Brigadier Bruce Jackman, Chair of the Western branch of the Gurkha Welfare Trust, gave a very lively talk at our supper meeting on 10 September. He started with a brief history of the Gurkha involvement in the British Army with examples of some of the extreme bravery for which the Gurkhas are rightly renowned.
The Gurkha Welfare Trust shortly celebrates its 50th anniversary and was set up because, in order to ensure parity with members of the British army, Gurkhas were paid comparable rates with the requirement to serve 15 years before being entitled to an army pension. Unlike their British army counterparts, however, there was no old age pension for them on their return to Nepal leaving many of them virtually destitute with little opportunities for suitable work.
The Gurkha Welfare Fund now provides financial aid (including pensions), medical aid via welfare centres, community aid, residential homes for elderly veterans and widows together with aid following divesting earthquakes – both emergency and ongoing help to rebuild communities.
Brigadier Bruce said “I thoroughly enjoyed my evening in the company of Soroptimists at that lovely supper evening. Thank you so much”.
Photograph to follow