Despite a cold day with snow starting to fall we still had a good number of members. Members enjoyed chair yoga with Richard followed by music entertainment with Clare. As it was John’s birthday (one of the Rotarians) Lisa produced the same instant musical birthday cake and John enjoyed blowing the candles out on the cake.

Members then enjoyed some golf which became a little competitive.

We were also delighted to be joined by Dr Rebecca Hatjiosif who Lisa introduced. Dr Rebecca took some blood pressures and was also able to provide some medical advice. Members were very grateful.

We were pleased to be joined today by the Minister Julian Templeton. A photo shows Julian with Andrew Mills the church warden. It was also a pleasure to see Rotarian Jim McCarthy (the President Elect), and thank all the Rotarians for their help during the session – John, Malcolm, Owen Gates, Victor Kaye and Simon Smith.

Thank you to the ladies for helping with the teas- Marjorie, Dorothy and Sue.

This was a very busy session.

Lisa started with a quiz and then we all celebrated a very special birthday. It was Pat’s 80th Birthday and we celebrated in a new style today. Lisa produced an instant musical birthday cake which looked like a real birthday cake. The cake made of plastic has glowing candle lights which when you blow they actually turn off. Pat enjoyed blowing the candles out on the cake.

Members were now ready for some Tai Chi exercise with Egon which was then followed by some singing and dancing to members favourite songs.

Lisa then introduced a large floor piano keyboard and gave instructions for members to play “O when the Saints go marching in” Lisa had sticky labels on the floor piano so that members were able to play. A few members were very interested to have a go and one of the carers managed to play the first verse.

Everyone had a very enjoyable time.

My thanks to Mark (one of my Trustees) for helping today and also John from Rotary Barnet for coming to help.

One of our members has kindly given us permission to post an email below they sent to Hugh (see previous article) regarding their experiences in WW II.


Dear Hugh

My parents thoroughly enjoyed your presentation.

My father Jose Osa was one of the 4000 Basque children evacuated to England in May 1937 during the Spanish Civil War. He was number 3693 see register attached. He was just 12 and his brother Felix a little older. The children first stayed in camps with priests and teachers on arrival in Southhampton and dad was later sent to live with 50 children in Arkley Lodge, Rowley Way in Barnet until he was old enough to learn a trade and take lodgings in Chesterfield Road in Barnet. It is a very interesting story - the children thought it would only be for 3 months and there is a book titled this. My father never returned to his homeland and remained living in London and moved back to Barnet last year. He still meets up regularly with a few of his friends who are now in their 90's!

I have attached some photos which I am sure you will find interesting. Particularly, the photo of the bomb crater in the garden of Arkley Lodge. Dad's not sure when this happened so it would be interesting to check on the Arkley bomb map you told us about. Dad was the only one injured with a cut face and the next day the 50 children were taken to the Old Fellows Hall in High Barnet for safety.

Bomb at Arkley Lodge
Bomb at Arkley Lodge
The Basque boys outside Arkley Lodge
The Basque boys outside Arkley Lodge
Jose and Basque friends
Jose and Basque friends

In the photo of the 3 boys, my dad is the one on the left. In the group photo taken in the garden of Arkley Lodge, dad is third from the left. He's not in the photo of the bomb crater. Some of the children in that photo are still alive today. Dad missed the reunion in 2010 as we were on holiday but last year the current owners kindly invited us for tea so dad could share his memories. In that photo, his best friend Paco is fourth from the left.

We would love to come and see your archives. How can I arrange this?

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Looking forward to your next presentation.

Kind regards Olga

We had a presentation today from Mr Hugh Petrie MA - a Barnet Council Heritage Development Officer.

Lisa invited Hugh to present some archive materials that would stir some memories for some of the Dementia Club UK members. It certainly did just that. Hugh brought some World War II materials and talked about the history for each of the items.

He then showed a slide presentation showing the old cinema in Hendon which is now a gym and the Queen mother in some of her visits during the war which was fascinating. It stirred up conversations with members and questions. Members would have liked extra time and expressed their thanks to Hugh asking for further visits.

The session then followed with Tai Chi with Egon which members enjoyed and found challenging.

The session ended with some singing and then some social activities. I had no volunteers today but as usual our carers always jump in to help which I am grateful.