Lentune  Probus Club

Lentune Probus Club

Members met on 12 June when our speaker was John Hughes. 

John joined the army as a young man and became a cartographer!  He spent many happy years making maps for Her Majesty travelling the world to all manner of exotic destinations.  John became fascinated with Ascension, a tiny, isolated, tropical island 1,000 miles distant from the nearest mainland.  Its bizarre environment is perfect for seabirds and the birds are a delight with little fear of people.  With the aid of fascinating images John related stories of the Island’s history and its birds.

Ascension Island is an 88 square km island located in the middle of the tropical south Atlantic. The Island contains two military bases (RAF and USAF), a runway at Wideawake Airfield ( the longest in the world when operational)  and a BBC relay station and World Service . Although the island population fluctuates  (Ascension is a working island ), there are approximately 800 residents living on the island at any one point. There has been no indigenous population.  As well as its natural heritage, Ascension has traditionally been an important strategic military outpost. The island acted as a resupply station during the Falklands War. 

The terrain of the island is wild, barren and rugged. The lower coastal areas are hot and dry but the island is dominated by Green Mountain (859m), the summit of which is lush, green and offers a slightly cooler climate.There are stunning white sandy beaches and impressive volcanic rock formations including lava flows, fumaroles, and caves. The sea is crystal clear, tropically warm and abundant with marine life. The climate is wonderful and it is warm and sunny almost every day of the year. 

John recounted and illustrated many stories of Birds - waxbills and canaries; myna birds; masked boobies and seabirds migrating around 20,000 miles, together with seemingly endless number of other birds. In 2019, a Maritime Protection Area of 200 miles was established around Ascension.  


Lentune Ladies Club 

Lentune Ladies met on 7 June. This was a very special meeting as the  speaker this month was Carol Salter, a Ladies Club member. 

Carols's husband Bob Salter was an active member of Lentune Probus Club for ten years. In his spare time, he was a gifted artist and poet. Sadly, he died in 2020 from Covid.

At the meeting, Carol and their daughter Gina, read a selection of Bob's poems and showed some of his paintings.

Carol read a poem, dedicated by Bob to her, called Forever Love This poem has been placed in the chapel at Oakhaven Hospice. There was a moving tribute to the NHS written well before the Covid pandemic and an amusing appreciation of images spotted in passing clouds.

A more detailed report of this very special meeting appears in the Members area of the Website under 'Summer Happenings and Talks'. 

Coates Centre at Oakhaven Hospice

The meeting was preceded by a display of literature about the Coates Centre at Oakhaven Hospice. Sue Mayes, a volunteer there, explained the help and activities that the Coates Centre offers to those whose lives have been impacted by illness. Patients, carers and the bereaved are welcomed by trained volunteers, in the comfortable surroundings of the Centre. 



Blue Sapphire Gin Distillery visit - 21 June

A most successful and enjoyable visit by Lentune Probus members to the Bombay Sapphire Distillery at Laverstoke Mill Whitchurch, in beautiful rural Hampshire was made on 21 June. The visit included a fully-guided tour of the Bombay Sapphire Distillery at Laverstoke.

The full report of the Blue Sapphire Gin Distillery visit has already appeared in Members Area of the website.