The Chairman’s Blog


Council Members and I were delighted to see such a good turnout for the AGM and Spring Luncheon on 10 May. This was an encouraging indication of a healthy membership interested in the wellbeing of the BRA. A write-up of the events and a résumé of the main points discussed at the AGM can be found in this Bulletin. The main issue was revision of our Articles of Association by abandoning the notion of associate membership and widening full membership to accept all members of Commonwealth countries and Ireland. Continue reading

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Membership Directory

Your Council has just taken the decision to publish the Directory for the first time since 2007! All members will receive  a paper copy in alphabetical order (surname, given name). For those members for whom we have an e-mail address we will also send a PDF version. This will be sorted alphabetically by surname but will have a second version sorted  by Region / surname.Publication will be in August, because we have decided not to ask for advertisers, which would delay issue by 2-3 months!

In future we will issue the PDF version every year. The printed version will be issued once every 3-4 years.

If you would like to keep up-to-date, inform our Secretary of your e-mail address. If you haven’t got one then get one!

Nigel Coombs

 

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Modification to qualifications for membership

The AGM 2014 has voted for a modification of the Articles of Association to abandon Associate membership and permit British, Commonwealth, and Irish citizens living in Switzerland and its environs to be eligible for membership.
The new version of the Articles is available here.
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Chairman’s Blog

It is always sad to record in our Bulletin the deaths of BRA members. This is particularly the case with the sudden passing at the beginning of the year of a very loyal member, Stephan Meier-Jones, the beloved husband of our Vice-Chairman, Angela, for whom he was always a great support in organizing events in the North-West Region. The Memorial Service in January was attended by a very large number of people, including many from the BRA. On a brighter note, there was an excellent turnout at the much appreciated Winter Luncheon in the Casino Berne. Continue reading
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Voting rights for Brits

The Expat Brits Campaign Team is campaigning efforts to have the 15-year rule lifted. They need to get registration levels up very significantly! They would like all unregistered voters, not affected by the 15-year rule, to register (before 7th May 2014 ) and vote in the European Parliament elections in the UK rather than in their country of residence.
You can read more here.

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New Rules on UK Residence and how they might apply to you!

A new set of rules defining residence in the United Kingdom have been introduced with the 2013 Finance Act, to worry, intrigue, and mystify us. These rules provide a legal definition of residence called he Statutory Residence Test.

Read more about it here.

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Change of Chairman

Regrettably, due to a sudden deterioration in the health of his father-in-law, Andrew Wells has had to resign his chairmanship. As Vice-Chairman, Nigel Coombs has agreed to assume this role at least until the AGM in May 2014.

We very much regret Andrew’s departure and your Council will be studying his ideas for reforming the BRA and making proposals to present to the AGM in May next year.

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FCO Public Consultation

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has carried out a 12-week consultation to amend part of the British Nationality Act (BNA) 1981 to allow the FCO to centralise its consular birth and death registration service from April 2014.

You see the results and follow the link to the FCO site here.

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Live Theatre near you

One of our members is leading a campaign to get English Theatre shown live in cinemas in Switzerland. She asks for your support – you can read more here.

 

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Change of HM Ambassador to Switzerland

As you can see in Rosemary Billinge’s report on the BRA AGM and Spring Luncheon, our Patron, Ambassador Sarah Gillett, is leaving at the end of this year for another Diplomatic Service appointment. The Foreign and Commonwealth has announced that her successor will be Mr David John Moran, currently Chargé d’Affaires in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Mr. Moran’s profile can be found in the British Embassy section.
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