Gibraltar Weekend 2020

Gibraltar Weekend 2020

PRELIMINARY CALLING NOTICE ROYAL ENGINEERS ASSOCIATION GIBRALTAR WEEKEND 2020 FRIDAY 15 – MONDAY 18 MAY 2020

Please see the full calling Notice on The Corps Weekends page

  1. Introduction. You are cordially invited to celebrate the strong and resilient ties that we maintain with our birthplace, Gibraltar and its wonderful people in 2020. The Royal Engineers Association Gibraltar Weekend 2020 (REAW20) will be held in Gibraltar between Fri 15 and Mon 18 May 20. The event will be organised by the members of the Gibraltar REA Branch. After a record attendance at this year’s event (200 guests), we hope to surpass this achievement by welcoming even more of our Sapper family to Gibraltar in 2020.

We are currently sourcing venues; entertainment and finalising the programme for next year’s event but have provided some preliminary details below.

  1. Location. The scheduled events will take place in various locations throughout Gibraltar.
  2. Event Format. A full and varied programme is anticipated, and it is likely the Weekend will have the following outline format. At this stage, venue and function details are still to be finalised, dependant on attendance numbers and so these activities are subject to change. Where venues have been annotated below, these locations have already been secured.
    a. Meet and Greet. A Meet and Greet function will be held during the afternoon of Fri 15 May. This will be in the JPDU in Gun Wharf and will include hot food; entertainment and the REA Gibraltar Branch raffle/auction. This is likely to run into the early evening. It is an informal function to welcome our friends, both old and new. Dress will be casual.
    b. Powerboat Trip. During the Meet and Greet function, we hope to arrange several powerboat trips within the Bay of Gibraltar and surrounding area. Personal equipment will be supplied, and dress will be casual. Please note that anyone under the influence of alcohol will not be allowed to take part.
    c. Pre-Parade Breakfast Brunch. We are hoping to arrange a light pre-parade gathering during which a breakfast brunch will be provided – details to follow.
    d. Parade and March Past. On Sat 16 May, there will be a March through Main Street from Grand Casemates Square up to Bomb House Lane. We will be supported by a military band and hope that the Mayor of Gibraltar will be available to take the salute. REA Branch Standards are most welcome, and it would be fantastic if we could improve further on the 7

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Standards that were on parade in 2019. Dress will be REA/Corps Blazer, tie, beret and medals for the REA attendees; Service Dress for serving members.
e. REA Photograph. After the march, we will hold a REA/RE photograph for all members and Standards. We will congregate by the Sapper Statue in Main Street for the photograph.
f. Mayoral Reception. We hope that this year, the marching contingent will be invited to a Mayoral Reception in City Hall – details are still to be finalised. The reception will occur directly following the Sapper photograph.
g. Gala Dinner Dance. A formal Dinner Dance is scheduled for the evening of Sat 16 May in the Khaima Suite of the Rock Hotel. The evening will include a seated 3-4 course meal; open-bar; entertainment; disco; and raffle/auction. We hope this event will be attended by local VIPs, although the guest list is still to be confirmed. Dress will be lounge suit or blazer for gentlemen and appropriate dress for the ladies.
h. Church Service. A Church Service will be held on Sun 17 May in Kings Chapel. The Command Padre will lead a multi-denomination service of thanksgiving for the Corps. REA Branch Standards are most welcome. Dress will be as per the parade. After the service, guests will be invited for tea, coffee and home-made cakes by the Padre.
i. Corps Football Match. Although details are still to be finalised, we are hoping to arrange a football match(es) between the Corps football team and a local side, perhaps the Combined Services Gibraltar. Details will be published in due course, but the match is likely to be held in Devils Tower Camp. For those wishing to attend, dress will be casual.
j. Farewell Function. There will be an informal social gathering to bid farewell to friends on Sun 17 May. This will follow the football match and will run through the afternoon with a casual dress code and will include food; RE Gibraltar raffle (to get rid of your loose change) and maybe a few games/rounds of bingo! Location to be confirmed but we are hoping to hold the farewell event in the Gibraltar Officers Mess in devils Tower Camp.

  1. Tours. We hope to provide at least two discrete and stand-alone tour options during Mon 18 May – details will be published in due course but could include tours of the Gibraltar tunnels; the Northern Defences, the Waterworks; Upper Sandy Armaments Deport or the Old Town.
  2. Cost. We will continue to source local sponsorship and funding to ensure the cost of the Weekend is kept to the very minimum for the 2020 event. Costs will be published in due course once we have a better understanding of attendance numbers, but we hope will be comparable to this year’s cost of £75 per head. We will be requesting payment via cheque or bank transfer prior to your arrival for REAW20 – this is because we are now required to pay significant deposits for venues; entertainment etc as the event has grown to such a size. We also hope to negotiate some reduced rates with local restaurants; bars and shops specifically for those attending the REA Weekend – details to follow.
  3. Travel from UK and Overseas. Guests are to make their own arrangements for travel to and from Gibraltar. British Airways and Easyjet fly into Gibraltar from Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton, Manchester and Bristol. Within one and a half hours drive of Gibraltar, are the international airports of Jerez or Malaga, served from most UK airports. Both have car hire facilities, although we can arrange taxi/coach collections from these locations to Gibraltar if required – this will attract a cost to those travelling payable at the time of the journey.

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  1. Accommodation. Unfortunately, there is no military accommodation available for REAW20, therefore use of local hotels or staying with friends is recommended. Further details are provided at Annex A.
  2. Medical. Guests are to ensure they have appropriate Medical Insurance arranged before travelling. UK Citizens are able to use the services at St Bernard’s Hospital when in possession of an E111 European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), or similar pending the Conditions of Brexit. Access to medical services will be denied otherwise. An EHIC can be obtained online at https://www.gov.uk/european-health-insurance-card or https://www.e111.org.uk/ or by calling 0845 6062030. Please ensure adequate personal arrangements are in place for family notification. If applicable and dependant on the Brexit situation, suitable arrangements may be required to obtain medical cover in Spain.
  3. Finance. Gibraltar’s currency is Pounds Sterling. It also has its own Gibraltar notes and coins – please note that these cannot be used or exchanged in the UK upon your return so please feel free to get rid of any remaining ‘Gibraltar’ currency during the raffle. Euros are also acceptable in many outlets. There has been a reduction in banking operations in Gibraltar over recent months, but NatWest still operates along with the Gibraltar International Bank. Cashpoints will accept most debit cards; NatWest cashpoints will also issue UK Pounds Sterling. Most retail outlets and hotels will accept credit and debit cards, and cash (UK Pounds Sterling; Gibraltar Pounds or Euros). Please note that Euros are required for Spain.
  4. Welfare. The event organisers will be able to offer advice on welfare matters but guests must treat REAW20 as you would when travelling abroad anywhere else in the world and make the necessary arrangements for any known welfare matters.
  5. Additional Information. Additional information and a more detailed Admin Instruction will be published in the New Year on:
    • the REA HQ website; • the REA Gibraltar Facebook page; • via REA Branch Secretaries, and • via personal email.

For any other pressing queries at this early stage, please contact the following:
Contact Name Email Landline Mobile Secretary Mr Jack Noble jack.noble@ramboll.co.uk +350 200 51987 +350 58008085 Treasurer Mr Richard Tomlinson richard.tomlinson@ramboll.co.uk +350 200 51987 +350 54028355 Chairman WO1 Chris Hatchard RE christopher.hatchard452@mod.gov.uk +350 200 55146 +350 58009719

This year’s event received tremendous support with a total of 200 guests in attendance, along with 7 Standards and 30 branches represented. On behalf of all ‘Sappers on the Rock’, we very much look forward to your company and hope that we can welcome even more friends to join us in 2020 to celebrate our friendship and heritage with Gibraltar and its people.