Continental Friends

There follow reports from recent get-togethers.

For information about meetings email Susan Harrod - susan@ajr.org.uk

Northern Groups

Bradford Continental Friends

for further information, contact wendy@ajr.org.uk

The Life and Times of Geoffrey Perry
Ian Vellins, our guest speaker, spoke engagingly on the life and times of Geoffrey Perry, who apprehended the traitor Lord Haw-Haw at the end of the war and who died recently. Ian revealed many aspects of this talented and successful media man, who first introduced the concept of ‘house’ magazines but remained silent about his wartime experiences until very late in life.

Broughton/Crumpsall Continental Friends

for further information, contact wendy@ajr.org.uk

 


Cheshire Continental Friends

for further information, contact wendy@ajr.org.uk

Refugees’ Effect on UK
The discussion on what effect refugees had on the UK was amazing even for those well into this subject. From sport to medicine, from chamber music to dentistry was just the start. A fabulous afternoon tea from our hosts, Benny and Judy Brettler, making supper unnecessary, concluded a lovely afternoon.

Didsbury Continental Friends

for further information, contact wendy@ajr.org.uk

Animated Conversation, Good Company, Delicious Pastries
Our ‘social’ was a lovely mix of animated conversation and debate, good company and delicious Danish pastries. A good time was had by all!

Dundee

for further information, contact agnes@ajr.org.uk

Important to Keep In Touch and Great to Catch Up!
The small group of friends were delighted to have the opportunity to meet up again in Dundee. We had such a lovely afternoon and lots to talk about. There was much to discuss concerning Israel and how best to support it, as well as Scottish independence and the latest AJR news. It’s so important to keep in touch and great to catch up!

Edinburgh

for further information, contact agnes@ajr.org.uk

One-Woman Costume Parade
National costumes were the theme of our November meeting, which was enlivened by Lilian Bell’s one-woman costume parade: a splendid - regal even - gown, followed by her Tyrolean maiden outfit complete with genuine lederhosen and cowbells. A beautiful Salzburgerin doll, a Polish mountain-area kaftan and some 1920s family photos added their flavour to the costumes theme. The usual noisy chatter and a sumptuous spread – thank you, Francoise and Agnes.

Glasgow

for further information, contact agnes@ajr.org.uk

A True Hero
We attended the screening of The Forgotten Hero, an event sponsored by the Swiss Embassy. This documentary, filmed in Budapest, tells the story of Swiss diplomat Carl Lutz, who worked in the Hungarian capital from 1942 until the end of the war and in that time saved as many as 62,000 Jews by issuing Schutzbriefe (protective letters) and finding safe houses for them. The documentary was of special significance for me as I realised that in 1943 my own grandmother had risked her life to obtain a Schutzbrief - a document my mother Eva takes with her to schools when talking about her Holocaust experiences. Carl Lutz was a true hero.

Glasgow Book Club

for further information, contact agnes@ajr.org.uk

Birthdays Celebrated in Style
We celebrated the birthdays of members Halina Moss and Marion Camrass in style as well as discussing J. K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy, a dramatisation of which is due to be shown on TV this year.

Glasgow CF

for further information, contact agnes@ajr.org.uk

Life of a Kosher Caterer
Thirty-six people turned out for Doreen Cohen’s trip Down Memory Lane. Doreen, formerly of Simcha Catering, enlightened us with stories of life as a kosher caterer to the Glasgow Jewish community. Her tales of catering a function at which President Bill Clinton was guest of honour as well as walking out of a council function when they insisted on using council dishes went down well.

Harrogate/York CF

for further information, contact wendy@ajr.org.uk

Continental-Style Afternoon Tea
We were treated to a Continental-style afternoon tea courtesy of Suzanne Ripton: homemade Moroccan orange and cardamon cake followed by blinis and smoked salmon. We also discussed various HMD commemorations of the past week, including those at York Minster and Leeds Town Hall, as well as the Prime Minister’s Holocaust Commission Report.

Hull

for further information, contact wendy@ajr.org.uk

Heart-warming Thank-You Stories
As usual, a delicious afternoon tea followed a wonderful discussion entitled ‘Someone You Would like to Thank’, inspired by Radio 4’s Saturday Live programme’s heart-warming thank-you stories. We agreed that tiny acts of kindness mean as much as the huge ones and all recounted our own anecdotes.

Leeds

for further information, contact wendy@ajr.org.uk

Betty’s-Style Chanukah Party
We had members from Sheffield, Doncaster, Bradford and, of course, Leeds, at our Chanukah Party. We enjoyed entertainment by violinist Elaine Green and keyboard accompanist Barney, all followed by the customary delicious afternoon tea ‘Betty’s Tea Rooms-style’.

Leeds (Continental Friends)

for further information, contact wendy@ajr.org.uk

Refugees’ Contributions to UK Cultural Life
Meeting at the home of Barbara and Phil Cammerman, we discussed at length the many contributions made in the fields of science, medicine and the arts by refugees from Germany. As usual, this was followed by Barbara’s wonderful tea, to which we always look forward. We also celebrated Hans Skyte’s 95th birthday.

Liverpool

for further information, contact wendy@ajr.org.uk

Remembering a ‘Son’ of Liverpool
On what would have been his 87th birthday, we celebrated the life of Frankie Vaughan. Frankie was a ‘son’ of Liverpool and many delightful anecdotes were recounted by his relatives and friends. A special treat was meeting his sister Myra, who had travelled over from Leeds to join us. Then we watched a film depicting Frankie’s great talent and devotion to his family and the wider community. Thank you Wendy Bott, our organiser - also Frankie’s niece! – for a great afternoon.

Manchester (Continental Friends)

for further information, contact wendy@ajr.org.uk

Experiences of a Young Refugee
Lady Milena Grenfell-Baines, who came to England on the last ‘Winton train’ from Czechoslovakia, spoke to us about her experiences as a young refugee and her meeting with the great man years later. Sir Nicholas didn’t seek the limelight but now is being celebrated. The meeting was well attended and we welcomed members of the local Second Generation Group.

Newcastle

for further information, contact agnes@ajr.org.uk

Young and Humble
I was born in Romania and arrived in this country in 2013 from Israel via South Africa. I was privileged to be invited with my daughter to the AJR’s pre-Chanuka lunch, attended by over 30 people. The scrumptious three-course meal prepared by Brenda was enjoyed by all. The highlight of the lunch was the concert with wonderful music from the European shtetls played by the Klein Klezmer group from Edinburgh. I felt humbled by the company I found myself in and – at the age of 67 – quite young.

Sheffield

for further information, contact wendy@ajr.org.uk

Someone You’d Like to Thank
We focused on individuals who had never been properly thanked, including two teachers chosen for their gentle and kind introductions to Englishness and Shakespeare. We thanked those who had reconnected families and provided new ones, with the AJR also featuring high on the list of those making us all feel included.

Whitefield/Prestwich Continental Friends

for further information, contact wendy@ajr.org.uk

Discussion, Tea and Music
We discussed, among other things, the recent atrocities in Paris. Afternoon tea followed, accompanied by music by André Rieu brought along by Ruth and Werner.