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Costa Blanca 41 Club
​​A place in the sun for the Ex-Round Tabler​​
​​

History 2000 - 02

​​
“People and
Places
of
interest”



​​​​The Newsletter pen portraits started to feature the new club chairman and new members, with initial features on Islay Burns, and in 2000, Bob Grainger. Bob had previously organised an entertaining club visit to Benidorm Palace. His elected VC  was Trevor Lebentz, with David Noakes and Len Peacock secretary and treasurer ​​
​​respectively. A very varied social programme was circulated very early into the new club year, and included a sea trip to Denia and lunch, several ‘at home’ events involving games and a BBQ, as well as the usual Ladies Night, Christmas Dinner and the Cluster. The Charter Night, held at Maison de Paco, was put back by a week to enable the National President, Gordon Macnab to attend.

Tony describes a very interesting insight into the Spanish Court system when he attended the Provincial Palacio de Justica in Alicante as a witness. ‘No usher in black gown and shoes here! In sandals, no socks, blue jeans, a designer pink shirt worn outside the trousers, the usher moved up and 



Banner presentation - 15th Charter Dinner

​​down shouting the names for each of the four Courts. The Court Clerk had large brown eyes, big dangley earrings, a tight white top stretched over an ample bust, tight white pants and to cap it all, a bare midriff. How on earth the young lawyers kept their minds on the case’, he did not know.



​​​Gibraltar hosted the Cluster at the Rock Hotel, with the usual welcome meeting held at the Minister’s Restaurant in Main Street. ‘There was again a discussion at the meeting about the other Mediterranean clubs, but it was felt that we should remain small and special. It was noted that there were now two clubs in Mallorca, one German and one British. The remainder of the weekend was spent in what we do best, talking, eating and drinking’.

Trevor Lebentz took over as chairman in 2001, supported by VC Steve Moores, with David Noakes and Len Peacock as secretary and treasurer respectively. The club refurbished it’s catering equipment, recording ‘sufficient melamine (dishwasher proof) crockery, cutlery, wine and beer glasses for 46 guests, plus 24 elegant coffee glasses with handles, two folding tables and 12 plastic chairs’.




​​There are excellent pen portraits of Trevor and Peter Griffin in the Newsletter, (now in it’s fifteenth year). Having read them all, it is amazing the breadth of skills and qualifications that members, (and their partners) have achieved during their lifetime to date, and the knowledge and experience of the world and its peoples that have been acquired both through work, living and travelling abroad, much of which is recorded, but which, due to space restrictions, we can only briefly acknowledge in this review. We are fortunate to have members who have joined us from the Far East, Africa, Asia and of course Europe, all of whom are/have been members of the Round Table family in their adopted country.

​​Eleven members attended the Costa del Sol hosted Cluster, reporting that ‘the content of the entertainment and the quality of the food were probably the best ever. However, this did not extend to the administration, which was diabolical, resulting in the bulk of our  party being accommodated in a rather grotty hotel down the road’. This opinion extended also to the National President’s speech, which included a ‘joke’ in objectionable bad taste!

On a brighter note, chairman Trevor got engaged to Karen Walters, and she immediately won Tony’s heart also, by providing an excellent article on her experiences living and working in an International School in Brunei, Borneo. She followed this up with advice on how easy it is to get to know people here in Spain as a newcomer, through ‘clubbing’. ‘Don’t be deterred by the fact that you might be a little over 18 and not quite as agile as you used to be. You may also think that bright lights and loud music are not for you or that your wardrobe may need a bit of a revamp. The 

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club scene here is as varied and diverse as anyone could wish for’. She started by joining the Javea Computer Club, moved on to include the Marina Alta Floral Club in Teulada, the Benitachell Bowls Club and the Costa Blanca Walkers. If these are not for you, there are still the Magic Club, Golf, Bridge, Choirs, Wine, Ex-Tablers, Rotary Fellowship or the U3A. The list is endless.
​January 1st, 2002 heralded the conversion from the peseta to the euro. Resident members received a ‘Euro Starter Pack’ and the banks and shops had been quoting receipts and payments in both currencies for some time before the actual changeover date. An alleged ‘official’ notice was circulating. ‘The Single European Currency: All citizens of the United Kingdom must be aware that the phrase, ‘spending a penny’ should not be used after 31st December 2001. From this date, the correct terminology will be ‘euronating!’


Flying from Alicante on BA’s new no frills airline ‘Go’, IPC Bob Grainger responded to an emergency appeal requesting ‘a doctor on board’, and was asked to examine a female 

​​passenger with a heart problem. Asking how long before landing in Stansted, he then advised the captain that he didn’t think the patient would make it. The ‘plane was too high to land at Southampton, but got an emergency slot at Gatwick. The passenger had another attack and received the kiss of life from an RAF medical orderly also travelling on the flight. Followed down the runway by an ambulance and a fire engine, the passenger was quickly taken to hospital and made a recovery.​​
Two of our founder members passed away. Past Chairman Denis Vincent, who was the original writer of the Newsletter, also wrote articles for the 41 Club Magazine and the local Spanish English language press. Roy Parkin, who was once asked why he was not helping with the washing up after a club social event, responded “you surely don’t expect a millionaire to wash up!” Sorely missed is a gentle friend and supporter of the club, Edith, wife of past chairman Hans following a long illness.

Although in most Newsletters, in this particular one there
was a great deal of information regarding members and their spouses health situation, new member details, changes of address, and the ever important new telephone connections. IPC Trevor Lebentz retired off the golf course straight to the doctors with a detached retina, (but still managed to sink 8 straight putts!) Joe Barnfield and Bob Ramsay are both now Chairman of their respective UK Clubs. Peter Will has remarried and is now back in Javea and Len Peacock and Tommy Handley are both slowly recovering from their respective stroke and heart attack. The club welcomed three new resident members, Derick Berridge, Peter Martin and their wives and John Mail, and two new overseas members, Robert Hind and Arthur Jordan and their wives.

                                                                                                                              ……..to be continued………


Note

This is the eleventh of a series of articles on the history and development of the Costa Blanca 41 Club. It is being compiled from a large number of newsletters recovered from files held by Tony Ogden, who played a major part in the development of the Club and later in the development of the group of clubs now known as the ‘Iberian Cluster’. All the text above in italics is directly quoted from newsletters published at the time, and the web posting and additional illustration images are provided by Gordon Macnab.

Ted Homewood/Bob Oxley


                                                   Home Page

Ted Homewood
Chairman 2005-06

Bob Oxley
Chairman  2011-12


Another instalment in the history of our Club