AGM at the Kitchener

Last night I attended the the Annual General Meeting of the Lord Kitchener Memorial Holiday Centre in my capacity as one of the trustees. Held at the Centre at 10, Kirkley Cliff, Lowestoft we heard the chairman of the trustees, Derrick Yellowley, and the chairman of the management commmittee, Dr. John Greenacre, report on the year’s progress of the Lowestoft charity which provides holiday accommodation to ex-servicemen and women.

The guest speaker was Major-General John Sutherell, CB, CBE, a Deputy Lieutenant of Suffolk and just retired as Secretary of the Officer’s Association. He gave us a detailed and very interesting description of the pattern of charitable giving since 2002, of the changes during that period and the practices that charities would need to adopt to stay viable the ever-changing financial climate.


Lady Emma Kitchener with her husband Lord Fellowes of West Stafford

We were delighted to welcome our Patron, Lady Emma Kitchener, LVO, with her husband, both of them more probably familiar as the Lord and Lady Fellowes of West Stafford (Julian being better known as the creator of Downton Abbey), and the many other distinguished but somewhat more local guests. Lady Emma told us briefly how pleased she was to be with us, how happy she was that both she and Julian had managed to arrive together although travelling from different starting points, how proud both she and her late uncle Henry,  the last Earl to hold the title Lord Kitchener, were of the Centre and how she was sure his interest continued. Lord Julian spoke briefly and amusingly about the nature of Lady Emma’s directions to the Centre but gracefully did not press the matter.

After the main business of the reports was accomplished a Centre prepared buffet was served by the staff and by the naval cadets of the Training Ship Europa. Lady Emma and Lord Julian stayed on and both were as entertaining as ever and  seemed inexhaustible, finding the time and energy to speak to almost everyone present and being tireless in posing for photographs. Noblesse oblige very much alive.


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