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SPRING NEWS LEITER
Contents
Preamble
1           Visit to the Ayuntamiento of Mahón and Santa Maria Church.  Tues. April 3rd.
2           A visit to the Albufera. Wed. April 11th
3           Language exchange visit by Sevillanas, April--Update
4           Menorca Britannia organising the British tribute for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee, Saturday June 2nd.
5           Menorca Britannia organising the “British Menorca” event Sunday June 3rd.
6           Golden Farm visits resume
7           Other matters of interest.

The winter season ended on a high note last Saturday with our traditional Island Tour by auto bus. A slightly longer day than in previous years as we finished the excursion visiting Son Martorellet for their spectacular new show for 2012. Starting later than in the past and lasting a full 2 hours the show included new acts and ideas together with the best loved of past years. The coordination between the singer and horses was especially thrilling. All those attending had a wonderful day and the weather could not have been better.

Your committee have arranged a number of visits for the near future and are working very hard on the organisation of two very special events at the beginning of June. Perhaps our most ambitious yet, some details of these events feature prominently in the following paragraphs. Please remember that the Asociación Menorca Britannia is an organisation requiring member’s involvement as well as just attending visits and events. Any ideas and comments will always be gratefully received as will any offers of logistical support.

1.           Visit to Mahón Town Hall and the Church of Santa Maria onTuesday 3rd April.
As detailed on the notice sent to you all a couple of weeks ago, we are to be received at the Town Hall by the Mayor, Sra. Agueda Reynes. We will have a guided visit of the Council Chamber with details of the histories of the various famous Menorquin sons and daughters over the centuries and their various achievements in the world of science, medicine and the arts.

This will be followed by a guided tour of the adjacent Parish Church of Santa Maria and a close inspection of the ground floor. We will also see the gallery and the organ loft together with the organs’ workings. Our member Dr.Alberto Gil (expert on the bells of Europe) is hoping to obtain a day off work from the hospital Mateu Orfila and escort us to the top of the bell tower to describe the work being done for the brand new bell. The views from here over the whole of the city are fantastic. This is a unique opportunity, and especially for all of our photographic enthusiasts. The visit is free and should you not yet have booked, Sheila looks forward to your telephone call.

2.                 On Wednesday April 11th we are visiting the Parque Natural S’Albufera d’Es Grau and by an agreement with the Regional Ministry of Agriculture and the Environment of the Govern Baleares. This visit has been arranged a little later in the year than originally planned at the behest of the wardens as they believe that early April is the best time to see the flurry of activity of the breeding birds and the abundant flora. We will be met at the centres offices and information building where we will be given a full briefing by the experts before the conducted tour. Again this must be a not to be missed visit for all nature lovers and photographers. A notice will be sent in the next few days giving full details of another free morning. Please do not reserve a place until you receive the notice.

3.        The Language Exchange with our group of English language adult student friends from Dos Hermanos, Sevilla.
We are extremely grateful for the interest shown by some members who answered our call for volunteers to accommodate the group. However, as the group numbered between 20 and 30 we would have been hard pressed to find places for them all. (Perhaps we will have more volunteers next year) Well the pressure is off and the visit postponed for a future, as yet to be determined, date. Since the demise of Spanair they have found the prices for flights have risen dramatically to become totally prohibitive and ill affordable. Remember that those from mainland Spain do not have the 50% discount that we residents of Menorca enjoy. But, yes, yet another group put off by the lack of, and the prices of flights, to Menorca!!

4.          Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee Commemoration.
As you would expect Menorca Britannia are taking the lead in organising this momentous event.
The logistics are formidable and it is obvious that this could not be arranged single handed. However, from our initial approach to the Alcalde of Es Castell, Lluis Camps setting out our ideas and continuing with our invitation to all the other British Associations, and some Spanish to which we are affiliated, to help with the organisation of the event the enthusiasm has been fantastic.
At our initial open meeting of those interested an Organising Committee was formed. This is made up of the full Menorca Britannia committee with the addition of Lluis Camps, Mayor, Maria Coll, Councillor of Culture, Jaime Federlich, councillor of tourism--all of Es Castell, and David Vidal representing the Consell Insular tourism department, Desti Menorca.
We also have a representative each from--the Rotary Club, Ladies and Gentleman’s Probus, the Red Cross, Asociación Rociero de Menorca, Club de Jubilados d’Es Castell.

Much was covered during the first meeting of this working committee last Monday but we all went away with much to organise individually.
We have been promised the full logistical support of the works team of Es Castell council.

The Plaza Esplanada will be at our disposal and the large marquee from Sant Lluis will be erected together with the stage. An external stage will also be available together with covered “chiringuitos” for each of the participating associations. Tables and up to 1000 chairs will be available. It is expected that an arena will be sanded for the horses and stands erected for spectators.

The whole day is to be themed 1950’s and it is hoped that everyone will enter into the spirit. Although the full programme has yet to be finally agreed and timed it is expected that the day will start at 11.00am with a cavalcade of veteran cars, motor cycles, bicycles horse drawn carriages etc. which will parade around the square having set off from Sant Felipe heading along Kanes Road to Mercadal. This is being arranged by the Amics del Isla Del Rey and not only celebrates the Queens Jubilee but also the 300th Anniversary of Richard Kane becoming Governor of Menorca.

