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  • 9 Jun 2017 08:56 | Anonymous

    Remembering those who cannot be forgotten...

    We speak a lot about The Anglo-Portuguese Alliance & The Treaty of Windsor, and at times I must admit it can roll off the tongue with little thinking about WHAT it means.  What does it mean that the Portuguese have always stood side by side with the British in time of emergency and hardship just like the British did the same with Portugal? There is a Galician saying, “no hay dolor sin Gloria” which means that “there is no pain without glory” and this brings us to the participation of Portugal in The First World War, alongside Britain and its allies. This is without question one of the greatest examples of WHAT this alliance truly.

    Portugal’s support during the First World War came in a number of ways and it is saddening that all are not remembered with a memorial. The Portuguese Fireplace in The New Forest National Park near Lyndhurst, remembers the Portuguese Unit that was based there to support the Canadian Timber Corps in their herculean work of providing timber to the frontline of the conflict.

    Portugal’s involvement in the war escalated on 24th February 1916 when, at Britain’s request, Portugal seized 36 German and Austro-Hungarian merchant ships anchored in off Lisbon. Then just over two weeks later on the 9th March 1916 The German Ambassador, Baron Van Rosen, formally declared war on Portugal claiming Portugal was “Nothing but an English vassal” and the seizure of the ships was an intentional provocation.

    Of the 56,500 Portuguese soldiers sent to the Western Front, approximately 2,100 were killed, 5,200 wounded and 7,000 taken prisoner.  Throughout the whole of WW1 over 12,000 Portuguese troops died. The majority of Portugal’s war dead were buried outside Portugal and their bodies could not be brought home. However in France there is a cemetery where these Portuguese heroes are remembered, the cemetery of Richebourg l'Avoué.


    In the United Kingdom, the country that specifically asked Portugal to break its neutral status there is no memorial to the servicemen who came to fight alongside us. This is a wrong that Father Ulrick Loring & Nick Reynolds of St James’ church in Twickenham have decided must be righted. 

    St James’ boast a rich history, and much of this is connected with the Royal Family of Portugal. Queen Amelia of Portugal, consort of King Carlos was born in Twickenham in 1865.  She was a granddaughter of Louis Philippe King of the French. Her family lived at Orleans House and York House in the area. Her son, King Manuel II the last sovereign of Portugal was a parishioner from 1914 until his death in 1932.  He contributed a lot to the church and to the local community.  He also provided humanitarian support during the 1914-18 War. In the parish he and his wife Queen Victoria Augusta were godparents to many children at their Confirmations which are recorded in the parish Confirmation register. The King was an accomplished organist and the organ he played was donated to the church by the Queen.  Though it is no longer in use the royal shield can still be seen.


    In 2009 St James Church unveiled a memorial to King Manuel.  At this occasion HH Dom Miguel of Braganza (brother of the head of the royal house Dom Duarte,) and the then Portuguese Ambassador, Antonio Santana Carlos laid a wreath to commemorate the Portuguese War Dead.  From this grew the idea that the Portuguese War dead should be remembered in a fitting way.   It was thus decided to remember those Portuguese soldiers who fought and perished along with many other British & allied soldiers with the erection of two stained glass windows.  Caroline Benyon is the artist responsible for the project of designing the memorial to them. Here are some of Caroline’s marvellous pieces to you to appreciate.


    The members of The Anglo-Portuguese Society have already very generously contributed a significant portion of the required funds, however more is needed. If you would like to donate you can visit The APS website and donate online, but please make sure you reference  the windows appeal in your donation and also enter your gift aid declaration.



    The events sub-committee are also planning a visit to The Portuguese Fireplace on Saturday the 29th July. Please mark the date in your diary and further details will be released over the next two weeks.

    Andrew Harcourt and Bernardo da Mata

  • 9 Jun 2017 08:53 | Anonymous

    Fells was founded in 1858 and is arguably thUK’s leading distributor of premium family-owned and produced fine wines. 

    The company has three main pillars to its business:   

    The biggest of these is its fortified wine business where it is widely regarded as the category leader with a portfolio that includes Port, Sherry, Madeira and Marsala.  Fells is also the UK category expert for Port and now accounts for 65% of the entire UK Port market with an unrivalled portfolio of leading brands that includes Graham’s, Cockburn’s, Dow’s, and Warre’s. 

    Another key part of Fells’ business is it fine wine portfolio where it represents an unrivalled list of family owned wineries from all of the world’s key wine producing regions. 

    The third, and lesser known part of Fells is its gifting business which is the leader of its type in the UK.  It specialises in producing high quality premium gifts which it supplies to many of the UK’s leading retailers. 

    The company services all sectors of the UK Trade, ranging from the most prestigious hotels and restaurants to supermarkets and independent wine merchants, and has an active customer base in excess of 850 accounts. 

