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Tuesday, 12 April 2011

90th Anniversary of the Royal British Legion celebrated in Spain

Keith Brown and Fr Terence Sampson (Royal British Legion Chaplain and Hon. Assistant Priest at SS Peter and Paul) 
Keith Brown, reader in training in the parish of Saints Peter and Paul, Torrevieja, was a key organiser of a programme to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Royal British Legion. Two concerts were held in the new Sala de Diputación in Alicante on Saturday 2 April, to packed audiences. I would estimate that close to 4000 persons were in attendance in total.
Ruth Lorenzo and Chelsea Pensioner
Massed voice choirs from the region were joined by a brass band and the Torrevieja Pipes and Drums. Ruth Lorenzo, a finalist in the 2008 X-Factor television competition and a native of nearby Murcia, was one of the guest singers. Also performing was the group All Angels, a successful classical "cross-over" group of young women sopranos. Cathy Carson, a popular singer originally from Yorkshire now a member of SS Peter and Paul, (and the wife of Keith Brown),  performed some favourites from the Second World War. 

I led a Drumhead Service which was incorporated into each concert. Military personnel returned from service in Afghanistan (including one injured soldier) and several Chelsea Pensioners were present and were given a particularly warm welcome by the packed auditorium.

Many mayors of nearby Spanish towns and cities were on hand for the concert and service in the evening, and remarked on how moving they found this particular British cultural/religious/military observance.

One fifth of the Royal British Legion overseas members reside in Spain.

All Angels (except for the one in the middle!)

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