The day continues with continuous live music from various groups with music from the 50’s and 60’s. And there will be one or two surprises. A typical British community “Street Party” is being organised with professional catering when everyone will be able sit and eat together. Throughout the day there will be a beer and refreshment stall and the associations stalls will include Rotary Club—Tombola, Red Cross—Crafts, Men’s Probus—Pimms Bar, The Charity Players will be putting on a suitable performance and there will be a choir recital. It is hoped to have an early evening performance by a group of Menorquin horses, and several notable solo singers are being approached to put on a concert. Antonio Ruiz has offered the free transport of the sand required for the arena and the Asociacion Rociero de Menorca of which he is President is hoping to have a typical Andaluz Gypsy Carriage supplying Jamon Serano and other products. It is expected that Hort Sant Patrici and Gin Xoriguer will be producing specially labelled commemorative bottles of wine and gin throughout this summer for sale to the British holiday makers and these will also be available on a stall at this event. The evening will finish with a popular dance for the whole community with music by a live group.

With little or no money available the whole is being organised with the goodwill of volunteers. Can you help? We obviously need bunting and themed paper cups and plates which are readily available by mail order on the internet. Can you offer help during the build up, distribute the posters and leaflets, actually help serve food on the day? Will you make an effort to dig out those old clothes in the wardrobe and give them a 50’s makeover? Can you help by sponsoring a part of the event? We certainly need all the support you can give to make this the momentous day we want to achieve.

5.          We are organising “British Menorca” the following day Sunday June 3rd.
 This highly successful event last year in May was financed by the Consell Insular Department of Tourism, Desti Menorca and as you are aware the Asociacion Menorca Britannia gave much voluntary support during the two weekends. We all know too well the present financial crisis that the various authorities find themselves in since taking over at the last election. After several meetings it became obvious that money was not available to run such an event this year. What a shame to lose the impetus of such a popular event.

This is a time during which we should all work together for the benefit of tourism and as the majority of residents of Menorca are directly or indirectly involved and reliant on this, we decided that Menorca Britannia should organise the event using, wherever possible, the goodwill and volunteers from various organisations. What better than to hold this on the day immediately after the Queens Jubilee Commemoration with all of the infrastructure already being in place.

As last year the event will be themed 18/19 century with as many participants a possible in costume of that era. A detailed programme is still to be completed but we do already know that most of the associations of the previous days will be taking part with, in addition most of the Menorquin artisans demonstrating their manufacturing techniques of the past. Two folk groups have agreed to take part, Grup Folkloric Castell de St. Felipe with their traditional Scottish dance and others, plus the folk group Es Rebost who will also parade their beautiful and authentic costumes as well as providing an hour of music and dance. We are hoping to employ some children’s entertainers once more to give the local youngsters an enjoyable experience and work is underway to persuade the ponies to be in attendance again. With various enquiries underway with various musical groups, bands and singers as well as an agreement being hoped for from Son Martorellet for another fabulous display of Menorquin horses during the early evening this will be a very full and colourful day. It is expected to end with another popular dance for everyone during the evening. Again any offers of sponsorship and/or logistical help will be gratefully received. There will be some substantial costs involved but with some small amounts from the authorities, (hopefully) and the financial support of some local businesses (hopefully) we as a non profit making organisation will make a resounding success of the day. Please let us know by e-mail to our address at the head of this news letter if you are able to offer such financial support however small. Your organisations name will be prominent on all publicity. The next meeting of the organising committee is on the 16th April following which more and fuller details will be available.

6.          Guided visits to San Antonio, Golden Farm

We are pleased to announce that, following discussions with Camila Delas Vigo and Iñigo Orbaneja, the owners of the estate, we are again able to offer guided visits throughout the Summer.

It is now officially recognised by the authorities that Menorca Britannia should be allowed to arrange these and therefore we are able to promote with more publicity than the trial run of last year. Visits will be on virtually every Monday and Friday evening starting on Friday 4th. May. And we have already taken some advance bookings. We are arranging A4 size posters printed in both English and Castellan which will be ideal for putting in Shops, Banks, Restaurants, Bars and Tourist Information Offices. We are also printing a large number of ¼ page size leaflets (printed both sides in the two languages) which will be ideal as handouts, putting in all hire cars, villa & apartment welcome information folders etc. etc. A copy of each of the posters will be sent to each member by e-mail and we would be obliged if you could help with the distribution within your own area or business. Please let us know how many copies of each size you require and we will arrange to deliver these to you.

7           Other matters of Interest
Coming up later in June will be our very popular annual Dinner Dance. Details as yet to be agreed.
Also in June will be the Annual General Meeting where you will be able to vote for your new officials and committee
During July it is hoped that there will be a “sell out” once more for the Fiesta Del Carmen, Blessing of the Fishing Boats” as it is commonly referred.

Remember that all reservations should only be made by telephone (after 7.00pm) to Sheila on 971366206 and if you encounter the answer phone please leave a message together with your Membership and phone numbers to enable her to telephone back as soon as available.

All other offers of help, sponsorship any ideas you may have and comments should be made by e-mail to menorcabritannia@msn.com or by using the comment form on our website www.menorcabritannia.org

Bryce Lyons
President
On behalf of the committee
Asociación Menorca Britannia
March 24th. 2012

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