Basingstoke Civil Service Retirement Fellowship

There were 49 members and 2 visitors at the meeting held on 4th October who enjoyed the usual tea, coffee and biscuits before David Cowling, the Chairman welcomed everyone and gave apologies from those unable to attend.  Christine Broadbent, the Welfare Officer, gave her report and then Tony Brazier, the Secretary, gave details of the forthcoming trip to the Festival of Christmas at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard on Friday 1st December for which there were still places available.  He also confirmed arrangements for the Christmas lunch at BCOT on Thursday 14th December which was now fully booked, when a drink will be served on arrival, before a 4-course meal with wine or a soft drink followed by tea or coffee and mince pies.            

The title of the talk by this month’s speaker, Iain Kennedy, was “Cuba Libre or not so free yet?” in which he traced the turbulent history of this the largest of the Caribbean islands with an area of 109,884 square kilometres with over 11 million inhabitants.  The island was colonised by the Spanish in the 15th Century which resulted in the indigenous Arawak people becoming extinct as they succumbed to European illnesses.  The English took control in the 18th Century and exploited the trade in sugar and tobacco but is was not until the early 1900’s despite interference from America that it took its first faltering steps to democracy with Fidel Castro eventually taking power in 1959 after the corrupt mafia controlled regime of Fulgencio Batista.  World War 3 nearly came about after the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 but over the past few years relations with America had been steadily improving under President Obama only now for a very questionable future under President Trump and the pending retirement of Raul Castro.  Throughout all this time the one main influence has been the Roman Catholic Church to which the majority of the population still belong, however, will this beautiful Island and its people ever be really free?

The next meeting is on 1st  November when the speaker will be Vicky Chulworth from the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Air Ambulance. The group meets on the first Wednesday of each month at Brookvale Village Hall from 10 am to 12 noon and all retired Civil Servants and their partners are welcome. Further details about meetings and outings can be obtained from the Secretary Tony Brazier on 01256 418770 (Answerphone) or Mobile 07715 640171.

We’re looking forward to meeting our new September starters in a few days, we’ll be giving them a little taster of preschool when we have our information and play session on July 10th.
Then our last big event of the year is our leavers day – we’ll be spending the morning at Beggarwood Park playing and eating ice creams before heading back to preschool to enjoy afternoon tea with families and friends before a big sing-song and graduation ceremony – something we are all looking forward to.

We wish all of our children leaving us this summer lots of luck and every success at school. And wee hope you ALL have a great summer.

For preschool registration enquiries please contact Michelle Tejevo, Head of Preschool, on 01256 322788 or email

Our last PrePlay baby and toddler group of the term will be Friday 14th July at Hatch Warren Community Centre. 9.15am-10.30am and 10.45am-midday. Suitable from birth – 5 years. £3 per session. No need to book, just turn up and play.

Please also come along and see us at the Hatch Warren Community Centre Summer Festival on July 8th – Hatch Warren Under Fives will be there with lots of fun activities for little ones from 12pm-4pm.

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