The speaker for our March meeting was Malcolm Wells, MBE. In a very amusing talk, he told us how, as a young cello player with an ambition to make it his career, he was advised to join the Army as a musician. Having successfully demonstrated his musical prowess to the Selection Board, he joined the 80 piece Royal Artillery Orchestra and went on to play at banquets and state occasions as well as in front of 100,000 football fans at Wembley.
At the time of the first Gulf War, the Army trained him as a paramedic and he served in the Gulf, firstly in a hastily erected base hospital and then in a mobile field hospital that he described as reminiscent of the “Mash” TV series!
On leaving the Army after 24 years’ service, he then spent 16 years working as a national speaker helping to raise funds for Canine Partners, explaining to audiences how dogs can be trained to operate washing machines!
His career as a fund-raiser has seen him even do a parachute jump for charity – not something he would choose to repeat! As he says: “Why would you choose to jump out of a perfectly serviceable aircraft?”
For the last three years, he has been fund-raising for the Literacy in a Box charity, a project to give children in 3rd World countries the basics of education. Each Literacy Box contains enough materials for 25 children providing the essential materials that the teachers and children need.
A brilliant talk delivered by an excellent speaker.
Update: We have subsequently heard from Malcolm Wells that personal donations from members on the day to Literacy in a Box totalled £106.80. This will be used to purchase equipment for the schools in Zambia that they are currently supporting.