For the October meeting and lunch, Ladies Probus Menorca visited the Taj Indian Restaurant at Port Addaia, which was a new venue for the Club and proved a great success. Kesh, his wife Sandy and their staff spared no effort in looking after everyone and even provided a special meal at short notice when they discovered that one of our ladies was a vegetarian. We just hope they will be prepared to put up with us in the future for a return visit!
Our President, Jill Sutherland, welcomed members and guests to the lunch and then on a more serious note reminded us of the many families here in Menorca who are suffering in the current economic climate, and outlined some of the ways in which we can all do small things to help which collectively can make a real difference. Pens, pencils etc, for children in schools; dry food goods and basic household items are just some of the things desperately needed which can be easily donated via the Red Cross.
Items to be won in the October raffle had a ‘travel’ theme, and some really super prizes were on offer for our lucky winners. Our thanks as always to Jan and her raffle team.
Following the raffle, we were delighted to welcome one of our favourite speakers, Menorca’s own British Honorary Consul, Deborah Hellyer. Deborah is always both entertaining and informative and a pleasure to hear. She began her talk by telling us about Menorca’s bid to become a World Heritage Site and that she had had the privilege of meeting and talking to Queen Sofia at the Isla del Rey in August. (The Queen arrived and departed from the Isla del Rey by helicopter, so no chance of a chat on the ferry!!).
Deborah then struck a more serious note: she talked of some of the cases she had dealt with this year involving residents and visitors to the island who had suffered accidents or ill health. It is not possible here to repeat all that she recounted, but the essence was that if you live here permanently, ensure that you abide by the rules for obtaining state health cover. If you are a visitor, make sure that you have health insurance in addition to your EHIC and check with your insurers that you are covered before you embark on private treatment in Menorca. Deborah stressed that if you live here but go back to UK for an extended visit and register with a GP, then you will be ‘deleted’ from your GP’s list in Menorca. You cannot receive the equivalent of ‘National Health’ treatment in both countries. In summary, check the rules, abide by them, and make sure you have adequate cover!
In November, Ladies Probus Menorca visited yet another new venue, Restaurant Minerva in Port Mahón. The warm and sunny weather early in the month had been replaced by a rough and chilly wind, so Minerva’s ‘floating restaurant’ in the harbour would definitely have been a bit nippy..! Instead, we were seated comfortably in a first-floor private dining room with a fantastic view of the harbour from the full-length windows. After a welcome from Jill, who gave us a quick résumé of the various events taking place in the community in December, we were treated to a seemingly endless array of starters, followed by our main course (meat or fish), served with wine of course, and finally a dessert and coffee. The staff at Minerva really could not have been more helpful and friendly and are clearly made of stern stuff as they were unfazed by the gradually increasing volume of almost 40 ladies chatting and laughing together all at once! A big ‘thank you’ to all those at Minerva who looked after us so well.
We had persuaded Bryce Lyons, President of the Menorca Britannia Association, to return to us in November to give another talk to our members. Fortunately, the date of our lunch did not clash with his busy schedule and Bryce was able to join us along with his wife, Sheila, as our guest speaker. Bryce’s love of Menorca is from the heart, and his knowledge of its history, especially with regard to the periods of British influence, is tremendous. Like many people in Menorca, he is a great admirer of Admiral Collingwood and entertained us with a very human story of Collingwood and his dog, Bounce, who accompanied him on board ship and was his close companion. Following the loss overboard of the dog, Collingwood’s crew saw how much he missed his four-legged friend and bought him a new puppy, which he also named Bounce. For the rest of Collingwood’s life, the little dog remained with him.
Bryce also told us something of the contrasting lives of Nelson and Collingwood, their respective parts in the Battle of Trafalgar, and Collingwood’s naval career thereafter until his death. As always, it was fascinating to hear him, as he never fails to deliver some new and intriguing facts about Menorca and its history. Thank you very much indeed Bryce and we look forward to hearing more from you in the future.
Ladies Probus Club lunches are held on the second Thursday of each month. Our Christmas Lunch (members only) on Thursday 12 December 2013 will be held at Pedro’s in Cala Torret. The lunch on Thursday 9 January 2014 will be at Restaurant Way on Mahón harbour. For bookings, please phone 616 390 801 no later than the Monday immediately prior to the lunch.
If you would like more information on the Club’s activities, please contact Jill Sutherland on 951 190 200 or at: firstname.lastname@example.org.