John Smith

John Smith

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THE Miss Gibraltar 2018 Pageant took place on Saturday with just three contestants taking part.

The winner was local receptionist Star Farrugia who will now represent Gibraltar in the 68th Miss World competition which will take place in China in December.

It appears to have become increasingly more difficult to attract competitors for the Miss Gibraltar competition, although last year eventually saw nine contestants taking part with the first three travelling to various parts of world to represent Gibraltar in different competitions.

For the first time in a number of years the pageant was not presented on TV by the Gibraltar Broadcasting Company.

LAST NIGHT (Tuesday) the Choir and Orchestra of Collegium Musicum Costa del Sol together with the Camerata Singers of Sotogrande, performed their annual concert to raise funds for the AIDS charity Concordia.

The concert featured the music of composers of the 1st Viennese School and under the direction of Annemarie Philipps the programme included a Requiem by Salieri, a Te Deum by Michael Haydn, a work for Oboe (featuring Nicholas Harcourt-Smith) and Orchestra by Hummel and works by Leopold Mozart and his more famous son, Wolfgang.

A very large audience filled the Church of the Encarnación in Marbella Old Town and although entrance to concert was free, Princes Marie Louise of Prussia, president of the charity spoke before in advance explaining that without donations, the charity could not continue.

Every year, the concerts get better with a larger range of international soloists and the audience enjoyed an exceptional evening of classical music in most delightful surroundings.

DR LIESL MESILIO, CEO and Chief Scientist of the Department of the Gibraltar Environment, Heritage and Climate Change attended a meeting held at No10 Downing Street for the Overseas Territories (OTs) on the Environment.  

The meeting was hosted by Sir John Randall, the Special Advisor on Environment to the Prime Minister. The issues discussed included Brexit, international platforms, renewable energy, climate change, HMG’s Oceans and marine protected areas agenda.

The meeting was very positive and illustrated a commitment on the part of HMG to have closer ties and working relationships with the Overseas Territories on the environment moving forward.  

This was the first meeting with further meetings envisaged as the Territories work together for greater and stronger collaboration between the British Government and the Overseas Territories on environmental initiatives and campaigns at an International level.

There are 14 Overseas Territories (formerly colonies), namely, Anguilla, Bermuda, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands.

British Antarctic Territory and British Indian Ocean Territory are administered from the Foreign Office in London whilst South Georgia is represented by the Governor of the Falkland Islands.

WHILST the EWN Media Group headed by Michel and Steven Euesden were hosting a party for expatriate residents of the Costa del Sol, long-serving staff writer John Smith who has recently taken over the role as editor of RTN Newspaper travelled to Madrid to attend the British Embassy Royal wedding party.

Accompanied by his wife Ophelia who has spent more than 30 years working in British media and was a former presenter on Gibraltar TV, they were delighted to meet so many old friends who had also travelled to Madrid.

With TV screens both inside and outside the Residency, the 200 plus guests were assured of an opportunity to watch the wedding as it was transmitted by the BBC.

The Ambassador Simon Manley was ever present making sure that he chatted with all of his guests and John was able to spend some time talking to him about the video recording sent to British communities around Spain which had been inspired by the EWN Media Group wedding party.

His daughter bravely sang the opening chorus of God Save the Queen to much applause and seen at the event were numerous visitors from Costa del Sol including Ali Meehan of Costa Women, Charmaine Arbouin, British Consul in Malaga and her charming daughter, a number of representatives of Talk Radio Europe and many others.

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Left to Right Ophelia Smith with Elena Valdeon and Katy Reid of the British Embassy ©EWN Media Group

Guests at the reception were presented with a special certificate of appreciation for the work they undertake within the British community in Spain.

Wherever possible, British food and drink were served but the main interest was the delightful cake that was cut following the actual wedding.

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Charmaine Arbouin, British Consul Malaga ©EWN Media Group

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Ambassador Manley stopped for a photograph to be taken ©EWN Media Group

 

 

SIMON MANLEY, British Ambassador to Spain hosted a very special event at the British Embassy to celebrate the Royal wedding of HRH Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex) last Saturday.

Prior to the event (and following a request from the EWN Media Group which hosted a wedding party for elderly people on the Costa del Sol), the Ambassador recorded a short video address which was sent to British expatriate groups across Spain, which ended up with a toast to the happy couple so that all groups could join in on this special day.

THE British Embassy in Spain joined in the celebration of the Royal wedding between Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle by hosting a party in the residence of the British Ambassador to Spain Simon Manley.

Inspired by the Royal couple’s desire for the day to reflect their characters and values, and their invitation to those from around the UK linked to their charitable work, the British embassy has celebrated this wonderful occasion in Madrid together with British citizens and others who have made an outstanding contribution to their local communities from across Spain.

Through the award of a diploma, the Ambassador has acknowledged the invaluable work of community organisations such as Cancer Support Mallorca, the University of the Third Age U3A and the Samaritans in Spain; church groups and cemetery foundations such as the British Cemetery Foundation Madrid; military organisations such as the Royal British Legion and British associations such as the British Hispanic Foundation or the British Ladies Association.

Also recognised were news outlets such as the EWN Media Group (whose representatives attended the event), Costa Blanca News, and SUR in English. British educational institutions and Spanish town halls have also been awarded, as well as some honorary consuls and British citizens that have collaborated on public awareness campaigns.

“This wonderful event today illustrates the enormous breadth and depth of the contributions made by British people working with our local partners in almost every corner of Spain.

“For example, we have community groups that work with the elderly and the unwell, the Royal British Legion, church groups, community groups, British schools representing the 55,000 children who study in British schools across Spain , and of course, our local partners, from Town Halls and our Honorary Consuls.

