By ELOISE WALTON [email protected]
The Portugal Branch of the Royal British Legion (RBL) raised around 30,000 euros in this year’s annual Poppy Appeal, according to a report from the chairman during the annual general meeting (AGM) held at the Hotel Garbe in Armação de Pêra on November 25.
In his Poppy Appeal report, Ron Goddard, chairman of the Portugal branch of the RBL, thanked the national organisers and collectors as well as presenting a certificate signed by the Branch President, British Ambassador Alexander Ellis, to RBL member Sandra Wilkinson for her work in coordinating the appeal in the Eastern Algarve.
Sandra said that she accepted the award on behalf of all of those who helped collect, especially at the airport.
During the AGM, which was chaired by Ron Goddard, with Paul Wigram as Secretary, the members were informed of the achievements during 2009.
Treasurer Stewart Austin outlined the branch’s excellent financial state and thanked JHQ Lisbon for providing independent auditors to scrutinise the accounts.
Darren Behenna, the RBL membership secretary, said that for the first time ever, the branch had more than 300 members, with membership numbers having increased by almost 100 per cent in just a few years.
A motion was carried to reflect the current exchange rate which should see a reduction in fees for 2010.
Des Briggs, in his welfare report, told the members of the increase in welfare cases which resulted in almost twice the amount of financial aid being distributed in 2009 compared with the previous year. He also thanked the British consuls in Portugal and the caseworkers for their support.
Mark Hanmer, who leads the RBL’s training, gave thanks to the UK for conducting courses in Portugal which resulted in more than 30 people receiving formal training in 2008.
He also informed the members that there would be a further caseworkers’ training course to be held at the Hotel Garbe in March 2010.
Recruitment coordinator Barbara Briggs, using the Branch’s recently purchased projection equipment, also tested her recruiting road show on the members during the AGM.
Ron Goddard then thanked the outgoing Vice Chairman, John Harwood, for his support over the years.
The entire committee was re-elected, with Des Briggs as the new Vice Chairman for 2010.
For more information about the Portugal branch of the RBL, please visit the website, available in English, at www.portugal.legionbranches.net.