Festival of Flower Torches, São Brás
Festival of Flower Torches, São Brás

We’re not going anywhere…except maybe on Easter Sunday!

The Royal British Legion

I was privileged enough to be invited to the Royal British Legion’s lunch that was held in February at a local Portuguese restaurant near Olhão. I am a glutton for a lunch and any opportunity to meet some new people.

Not knowing much about the Royal British Legion, I did some research in advance and found out … they do so much! Their mission statement is “The Legion is at the heart of a national network that supports our Armed Forces community through thick and thin – ensuring their unique contribution is never forgotten.” I think everyone must know someone who is serving, or who has served, in the armed forces to serve their country.

The lunch was lovely – not just the food and the venue but the people were so nice and great fun. I talked to several of the long-serving Algarve committee members and, to cut a long story short, ended up agreeing to act as their media rep. PR and marketing was my role in the real world before I moved to Portugal and, actually, I am looking forward to dipping my toe in the water again and getting the brain cogs whirring!

So – the Royal British Region Portugal Branch isn’t just for serving and ex serving Armed Forces, it is for anyone who would like to support such a great cause. They have monthly lunches that are open to members and non-members and they have other events in between.

RBL logo

The next of which is on Easter Sunday (April 9) in São Brás de Alportel from 12.30pm. It’ll be a garden party at Casa Vida Nova with canapés, a buffet lunch and desserts with drinks – all for €15 for members and €17 for non-members. There will also be musical entertainment and an Easter Egg hunt.

At that event, there will be a prize draw to support the Royal British Legion Poppy Apeal. However, what they really want to do is grow the membership. It costs around £23 (€26) a year. Forget the financial or social benefits you may get for that – what you really get is that you are supporting such a good cause and you are part of a community. But, most importantly, you will help provide support to the Armed Forces community and their families – they have done so much for us, it would be good to give something back. If they were needed to protect us tomorrow, they would, so let’s be there for them today.

Wherever you are, please consider supporting us. Contact our membership secretary Stephen Bland at [email protected] who would be delighted to hear from you.

To book for the lunch, please contact Mary McClay [email protected]

Tip for Easter Sunday in São Brás

Why not get to São Brás early and experience a unique Easter event in a traditional Algarve village? The Festa das Tochas Floridas (Festival of Flower Torches). Walk through the town centre to see the streets adorned with a carpet of fresh flowers before your lunch. What is there not to love about a day like that?

By Jo Tarling

Jo Tarling is Media Rep for the Portugal and Atlantic Islands Branch of The Royal British Legion