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LEGION OF HONOUR: I was lucky enough to have been invited to be part of the ceremony to award our own David Fellowes with the Legion of Honour medal last Saturday at his home in the village. Commandant Francois Jean, the French Honorary Consul, presented the attractive medal while friends and family gathered to witness a very moving tribute and equally touching acceptance speech. The President of the Republic appointed David to the rank of Chevalier in the Order National de la Legion d’honneur, in recognition of his acknowledged military engagement and steadfast involvement in the Liberation of France during the Second World War. The letter of notification spoke about the need to never forget the heroes who came from Britain and the Commonwealth to begin the liberation of Europe by liberating France. French freedom and security was owed to people like David and their dedication because they were ready to risk their lives. The Commandant spoke about his own father liberated from a Concentration Camp and his gratitude to those in Bomber Command who flew countless missions to bring that to an end. A Dutch friend present at David’s home also movingly recounted his own parents talking about hearing the bombers going over with joy in their hearts that something was being done to end the tyranny of the Nazis in the Netherlands. See picture elsewhere in the paper. Congratulations David.

YOUTH CLUB: It is with regret that we have to announce that due to dwindling numbers Balcombe Parish Council has decided to suspend Youth Club in the village. Over the course of the next few months we intend to carry out research on the way forward, asking parents and young people questions to try to gauge whether there would be future demand for a Club, what shape and form that Club should take and when and how often it should run. Watch this space.

An event to celebrate WOMEN’S WORLD DAY OF PRAYER: is on Friday 4 March at 2.00 pm in the Parish Room. The country that they think about this year is CUBA and the theme is: “RECEIVE CHILDREN, RECEIVE ME.” Please DO COME for tea and chat and invite your friends to come with you. It is a very happy, warm and friendly occasion.

MOTHERS’ UNION COFFEE MORNING: takes place in The Parish Room on Saturday 5 March from 10.00 am until 12 noon. There will be books, bric-a-brac, cakes and raffle. Everyone welcome.

LOCUS YOUTH GROUP: meet on Friday 4 March from 6.30 pm – 8.00 pm in the Parish Room.

BALCOMBE CLUB POKER NIGHT – On Saturday 5 March in the evening.

BLIND MAN’S BLUFF: on Saturday 12 March in the Victory Hall, the Victory Players will be holding a “Wine Man’s Bluff” evening in aid of the St Mary’s church appeal. The event, which will include a two course meal, is a variation on the traditional game of “Blind Man’s Bluff”, and involves a certain amount of wine tasting. Look out for publicity round the village, but please put the date in your diaries. Tickets on sale in Threads at £17.50 per head.

BALCOMBE FRENCH ASSOCIATION: membership for 2016 is now due. Just £6 for individual membership or £10 for a whole family. Apart from the prestige of being a member of the Balcombe French Association, you also get discounted ticket prices for all our events and free entertainment at the AGM. Our next planned events this year are a Wine Tasting in the Victory Hall on 22 April; Bubbly, Boules and Hog Roast on 4 September; French Barn Dance in the Victory Hall on 15 October; and Beaujolais Nouveau on 17 November. > You will find more details on all these events, and more, on our website and, very shortly, on our brand new Facebook page.

ST. MARY’S CHURCH: Mothering Sunday 6 March 8am Holy Communion, 10am Family Eucharist with posies, 6.00 pm Sung Evensong. Wednesday 9 March 10.00 am Said Eucharist

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