74 Walkers and partners signed up for the dinner, although at the last minute one couple had to withdraw because of a death and a relative’s serious operation in UK that day.
As usual the meal was at Satari’s. Abi always produces an excellent meal and this one was no exception.
There was a very noisy atmosphere until, after the main course was finished, Leader Brian stood up to give his (hopefully not too long) speech!
Brian mentioned the Walk Leaders who could not be present. Heather Maybury has not been able to return to Spain since June because of the illness of her husband. Frieda Verbruggen has just had a successful knee replacement so she and Robert are in Belgium. David Gower waited a long time for a hernia operation and had it just before Christmas. Because of this Brian pointed out that sometimes getting a Leader had been difficult and he thanked Karen White from Javea and Jacqui Bartlett for stepping in at short notice. All but two of the Leaders do not reside full time in Spain.
He also pointed out that we are not getting any younger and that he and his wife would soon be ‘put out to grass’ as walkers were sometimes overtaking him! He asked walkers not to be shy in volunteering to lead walks.
He remarked that Leaders could often recognise a walker but not remember their names. Since September last year 179 different walkers had taken part so this was to be expected. It was difficult to work out who had done the most walks as the majority of the group were ‘swallows’ spending time elsewhere in the world, however a token gift was made to Jacqui Bartlett who had completed 24 walks. She was given something to help her to carry on to the end of the season…..6 bottles of water! She and the rest of the diners thought this was hilarious.
Brian thanked all the walkers for their support and said what a pleasure it was to lead such lovely group of people. He concluded by thanking them for their generosity to our adopted charity, ‘The Brothers’ Home’ at Gandia.
From the numerous emails and conversations since, it appears all thoroughly enjoyed the evening.