and Events

Gypsy, Savoy Theatre: Wednesday 27th May 2015 – fully subscribed.
Old Coulsdon Fair: Saturday 4th July – please support our Probus stall.
Kennet and Avon Canal Cruise with buffet lunch – Thursday 9th July.
Maidstone: Thursday 10th September – Hotel lunch, Old Time Music Hall.
Ladies Lunch: 15th October at Coulsdon Manor – please diarise.
For all the above, please contact jim@mulvey.uk.net, tel: 01737 555974.
Jim will be distributing a questionnaire concerning outing preferences. We do need to maximise numbers for our activities to make them viable.

Life in a Bubble – Michael Southwell

ISS020-E-045018_lrgAt the tender age of six in 1948, I lived in Fayed as my father was stationed with the British Army in Egypt. It was on the Great Bitter Lake. This is roughly half way down the Suez Canal on the western bank where ships would anchor up on their way through the canal. I, of course, did not know it then, but we lived in a world of virtual self-containment although like most of us at the time, life was fairly basic.

kensington_vilAccommodation consisted of two rooms per family each being a bedroom and one also being the living room. There was also a small block of two small rooms per family for bathroom facilities. All meals were provided at a central dining hall. Access to it was across the open sand which was all very well when the sun shone but not when there was a sandstorm blowing. Anyone who has been in one of these will know from experience that it is like being hit with thousands of hard pin pricks.

In fact my father one day had to go to Port Said by car and when he got back we saw that all the paint was off the rear wing which had been worn down to the metal. Doors and windows in the accommodation block did not fit very well – so every few hours you had to open the door to the outside and shove the sand out before the next lot arrived.

city-of-fayedOn the brighter side we had a cinema and a NAAFI where everything could be bought. We also had sailing at the weekends and a lovely lake to swim in every day. We also had birthday parties at the dining hall.

However, these good times were not to last. Education was so poor there that I could not write an essay, so I was packed off back to England to a crammer to catch up and be returned to the real world of post war life and of food rationing etc. The voyage home was by boat which was old and had no stabilisers, so in a heavy storm lasting three days, the protective canvas on the decks had to be roped down and we all retired to our bunks for three days. Such is life.

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