Let's Talk about Heritage - Alabaré Visit

Those with a common interest in Gibraltar’s heritage joined together on Monday night with heritage preservation at the heart of the conversation. There were members from the Gibraltar Heritage Trust (GHT), Friends of Gibraltar Heritage Society (FOGHS), Alabare Christian Care and Support, visiting Cadets from University Royal Naval Units (URNU), and those who had seen the invitation on social media, some 75 in total. The conservatory reception area was kindly provided free by the Waterfront. 

The evening was introduced by Commodore Richard Lord, Membership Secretary of the FOGHS who welcomed everyone to the evening and spoke about the importance of Gibraltar’s rich heritage and the need to preserve it for future generations. It was great to see both UK veterans from Alabaré and URNU Cadets undertaking volunteer work this week on heritage projects including at Lord Airey's Battery and O'Hara's Battery. The Chairman of the GHT, Ian Balestrino, spoke about the GHT’s role in Gibraltar’s heritage and how they appreciate the volunteer support. Richard Lord representated FOGHS, its some 500 members, mostly in the UK and noted that they were a grant making organisation. He mentioned larger projects which had to be funded including Witham’s Cemetery. For him, this evening was also about attracting new members and he hoped some of those present would join, especially younger members from the URNU. Building for the future is key. Andrew Lord, CEO of Alabare, covered the charity’s work with veterans in UK and thanked the GHT for their excellent support during this visit, also those who had contributed funds towards the charity’s costs. Present in this respect were the FOGHS and the Gibraltar Naval Trust. Warrant Officer Grover from the URNU spoke about their plans for the week and how they welcomed the opportunity to visit Gibraltar. Pete Jackson underlined the importance of the volunteer heritage work. 

Commander British Forces, Commodore Tom Guy, closed the talks by congratulating and thanking the organisers, saying how fantastic it was to see the all this volunteer activity supporting Gibraltar’s heritage, while providing rehabilitation and personal development.

Those present then shared experiences and helped fulfil the aim of the evening. It may be difficult to quantify success, but many learnt new aspects about Gibraltar’s heritage.  Additional visits were being arranged for later in the week.

Our Chairman, Ian Balestrino addressing guests.

Andrew Lord, CEO of Alabaré addressing guests.

Vice Chairman, Keith Farrell, speaking with students from the University Royal Naval Units.

Members of the Trust and FOGHS