Friday, 2 April 2010

Gurkha Welfare Trust

Gurkha visit to Women’s Institute
Chris Taylor came to the Old Buckenham WI’s March meeting to talk about the Gurkha Welfare Trust. Chris is a retired Lt Col with 40 years of service and has nothing but praise for the Gurkhas who have served in most of Britain’s conflicts for nearly 200 years. They have earned 13 Victoria Crosses and for good reason are known as the bravest of the brave.
The Trust was founded in 1969 for the relief of poverty and distress amongst Gurkha veterans. This soon developed into the welfare pension programme. A monthly pension of 4,000 Nepalese rupees (about £34) is available to any elderly Gurkha who did not serve the 15 years required to earn an Army pension and who faces destitution. Nepal is a desperately poor country.
Today, 10,000 veterans and their villages depend on the Trust. On the death of an old soldier, his welfare benefits are transferred in full to his widow and this means that the Trust will have significant obligations in Nepal until at least 2040.
The speaker had some fund-raising goodies for sale and plenty of leaflets for members to read.
Doris Monkhouse gave a report on the Norfolk Federation Meeting in St Andrews Hall which indicated that everyone had enjoyed themselves immensely. The speakers were Ruth Bond, the national WI chair, Jim Bacon from Weatherquest with stories of the changing technology in weather forecasting and lastly the rock legend Rick Wakeman who had the audience in tears of laughter.
The Old Buckenham WI next meet on Thursday 29 April in the village hall when John Lee will talk about ‘Changes on the High Street’ and the monthly competition will be for a favourite item that had been bought from Woolworths.

No comments: