Gale`s pre-Christmas view. 20th December 2010
Make a note in your diary, please.  Whether you live in Herne Bay or Thanet we`d like to see you at the Salvation Army Carol Concert and the Winter Gardens in Margate on Sunday 11th December 2011. The event will be a fund-raiser for “Help for Heroes” and the venue needs to be packed.
I don`t want to put a damper on your own  festivities but earlier in the year the number of armed services personnel lost in action in Afghanistan broke through the 300 mark and that number has since been tragically and remorselessly rising.  That means that there will be an empty place at too many tables this Christmas and it also means that the phone that rings for us as a distant family member calls to offer good wishes may, in another household, carry the kind of message that every service family fears.
Add to the dead the number of young men – and women – that have been repatriated to receive treatment for terrible injuries and it suddenly becomes clear why the Forces charities are so vitally needed and so richly warrant our generosity.
Our armed forces and their loved ones deserve, all the year round but particularly at this time, our respect, our support and our love as they place themselves in harms` way to keep us safe.  So as Suzy and I and our family send you our very best wishes for an enjoyable Christmas may I ask you, also, to raise a glass to “absent friends” and to think of those who are on active service and a long way from home.   And please come to the Winter Gardens next December!

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