Gurkhas to strike up the band at charity concert

Gurkhas to strike up the band at charity concert

23th September 2013


A MILITARY band whose sound resonates throughout the Himalayas will once again come to the aid of comrades abroad.

A packed audience is expected at Darlington’s Dolphin Centre for a dazzling evening of music and dance courtesy of the Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas.

Under new direction this year, the band will entertain the audience with a varied programme of popular and classical music, in a fundraiser for old soldiers and their families.

The 13th annual concert, sponsored again by Vauxhall and Chevrolet dealer Sherwoods, is expected to bring close to £100,000 the amount raised over more than a decade for the Gurkha Welfare Trust.

Yorkshire branch chairman of The Gurkha Welfare Trust Lt Col Keith Ryding, of West Burton, served for nine years with the Gurkhas, including with the Queen’s Gurkha Signal Regiment and Parachute Company.

He said: “The people of Darlington and the surrounding area have always supported the concert enthusiastically because it is uniquely Gurkha and therefore has the energy and sense of fun only the Gurkhas can create.

“It will be the usual eclectic mix of Western and Eastern music and will be an exciting and entertaining evening.”

The concert, on October 2, at 7pm, is expected to be the best yet under the direction of Major Paul Norley, a national adjudicator in band competitions.

Sherwoods managing director Alasdair MacConachie, whose father served with the Gurkhas, added: “The Gurkha concert remains one of the highlights of my year and once again will raise invaluable funds for ex-soldiers and their families.

“We must never forget the sacrifices made by Gurkhas over the years and this is a great way of repaying this debt.”

Every year more than £11m is spent in aid of the retired Gurkha community in Nepal, a country which has no NHS or welfare state.

A second residential home has been opened in East Nepal to help 26 ex-Gurkhas and their widows in their declining years.

Hundreds of hardship grants are awarded and pensioners receive winter fuel allowance and wind up torches and radios.

Doctors, dentists and consultants performed thousands of patient contacts at a cost to the trust of more than £2.3m. The GWT also improved water and sanitation at 80 locations, built and ran 124 schools, awarded education bursaries, carried out bridge repairs and developed micro-hydroelectric schemes.

Tickets for the concert cost £12 and £10 (£7.50 and £6 for concessions). For more information contact the Dolphin Centre on (01325) 288406 or Sherwoods on (01325) 466155.

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