Bridgwater-Marsa Twinning Association
Minutes of meeting Tuesday 1st May
At the West India House
Present- Pat Morgan, Steve Morgan, , Mike Grabner, Di Grabner, Barbara Taylor, Gordon Taylor, James Morgan, Peter Braine.
Apologies- Joseph Abela, Bill and Carol Harman, Helmi Holder-Wolff.
Minutes from last meeting- received
Chairman Report- Mike Grabner welcomed Mr Peter Braine who is the Honorary Publicity Officer for the Bridgwater and District Civic Society. PB thanked PM for inviting him as she is trying hard to establish a link between his group and the Marsa group. The email address that Dominic Spencer had given her was for an elderly gentleman called Anton she had sent to him but apparently his son says he does not use the internet very much so PM had asked Dominic if he could get the email of a younger lady in the group who is a teacher. PB explained he had been to Malta in the 1950’s in an artillery unit based in St Patricks.PM said she would ask Joseph Abela if he would be able to help him as JA had been in the army there.
Correspondence- PM reported that the Marsa Football nursery (children 6-18 years) would like to be linked with a group here (PM will put a piece in the Mercury) Dominic had also asked if we had any famous singers in the town. A general discussion was held as we have many talented singers in the town- carnival concerts, choirs, operatic, pantomime and choral society. MG asked if we could ask Dominic to clarify this- PM will do.
We had an invite for 2 to the New Mayor Councillor Graham Granter’s installation on 11th May at St Mary’s Church and then a reception at the Town Hall after. Barbara and Gordon Taylor will be happy to represent the Association.
PM had seen Steve Gill our previous Chairman who had recently held a Malta Day in the town and she invited him to come and tell us about it but unfortunately he has not come.
Report from Secretary- PM gave an account of the families trip over Easter to Malta for James, Laura (daughter) her husband and baby it was their first visit. The weather had been very variable but had been able to see the Good Friday procession in Zejtun where all the statues were paraded around the town in a very solemn procession with some of Marsa Scout band (some in Roman dress and the others in Scout uniform) On Easter Sunday we were looking forward to the celebration parades but due to very heavy rain we were disappointed. Later we had a BBQ on the roof of Dominic’s house. We also went to see the beautiful sand pictures in the Marie Regina church rooms and we also saw the beautiful costumes used in the Palm Sunday parade. We met up with Francis Debono now the Deputy Mayor and his wife as well as Dominic Spencer and his lovely family who entertained us extremely well. We also met up with other friends.
Treasurers report- small increase in amount in the bank now £1,393.85.
Membership Secretary report- TB had sent out an updated list. PB asked how many members we have TB answered 25 individual members and 2 corporate which are Wembdon Scout Group and Penrose School. PB asked if those present were all of the same age group ( which we are ) as the Civic Society are having a problem as they are getting older and there does not appear to have an interest for younger people. SM and TB hope that as Scouts are going to Malta that perhaps parents may be interested.MG said that it is problems to know what people’s expectations are from us as some think we get cheap holidays! He also explained that in Marsa it is council led where here we are lay people with patronage from our council. MG also explained our beginnings and the formation of the core group and the expansion.
Reports from members- James one of the Scout Leaders from 1st Bridgwater (St Georges) Wembdon Scout Group is taking a group of 14 scouts and 4 adults from 27/28th October to 4th November they are awaiting flights to be released. He used the holiday to visit Scout camp sites and met some of the Island and District Commissioners so has made some very useful contacts. Although he did not meet any of Marsa Group as they were extremely busy due to their pipe and drum band which was playing in several places over the Easter period. He explained he is in contact via email and they have offered to lend them kit as in tents etc so they will not have to have extra luggage to fly. He had been to look at 3 sites- Golden Bay just behind the 5 star hotel which has been there many years before the hotel, Rinella which was lovely and had sleeping accommodation as they need at least 4 or 5 units because of ages and sexes. The third was the International HQ in Florinana where we were shown the archives of over 100 years as Malta scouting is a year younger than the UK. This has to be the one as Rinella already booked. We are hoping that Marsa scouts may visit Somerset and Wembdon will help with kit. MG suggested we discuss some finical help as we had talked about this at previous meetings.PM pointed out that Mayor Pat Parker at a previous meeting said we need to demonstrate how we are using monies from the council as in cultural exchange which this will be.BT asked how much money the council gives us SM explained we have a £300 core grant.
JM suggested he left while money was being discussed but MG wanted to ask questions- ? A donation towards CRB checks JM explained the Scout Association pays for all needed. How would any money be used and how would it benefit the children, JM explained he had already researched several educational and historical experiences that would be of great use. When they camp abroad they plan all trips etc on a fixed budget. They normally use public transport so a 7 day bus pass is available. A donation would enable them to have more excursions or charge less for each child.JM also explained about Geo Caching-a little like letter boxing on Dartmoor but using GPS systems which are on many phones these days. He has put a Scout Diamond Jubilee keying with a travel bug in it with the aim for it to travel around Malta ( there are about 90 catches on Malta ) and for his Scouts to retrieve it in October. The Scouts are practicing now around Bridgwater and district.
MG suggested that within the donation a gift for the Marsa Scouts to be included, JM said the Scout Association has many Queens Jubilee articles that could be engraved.SM pointed out we have used an engraved in Taunton before.
SM suggested a sum of £400 which was agreed unanimously .MG asked SM to transfer money to Scout group treasurer and stipulate some money for gift. SM suggested we approach the media and JM feels he can involve the Scout media after the County Jubilee celebrations called Scout Feast as it is international camping .TB suggested to ask bank if they have the large presentation cheque, she thinks that the publicity may encourage schools to think about linking. Also to make sure we have pictures of the camp to publicise
SM suggested we have a Christmas “get together “here again as last year’s was enjoyed by all.MG suggests we “pencil in “some funds for this, all agreed.
SM and PM are going to Malta end of August for 2 weeks for the Marsa Regatta so will be unavailable for Wembdon Village Day. We have also been invited to take part in Marsa Day but as on 15th September will be unable to. B and G T will be unavailable as on 25th August it is their Golden Wedding Anniversary.
PM is waiting to be asked to present the Marsa cups at the presentation evening for the Bridgwater Town Ladies Skittle League.
PM pointed out that Spencer Gardens in Marsa where there were unusual trees has been removed for road improvements so all the trees are gone but a Turkish cemetery has been found so archaeologists are working there.
Date of next meeting
Wednesday 4th July2012 at 7.30 pm
West India House
Durleigh Road Bridgwater.