“It has been an honour to meet such a huge range of inspirational people today, and celebrate this Royal wedding together”, Ambassador Simon Manley said.

Following the presentation of diplomas the attendees were able to witness the Wedding service, screened live on various TVs through BBC coverage.

THE Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia who is on another visit to the USA has told Members of the United States Congress that Gibraltar will not cede an inch of its sovereignty, jurisdiction and control.

In addition, he has highlighted, the danger of Spain challenging the status quo by redrawing the borders of Europe at a time of so much uncertainty and instability within Europe.

In response to questions about the impact of Brexit, Dr Garcia has explained that as the UK prepares to leave the European Union, it is engaged in discussions with a number of Member States, including Spain, about Gibraltar.

The Government of Gibraltar is directly involved in those meetings that are relevant to Gibraltar he confirmed.

“It remains to be seen whether Spain can find the political goodwill to move forward with solutions that do not impact on sovereignty. We welcome such solutions but we will not give an inch on sovereignty, jurisdiction and control. It is clearly not just about sovereignty but about the attributes of sovereignty as well,” Dr Garcia said during discussions.

In addition to meeting with Republican and Democratic Members of Congress, he is also meeting officials on Capitol Hill and others in the area of foreign relations.

A considerable amount of time in these meetings with at least 20 different officials is spent countering the misinformation about Gibraltar which the Gibraltar Government contends is being put around by Spain and he understands that a number of Congressmen have received briefing papers about Gibraltar from the Spanish Embassy in Washington which are inaccurate and factually incorrect.

ONE of the world’s most important film festivals, the 71st Cannes Festival is underway and will run until May 19.

With all of the publicity given to the excesses of certain movie moguls, directors and actors, this will be an important pointer to how the film industry is actually trying to change for the better.

Although the jury which is be chaired by Australian Oscar winner Cate Blanchett and includes actress Kristen Stewart as well as three other women, female directors are not greatly represented in the competition.

There are just three films out of 21 directed by women and they are France's Eva Husson, Alice Rohrwacher from Italy and Lebanon's Nadine Labaki and this year, Netflix is absent from the judging as it has refused to guarantee that their films will be screened in French cinemas.

One major change will be the instruction that those on the red carpet will not be permitted to take selfies and if they do, they run the risk of being refused entry to the screenings as this activity is considered vulgar.

May 15 is an important date in many Science Fiction fans diaries as the first showing of Solo: A Star Wars Story, starring Alden Ehrenreich and directed by Ron Howard will take place in Cannes.

IN two separate operations since the Spanish Bank Holiday weekend, Gibraltar Customs have arrested four Spanish nationals and seized 900 cartons of cigarettes.

The first arrest occurred on Saturday evening following a routine patrol of British Gibraltar Territorial Waters, 200 cartons of cigarettes along with a small white pleasure craft were seized and two Spanish nationals of 35 and 71 years of age were arrested.

The second incident took place yesterday morning (Thursday) when a rigid inflatable boat was seen loaded with cigarettes. During a chase, the suspect vessel rammed the Customs boat whilst attempting to escape, resulting in slight damage to HMC patrol vessel’s starboard engine and an officer sustained minor injuries to his knee.

The officers successfully arrested two Spanish nationals and seized the suspect vessel together with 700 cartons of cigarettes.

THE Third United Nationalities of Marbella Summit organised by TV and Radio presenter Nicole King was held at Velvet Marbella yesterday (Tuesday).

There was a good turn-out of different expatriates resident or working in the city and its environs and apart from a problem with drilling at the adjacent Indian restaurant which was not stopped for some time, it was a very successful event.

The concept of the entire presentation was to see what people from the 137 different nationalities who live in the 27 kilometre stretch that is Marbella can do to help each other to make the area a better place.

There have been two major successes since last year’s Summit and these have been achieved thanks to the hard work of Nicole and her determination to see safer roads and better opportunities for youngsters.

First is the ZeroHero campaign which is backed by the Road Traffic Safety Foundation Linea Directa whereby various bars and restaurants around the city will not charge ‘designated drivers’ for soft drinks provided that it is clear that they have taken no alcohol and some of the most prestigious establishments in the area have already indicated that they will join the initiative.

Linea Directa will be providing personal breathalyser kits which can be used not only whilst customers are about to go to their cars but can help them check their alcohol level the following day when so many people don’t realise that they may be breaking the Spanish limit.

As support for this initiative, Euro Weekly News will regularly report details of those bars and restaurants who are participating in the scheme so that readers can make an informed choice as to where to visit.

On the same lines, there is a general feeling that there is simply not enough entertainment for young expatriates who could be tempted to spend time together, drinking and possibly being lured into taking drugs.

Again a number of eateries and even nightclubs have indicated that they may be prepared to allow youngsters into their premises for special alcohol free themed events with discounted prices off season.

Both of these schemes were welcomed by those attending and an appeal has gone out for as many bar and restaurant owners as possible to join in both initiatives and if interested, should contact Nicole through the web site www.marbellanow.com.

A number of different charities were invited to give details of their services in the local area and these included the recently formed Age Concern Marbella, Concordia Aids Charity, Debra Butterfly Children, Malaga Orphanage and Triple A Animal Charity.

Charmaine Arbouin the British Consul in Malaga made her first visit to a UNM Summit and together with journalist and web developer Neil Hesketh explained about the recently constructed Support in Spain website which is aimed at expatriates and their Spanish neighbours who need help and advice of all types.

Also attending was the head of the Foreigners Department of Marbella Council Oti G Diaz-Ambrona who announced that there would be a special opening of a 200 square metre new office in the Exhibition centre at 6pm on Thursday May 17.

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