|As usual, Michael Type got his timing just right. We were all enjoying Sandra Darra’s splendid Gala Charity Ball last December in celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. We had been wined and dined in the sumptuous Montreux Palace ballroom, and marvellously entertained by pipers, singers, harpists, and speakers from across Switzerland and the UK. As the coffee was served, an air of mellow British contentment pervaded the ballroom. Then Michael sidled quietly up to me, smiled sweetly, and popped the question. Would I be willing to take over chairmanship of the BRA when he retired in May 2013? How on earth could I refuse? And so here I am, feeling both hugely daunted and hugely honoured, having been elected unopposed by the AGM to become your Chairman. Michael will be a very hard act to follow; he is one of a kind. But I promise do my best to further the aims of the BRA, by encouraging lively participation in our social and cultural events, as well as promoting the interests of British residents in Switzerland and fostering relations with our Swiss hosts. I will clearly need a great deal of support, not only from Michael but also from the Council, from you the membership, as well as from my wife, Penny. I am sure however that working together we will drive the BRA forwards as a thriving, friendly, and highly respected association.
Andrew V. Wells
|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.
|As a result of publishing details about the Challenge Match between the Federation of Anglo Swiss Clubs and the BRA on 6 September, we have received a number of inscriptions from BRA Members but more will be welcome. Even if you are not up to the standard of Tiger Woods and other world-class players, you will still be welcome as long as you have a handicap of some sort!
Go to the event in Diary Dates to enrol.
|United Kingdom citizens needing a passport renewal or anyone asking for a new passport should be aware that the system changed on 3 June and their requests must now be sent to Durham in the UK. In recent years, passport matters for British residents in Switzerland have been handled by an office in Paris.
More details can be found in the British Embassy section.
After four years as Chairman where do I begin?
The list is endless. You have at all times had the best interests of us all at heart.You have visited all the regions for events and fulfilled your job as Chairman of the British Residents‘ Association throughout Switzerland above and beyond the call of duty.
In your speeches you have goaded us on to strive for success in all we do.
As “Honorary” Chairman your reward is personal satisfaction and you must feel very proud to see so many Members and Guests here today.
In the background you have worked hard and relentlessly, – putting the bulletin together, finding speakers, sorting out the office work, preparing for council meetings and always finding solutions to our problems, nothing was ever too much trouble and you often went the extra mile.
Of course you dotted the i with your contribution in organising the Victoria Hall Jubilee Concert which was a resounding success and with your natural wit and talent your comparing carried the evening through.
How can we describe you? – Charming, kind, a gentleman at all times, charismatic and as a leader on the Council your fairness, patience and loyalty to us all as individual members and to the Association as a whole has made you a hard act to follow.
Last but not least we also say a very big thank you to your lovely wife Pammy, always at your side supporting you and through that supporting us.
So Michael please accept this gift from us as a token of our appreciation for all you have done and to remind you of all the good times we have had together and to lasting friendship.
As many of you will know there has been a fight to save World Radio Switzerland, the English speaking public service arm, in Geneva, of the Swiss Broadcasting Service. The service has been an invaluable source of information and entertainment.
This battle has now been lost and it is probable that Radio Frontier, which is very commercially oriented, will take over but without DAB most people won’t be able to listen.
You can find out more about them at their website.
Romandie East’s intrepid explorer, Sandra Darra, has recently completed a 10-week saga touring Mongolia with younger son Marc.
You can see the blog of their of their fascinating adventure by clicking here.
One of the major objectives of the BRA is to assist British subjects in Switzerland.
The Victoria British Aid Fund (Geneva)
The Victoria British Aid Fund is a Geneva-based charitable organization providing assistance to individuals and families who are British (or of British descent) and who find themselves in unexpected personal or financial difficulty.
The British Charity Fund – Berne
The income, and increasingly, the capital are used to “relieve poverty, sickness or suffering and distress amongst British citizens temporarily or permanently in Switzerland”. It may also be used exceptionally, and at the discretion of the trustees, for these purposes anywhere in Switzerland.” Its income is increasingly used to help the other funds.
The British Community Fund (Montreux-Vevey)
The Montreux-Vevey British Community Fund – nowadays better known as the British Community Fund – is a charity which was set up at the beginning of the last century to help British citizens and those of British descent living in Switzerland, who – for diverse reasons – find themselves in financial difficulties. The charity keeps a very low profile but nevertheless does an enormous amount of good work, providing a helping hand to people in need when there is no other source available.
The Ann Catherine Nind Fund (Zurich)
The purpose of the Fund is “to assist needy, elderly and/or ill people having a direct link with St Andrew’s Church, Zürich, and its daughter communities, to maintain their independence and health.” It therefore has a restrictive remit.
Have you ever thought about helping others? You can join an English speaking hospice volunteer training programme.