The Taxi Charity for Military Veterans held its annual Christmas party at Millwall FC on Thursday 13 December - and a wonderful time was had by all.
Chairman, Gary Belsey, thanked our sponsors, supporters and, of course, our veteran collectors “for all their hard work during what has been an amazing 70th year for our charity."
Pupils from Goodrich School sang Christmas carols before further delighting our 250 plus guests with their rendition of “It’s a long way to Tipperary” - which got everyone singing along!
Brigadier Alastair Bruce KStJ OBE VR DL - the Royal, Religious and National Events Commentator for Sky News - added to the happy atmosphere with his upbeat festive message. And we are delighted to confirm that Alastair has agreed to continue being an ambassador for the Taxi Charity for another four years.
Other special guests included, Air Cdre (retd) Charles Clarke OBE, ex-SAS trooper and a regular on Sky News' The Pledge; veteran and author, Phil Campion; and two of our patrons, Vice Admiral Sir Adrian Johns KCB CBE KStJ and Lady Suzie Johns.
We would also like to extend a very special thank you to our Dutch Liaison Officer, Frans Ammerlaan, who travelled all the way from Arnhem with his daughter, Anna, to join in the festivities.
Frans’ support and expertise has been vital in ensuring the success of our veterans trips to the Netherlands, which began in 2012. These wonderful trips simply wouldn’t have been possible without him.
Frans brought along over 100 Christmas cards. Each contained a handwritten message of thanks from schoolchildren from the Arnhem/ Oosterbeek area.
Many of the messages were also translated by Frans and then distributed by him to each and every veteran in attendance.
Frans also shared this poignant and special message with us:
"We are very happy and a bit proud, to tell you that this year, on Christmas Eve, there will be a candlelight placed on every war grave in Oosterbeek, Arnhem, Wageningen, Renkum, Driel, Heteren and Slgh Ewgh. Lots of people donated and over a hundred adults and children will come to help light a candle for every one of your comrades this Christmas Eve. Lest we forget."