Message from the Chairman
I am delighted to tell you that our friends in Beaujolais (BNM) have invited the members and friends of EVTA to join them for a weekend of fun and feasting from 26th to 28th September. They could not accommodate us earlier as many of them will be on holiday.
We plan to travel by Eurostar leaving Ashford at 0926 on 26th September. To obtain the best fare we need to book seats by the end of April. Full details of the weekend will be available at the AGM.
The AGM will be on 16th April and I am looking forward to a record turnout. We have a lot to discuss for the future, and have a number of ideas and events already in the pipeline.
This year two Committee members are retiring. Anne Leva, who has served EVTA so well over the years, will be working abroad for much of the year. Our Treasurer, Mike Evans, has to stand down to fulfil other commitments. Please complete the nomination forms ready for an interesting election at the AGM.
Your ideas, comments and suggestions will be most welcome, so put your thinking caps on. After the formal part of ghre meeting we can relax with a glass or two of wine. I look forward to seeing you on 16th April in St Mary's Hall, Elham.
EVTA starts the New Year with a swing!
Broome Park Mansion House, with its golf course (hence the reference in the title), was the venue for this year's EVTA New Year Lunch. Tables were set out in the Jacobean Room, which provided a relaxed, family atmosphere for the occasion, bringing together a good mixture of members and guests from most of the villages in the Valley and beyond. A welcome break from the damp, grey weather outside.
After drinks in the Kitchener Bar - named after the Mansion's one time owner Lord Kitchener - and a chance to take in the splendour of the spectacular hall, we sat down to eat a three course meal. This was attractiviely presented, the food was good and service was quick and unobtrusive. This was followed by a raffle introduced by the Chairman, in his inimitable style, with the usual touch of franglais.
One member reported that he tought it was the "best EVTA New Year's lunch ever, an excellent venue and superb lunch." What can one add to that? Some of you missed a treat!
Lord Mayor's Reception for local Twinning Associations
It was a filthy winter's night but Diana Forrest and I trundled forth to represent our twinning association at a special reception held by the Lord Mayor of Canterbury.
It would have been worth attending for the canapés and the champagne alone but in fact it was the perfect opportunity to network with other "twinners", to discuss shared difficulties and successes and to pledge mutual support.
We learned some interesting facts from members of the Herne Bay, Whitstable, Sturry and Canterbury Twinning Association and discovered the Three Cities Twinning which consists of Vladimir (Russia), Bloomington-Normal (America) and, of course, Canterbury. This last, as I understood it, seemed to be a link with the cities' churches. They all have difficulty recruiting younger members and the exchanges between school-children that we'd all hoped to see take place just don't seem to be happening in the current climate of child protection, so we are not alone in our unsuccessful efforts to get the next generation involved. These historic links or "partnerships" as they are now being called were all senior to ours by some years, so it was useful to pick their brains. We also thought that it would be worth remembering that our new-found colleagues are willing to involve us in their own events should we be interested, or to welcome our guests to their own patches when we are laying on a visit from our twins. This might help to make our entertaining less stressful in the future!
We also learned that there are some small grants available for community-based events that we might arrange for our twinning partners, and we definitely intend to explore these in the future.
The Lord Mayor gave us a short address, stressing the importance, as he sees it, of the relationships that are created by twinning with other communities. A long-term "twinner" himself, he has kept a watching brief on those other local associations that have striven to create and maintain not just links with French communities as we have done, but links with communities in America, Russia, Germany, Poland, Africa, etc. It was heartening to hear that the efforts of those beavering away at the coalface of Twinning is recognised and valued by our local authority.
|16 April||A.G.M.||St Mary's Hall, Elham|
|27 April||April Amble||The Unicorn, Bekesbourne|
|21 June||Beaujolais Wine-tasting|
& Boules -
Elham Open Gardens
|The Triangle, Elham|
|2 July||Déjeuner sur l'herbe|
Picnic, BBQ and games
|Kingpost, The Square, Elham|
|26-28 September||EVTA visit to BNM||Beaujolais|
|Autumn||film show||Derringstone Hill House, Barham|
|December||Excursion d'une journée||Boulogne|