One fine day and one fine poppy walk
The 2014 Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal kicked off last weekend with a Poppy Walk attracting nearly 150 walkers.
Organiser Rachael Lyes said: “Considering the foul weather just an hour prior to the walk commencing we were delighted with the turnout. 140 walkers completed the first 5Kms and a further 35 then went on to do another 5Km lap. The entry fees raised 1,470TL, sponsorship a further 1,350TL and the raffle 540TL, so all in all the event raised almost exactly £1,000 towards the Appeal. We would like to thank ESTA Travel Agents and JK’s Bar for their kind sponsorship plus all the local businesses who kindly donated raffle prizes of a meal for two or several hours of flat green bowling, and of course local entertainer Aaron Kane for whipping the crowd into a frenzy on the microphone. There was a large contingent from the Civil Emergency Services Volunteers who took part and it was a treat to see the two Chelsea Pensioners in their scarlet tunics and both actually completed the walk!”
Kyrenia Branch Chairman Major Brian Thomas added: “Our members are really looking after the two in-pensioners Jim Hawtree and Jim Anderson, and from the minute they landed at Ercan on Friday night they have been faced with a two week itinerary of guest appearances, sightseeing, lunches and Remembrancetide events. They gave us a few vocal renditions at the Punjab restaurant on Sunday. ”
The Appeal is set to continue with a Poppy Ball at the Savoy Ottoman Palace Hotel on Friday 7 November at which a record 285 people are set to attend with entertainment being provided by Kelvin & the Blackjacks and Billy J Redif. This is followed on Saturday afternoon 8 November with the British Police memorial unveiling service at the old British cemetery in Girne which commences at 4.30pm.
Major Thomas added: “Contrary to popular opinion this event is not a private affair but is open to the general public. Seating will be limited however with most being reserved for the 37 Police and relatives of the fallen who have travelled from the UK to attend, Turkish Cypriot relatives, official dignitaries and wreath layers. It is correct that the serving UK Police officers have been advised by the Foreign & Commonwealth office not to attend in uniform but there is absolutely no truth whatsoever that there has been a ban of any kind on anyone attending from wearing their officially awarded medals or decorations.”
There will be a VIP reception following the memorial service for invited guests sponsored by CreditWest bank at the Chateau Lambousa in Lapta.
The Remembrance Sunday service is next up at the old British cemetery commencing at 12.30pm on Sunday 9 November and is a special event being the fifth anniversary of the unveiling of the British Cyprus memorial.
He continued “We are proud to say that following the 26 wreaths being laid at the Police memorial unveiling on Saturday there will be a record wreaths 53 being laid at the Remembrance service, can you imagine the riot of colour and there will be nowhere else on the island that will have 79 wreaths in total being laid.”
Following the service there will be a Sunday lunch at the Ship Inn in Karaoğlanoğlu which is now fully booked with 175 people attending. There will be a 20 minute presentation on ‘The Tomb of the Unknown Warrior’ by Cyprus Emergency veteran Douglas Wares who is travelling from the UK, a 1950’s photography display by Richard Chamberlain who served in Cyprus with the Royal Signals and of course community singing to finish off the event. The final event of the Poppy Appeal is a trip to Wayne’s Keep cemetery in the UN buffer zone on Monday 10 November. Two 55 seater coaches depart from the Pia Bella hotel at 9am and should return by 12.45pm. Reverend Canon David Wilbraham, who is the senior Police chaplain in the UK, will conduct a short remembrance service at the cemetery and the RBL standard bearer Kim Tyler will be in attendance.”