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Newsletter 8: November 2006

Editor: Peter Hayward

Changes are afoot

You may notice a different layout to this current Newsletter. Cliff Jones has always masterminded the content and produced the finished article. Unfortunately Cliff is not enjoying the best of health and has asked to be released from the onerous position as 'Editor'. I hope I can match the previous high standards set by Cliff. This issue I am content to maintain the same format, but will welcome suggestions from members as to what you would like to see included in the next issue.

The AGM was attended by 30 out of 59 members. This is a healthy sign especially as there several items to be discussed, some of which involved the Constitution. Our Chairman has covered the major items and I can summarise the results of the election.

The 2006/2007 executive committee is as elected:

  • Chairman - Margaret Jobling
  • Hon. Secretary - Ann Cooper Reeve
  • Treasurer - Howard Neve
  • Membership Secretary - Richard English
  • Press Officer - Colin Brain
  • Newsletter Editor - Peter Hayward
  • Events Organiser - Roger Lambert
  • Events Organiser - Bryan Morton

Also appointed: Auditor - Mike Austin

From our Chairman

Margaret Jobling

It is indeed an honour to have been re elected as your Chairman for a second year and I hope that the current year will continue to evelop our contact and iendship with each other.

At the AGM we made a few changes to the constitution and to the membership of your executive committee. Roland Castro had been handling both Press Officer and Membership Secretary jobs. It was decided to separate these roles and I am pleased to report that Colin Brain has taken on the task of Press Officer. Richard English is now Membership Secretary and I am sure that he l be delighted to receive suggestions from you for the recruitment of new members. Incidentally if you have any changes to your address, telephone number or e-mail address do please let Richard know.

The Events sub committee was disbanded, but I am delighted that Roger Lambert has agreed to continue to organise the Christmas Lunch and the AGM and dinner at Newman Street. Bryan Morton will continue with his excellent contact with Fred Olsen Cruise Lines and indeed other contacts that he makes from time to time.

Our Newsletter has been produced by Cliff Jones right from the very beginning of our club and a splendid job he has done.

However Cliff decided that it is time for a change and I can report that Peter Hayward has willingly agreed to become our Newsletter Editor. If you have any suggestions, short articles or anecdotes for the newsletter, then do please let Peter know.

You will, I know, all wish to join me in thanking Cliff for his work and initiative in producing the Newsletter over the last five years. It is particularly pleasing that the AGM agreed to invite Cliff to hold honorary life membership of our organisation.

Finally may I wish you all well and look forward to seeing you at the Christmas lunch in Oxford on 14th December.


To get your 25% discount with Superbreak ask for Group Bookings and if possible Rosie, who knows about us. Quote Oldabtarians.

Fred Olsen have some spectacular offers. Make sure you quote Friends & Family Old Abtarians and prefix your cruise number with 'FF'. Did you get your mail shot from Bryan, if not contact him.

Ruth Austin's hip replacement is working well and Mike is relieved he has no longer has to do the shopping and the household chores ...

We pray Ann Cooper-Reeve's breast cancer op is successful.

Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground.

Australia - 1986
Isn't nostalgia wonderful! I make no excuses for producing this picture of Roland with me at the Trade Fair in Australia, because it is the only one I have!!

Roland Castro

Roland died on September 8 2006. It was an announcement which shocked us all as it was so sudden. After all he was a man who so enjoyed life and kept himself fit. He had disposed of his car in favour of walking and swam at least 3 times a week.

Roland was our first Chairman and successfully carried the Old Abtarians forward during the first 2 years. An avid supporter he enjoyed the trips organized by Roger and Bryan and even organized himself the Eurostar trip to Lille.

Best remembered in Industry for creating Time Off, the very successful European City break tour operation, Roland also found time to serve on ABTA's Tour Operators' Council and National Council where his views were always respected but sometimes not appreciated. His business success was founded on his belief 'People before Profit.'

He was a Bon Viveur - he always welcomed guests with a glass of Kir - and thoroughly enjoyed his choices of food and wine thus living up to his motto 'Moderation in Nothing.' A large number of Old Abtarians attended the funeral.

Farewell Roland - you will be greatly missed, but will always be remembered.


In August 12 members met up at Tortworth Hall Hotel for a mid week break. The hotel is a magnificent building pleasantly situated in the Cotswolds. It has extensive grounds including an arboretum of rare and popular trees. There are 2 dining rooms. Moreton's Restaurant (nothing to do with Bryan) is set in three sympathetically restored and stunning rooms in the main house, part of which is in the original Library with extensive Oak paneling and an impressive fireplace.

The Orangery is in a glass creation reminiscent of Victorian conservatories, providing a light and airy atmosphere for diners. Needless to say our group decided to sample both restaurants and were exceedingly pleased with the results.

Unfortunately the day devoted to traveling around turned out to be tropical in the downpour of rain in the morning. Our Chairman decided 'what the heck - I'm wet so I'm off to Slimbridge Wild life Wetlands'. Others headed for the shelter of Bath (that sounds wet too?) but found their entry blocked by traffic jams. Bryan managed to dodge the traffic and enjoyed an open air bus tour of the City. Roger, unexpectedly, found himself at a farewell party of one of his old managers.

Check our website for some pictures of the event. Make sure you click on the photos, especially the dining group, as you will then get a full screen picture showing the magnificent detail.

The ABTA Dinner

We always look forward to the hospitality of ABTA in the evening following the AGM and this year was no exception. The socializing was a joy to watch, especially as some members, especially those who are still working, were unable to attend the AGM.

Justin Fleming, ABTA President, represented the hosts and gave a most welcoming speech to us. Surprisingly this came after the aperitifs and before the first course!!! But no rumbling tummies interrupted his flow - just lots of laughs and sounds of agreement.

Sadly Franzi Richter was unable to attend as she is fighting breast cancer. Margaret proposed and we all agreed to each send a personal note in a booklet hastily prepared from several A4 sheets folded. We all wished her well and I hope she gained strength from the many pleasant remarks written by Old Abtarians present at the meal. Get well soon Franzi - we are all rooting for you.

The AGM decisions provided a First. Roger Lambert has always circulated at the Dinner complete with camera to the ready. As a result he has never had his picture taken at the ABTA Dinner. Not that he has complained, but this year he happily passed his photographic tasks to the Newsletter editor, who thought it churlish not to oblige. So Roger - here's your picky - flanked on the left by Candida Whitmill and on the right by Jill Offer.