To all the many Friends of The Violette Szabó GC Society 2014

This newsletter comes to wish you all a very special and happy time over the Easter period, and to invite you to Violette’s Fourteenth Memorial Gathering on Sunday 29th June 2014 at 2.00pm at “Cartref House”, Wormelow. I hope we will have a wonderful afternoon in the garden once again! Please would you kindly help by bringing different items to add to the refreshments, also garden chairs and a folding table.

Virginia McKenna OBE is again hoping to be with us which will be super, and I do hope you will all be here too, with luck may it be a very happy and sunny afternoon!

Please note the change of date to Sunday 29th June 2014 at the special request of Virginia, who had found it impossible to be with us the day before. An extra kind promise by Virginia! – I have arranged to show Violette’s film – Carve Her Name With Pride in Much Birch Village Hall at 5.15pm on the 29th and Virginia has specially accepted to introduce the film! Which I feel will be wonderful and much enjoyed by all. The tickets are £10 each and are selling very fast, so please phone me very soon to let me know how many you would like reserving. Remember it is only a small Village Hall!! I am grateful to Flicks in the Sticksfor their sponsorship.

More exciting news this year – As it is 100 years since the start of the First World War, we would like to recognise the tremendous sacrifice of the men who fought and the thousands who gave their lives that we might live in peace.

My father Frederick John Rigby fought with The Royal Artillery, and I often think how lucky I am that he survived, came home married my mother, and had me! Which gave me a life, for which I am very grateful!! And from this a Museum to honour Violette Szabó GC came to “Cartref House” Wormelow!!! My father died when only 62, having been gassed during the war.

Please note – I would like to start the programme promptly at 2pm. With the ladies serving tea at 3.30pm.

Gary Fowler and Pete Sosna are kindly bringing – A 25PDR Field Artillery Gun which DV will be fired at 4pm, on the Rosemary Rigby Millennium Green.

Some extra special news – there is a small church known as St George’s Memorial Church (YPRES) – Belgium, where my father was fighting on one of the very large Royal Artillery Guns, 1917-1918. This year I have been allowed to place a memorial in loving memory of him – R.I.P. and as Violette is so very special in everyone’s memory for her tremendous sacrifice to bring peace to all of us! St George’s Church have accepted a second plaque in her honour, from me. There will be more news of this ceremony, which will take place in Ypres, in my garden with photographs on the 29th June!!

May I ask all standard Bearers to meet in Park Hall Wormelow at 1.30pm and then march to Violette’s Museum for 2pm. I did mention last year that I was to become the President of the Hereford Soroptimist Club, and that my Charities would be – Violette’s Museum and the Ross Action Committee, one very special event was, wearing my Presidential chain, I laid a wreath in loving memory of Violette and one on behalf of the Soroptimist on Sunday the 10th November at the Hereford War Memorial, I was then entertained by The Mayor of Hereford in the Town Hall, to coffee and biscuits!!

Re: The fund raising – I celebrated with a wonderful President’s afternoon tea, very kindly organised by my two special cousins – Angela and Ann at Angela’s lovely home at Colwall, guests came from far and wide, and had a very happy and pleasant afternoon, and made very generous donations. This being such a unique occasion in my life, I invited all my God-children to join me too! I also approached Martin Pearson the proprietor of Simply Stunning of The Park Wormelow, who very kindly arranged a great Christmas charity weekend in his store, and in January I was invited back to receive a wonderful cheque for £515.60, most special thanks from Violette to Martin and all his staff.

Do remember when visiting Violette – you can always enjoy a good cup of tea or coffee also light refreshments at Simply Stunning!

Other events are being held around the County with money still coming in!!

We have had very bad luck with the garage and Violette’s toilet: they have been badly flooded and have stood under water for ten weeks this winter, everything within is covered in thick mould. I have now decided to have them demolished and rebuilt on higher ground at great extra expense, following much discussion it seems the only sensible thing to do.

Violette has received a unique honour this Spring from The Herefordshire Council – they have placed a Portrait bench in a field at Rotherwas, where a new bridge for walking and cycling crosses the River Wye, and by which a life-size figure of Violette, Sir Edward Elgar and Josie Pearson cut from sheet steel will stand, another port of call when visiting Violette!

Most special thanks to Derek Smith for so kindly continuing to care for Violette’s Roses, they were truly beautiful last year and much enjoyed by everyone!!

I will again be hoping to open the Museum each Wednesday from April to October, 11.30 am – 1pm and 2.30pm – 4pm. I am also hoping to open on Sunday 14th September for the Heritage Weekend, opening as above.

May I mention the Violette Szabó G.C. Society annual subscription of £10 would be most welcome at the time of her birthday, it all helps so very much to keep the Museum up and running!!

Dave Harris has again been very busy planting 100 tulip bulbs and more daffodils for Violette, Dave is our special Postman!

I do so hope Jeanette and Michael Wardle of Wormelow, may again be kind enough to help me by planting the garden containers, in order that the flowers will be looking very pretty for your visit on the 29th June.

I would specially like to extend to Jeanette and Michael our sincere congratulations on the occasion of their Diamond Wedding and the same special congratulations to Phyl and Derek Smith, Violette’s wonderful helpers, who celebrated their great day last year. Phyl now awaits her second knee operation and we wish her lots of luck.

Mr Mel Williams, Master of the South Hereford Hunt, will once again open his super big field for parking.

On behalf of Violette and myself, may I thank everyone for the many Christmas cards, letters, donations, books, phone calls, etc: so much appreciated!

DV, Violette’s special day next year should be Sunday 28th June 2015.

Let joy and happiness bring us together!

Yours most sincerely
Rosemary E. Rigby M.B.E.
Founder and Owner of The Violette Szabó GC Museum
01981 540477
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