The Orihuela Costa Branch of the Royal British Legion held it’s annual carol service on Thursday evening following the December monthly meeting at the Olympia Restaurant.

After feasting on mince pies the branch sang along to a number of traditional carols with accompaniment from the Phoenix Concert Band, led by branch member David Last. 

Cathy Carson came out of retirement for the evening

The carols were punctuated with songs from Cathy Carson who came out of retirement just for the evening.

Members were in an especially good mood following the announcement of another record poppy collection by the branch.

Once again the branch surpassed all expectations with their Poppy Appeal by collecting the incredible sum of €49,914, over 4,000 more than last year, which in itself was a record amount.

From small beginnings only 9 years ago, when the branch was first formed, and supporters collected a little over €6,000, the amount has increased year on year, thanks to the hard work and dedication of it’s enthusiastic members.

Golf contributed €12,000 to the total amount thanks to the generosity of local societies and the efforts of Mick ‘the grip’ Reeves and Mick Gossage.

The Phoenix Concert Band
The Phoenix Concert Band

There was a sizeable amount collected at Iceland in San Javier by Diana Wiltshire and her army of volunteers while a number of other branch members spent four days at Alicante-Elche Airport where the poppy boxes attracted sizeable donations in both Euros and UK Sterling.

In addition to the donations gathered from the sale of poppies fundraising has continued all year round, one valuable source of income being the bookshelves, managed by Don and June Williams and that are located in a number of bars around the region.

In announcing the final total, Poppy Appeal co-ordinator Eddie Coleman had a smile as wide as the gap between Mr Bean’s ears, as he thanked the many individuals who had provided their magnificent support to this amazing cause.

The Orihuela Costa Branch meets at the Olympia restaurant, Mil Palmeras, on the 3rd Thursday of each month at 7.00 for 7.30pm. The branch enjoys many social functions, and everyone is welcome.

The District has 19 Branches and all arrange varied social events, as well as raising money for the Poppy Appeal and supporting our beneficiaries. New members are always welcome and you do not need to have an Armed Forces background to enjoy all the Branch has to offer.

Locations and details of all our Branches can be found on our website: uk/counties/spain-north. For support and information, please email or call 676 451 780.