I've been invited to address the Royal British Legion ( Scotland) Women's section later next month.
It's quite a big affair, I believe with something like 2000 attendees and held after a parade and wreath laying in George Square. Its from 09:30 on the morning of 20th June, and I'm the first speaker. I have a feeling I am the warm up act...
The reason I am first on is the requirement for me to change into my glad-rags and attend a wedding in Ayrshire in the afternoon. The mother of the bride ( who originally assured me it would be a small affair), now tells me the costs are approaching £70,000, and I'm willing to bet they will go higher. German Dave, who is the groom, definitely has his eye on the main chance...
Anyway, back to the RBL(S)WS.
I have a variety of talks of varying length which I trot out for various occassions, but I felt this time I would redo the longest one which is about 20 minutes, the length of time I have been allocated.
My understanding is that the ladies want to hear about what the Gurkha Welfare Trust does, but you can't talk about it without talking about Nepal and it's poverty, it's beauty and it's magnificent people.
So I have been revisiting themes and facts, information and key features, and in the process have rediscovered all my enthusiasm for these best friends of ours. Of course, I have to talk about our latest National Treasure, Joanna Lumley. I caution the ladies about being too sure it will all come out all right - the MOD is not known for giving in.
I'm also allowed to make a plea for funds, which is in part why I'm doing it. We've just launched this year's Gurkha Highlander so the heart rending letters with their donations are already starting to come in. If I could collect £1 for every person who holds the Gurkhas dear in some shape or form, the GWT's job would be done.
We are seven serving Gurkhas who will walk the Gurkha
Highlander route again this year, 10th to 18th.August, in support of
the Gurkha Welfare Trust. The Trust cares for 10,000 old soldiers
and widows who did not serve long enough to earn an Army
pension. Now old and frail they rely on a monthly welfare pension
of £20 from the Trust for survival.
Help us to repay a debt of honour that is nearly 200 years old. Please support Gurkha
Highlander and make a donation of £20.
“Bravest of the brave, most generous of the generous, never had country more faithful
friends than you.”
Donations welcome at The Gurkha Welfare Trust Scottish Branch,
Gurkha Highlander Headquarters, c/o The Hexagon Building,
674 Pollokshaws Road, Glasgow G41 2QE or www.gwt.org.uk
Gurkha Welfare Trust Registered Charity 1103669