    Fells is owned by Symington Family Estates, the world’s leading premium Port producer with combined sales that account for 33% of all the premium Port sold throughout the world.   

    Symington Family Estates is the largest owner of vineyards in the Douro Valley in Northern Portugal and is also a leading producer of Portuguese table wine.  In addition to producing their own range of Douro DOC wines, including Altano and Vesuvio, the family also produce a range of wines in collaboration with Bruno Pratts, formerly of Cos D’Estournel.  This range includes the award winning Chryseia which was voted the world’s No.3 wine by The Wine Spectator in 2014. 

    Torres, one of Spain’s largest and most innovative family owned wineries is also a minority shareholder in the company. In the UK Fells represents all of the key wines in the Torres portfolio including those from Spain, Chile and California. 


  • 7 May 2017 14:32 | Anonymous


    As Chairman I have often stated that I would like to see The Anglo-Portuguese Society do more charitable work, specifically in relation to the plight of the homeless.

    Homelessness is a complex issue and not simply a matter of finding a home for people. Substance abuse, education, relationships & psychology all play a part. Out of the many homeless charities that I am involved with in the UK The Beyond Food Foundation, which was founded in 2004 by Simon Boyle, has had amazing success in helping many homeless move their lives forward in a positive and meaningful way though his kitchen apprentices. If you have some time and are near Borough, do call in and have a bite to eat at “Brigade.”

    It is Brigade’s initial programme of support called “Freshlife” that provides the “secret sauce” to their success. It enables a rounded picture of the issues of those in the programme to be identified and corrective support to be offered.

    After “Freshlife” comes The “United Kitchen Apprenticeship”, this is a fully certified training programme where apprentices study towards a recognised qualification in professional cookery as well as receiving on the job training in the kitchens at Brigade. In addition to this, apprentices also receive personal mentoring and employability coaching helping to create a direct pathway to future employment.

    As of writing Brigade graduates are working at some of London’s top hotels & restaurants including Carluccios, The Savoy, Harrods, Swan at the Globe, The Dorchester, De Vere Venues, Elite Hotel, Handpicked Hotels, Brasserie Blanc, Bartlett Mitchell & Berkely Scott

    Click below for more information on “Brigade”:

    Closer to home for The APS is the wonderful work of “CoM Café” by The Companions of The Order of Malta at Our lady of The Assumption & St Gregory. Every Wednesday morning (and at other locations across London) the church hall is opened to all comers as a safe place to come for a hearty breakfast and a friendly chat.

    Due to some very well thought out refurbishments “CoM Café” are also able to offer shower facilities so those visiting can freshen up. An often-overlooked issue is how difficult it can be for the homeless to keep clean, this then undermines self-respect and a never ending cycle starts....

    Click in the image below for more information on “CoM Café”:

    In Portugal we have already supported Comunidade Vida e Paz. One of the largest charities supporting the homeless in the country. At the “Paula Rego – Private View & Charity Benefit” with Rachel Campbell-Johnson we managed to raise just over €2,000 !!

    Click in the image below for more information (in Portuguese) on “CVP”:

    It can sometimes be too easy to take for granted the roof we each have over our heads, the friends and support structures we have. Too easy to forget that there are many people close to us in very dire need. It is my hope that as well as our social, cultural, arts & education events we can do more for these people. 

    Andrew Harcourt

  • 7 May 2017 14:13 | Anonymous

    The messenger of Peace is in London

    London is pleased to welcome the United Nations Secretary-General, His Excellency António Guterres, on the 10th of May for an Interactive Talk, organised by the United Nations Association - UK. This event will be an opportunity to hear the Secretary-General speak on the various global impacting issues,with a special insight on the Syrian humanitarian Crisis, the increasing tensions within the International System and the challenges sustainable development and human rights are currently facing on account of the emergence of several Populist Movements.

    António Guterres was born in Lisbon but he spent most of his childhood in Donas, Municipality of Fundão, in the heart of Portugal, where he grew up aspiring to become a priest. However, with the Carnation Revolution and his humanist beliefs, he decided to embrace a career in politics.

    António Guterres is cheered after his party won Portugal’s general elections (1999)

    In pursuit for the common good, he was elected the fourteenth Prime-Minister of the Third Portuguese Republic in 1995, leading a Socialist Government which was responsible for introducing new measures that would modernise Portugal, such as developing its  infrastructure. Through his use of diplomacy, he was responsible for managing Timor Humanitarian Crisis and the transfer of sovereignty of Macau to China in 1999.

    UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres meets Syrian refugees in Fayda informal tented settlement in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon.  UNHCR / A. McConnell / (2014)

    In 2005, António Guterres was elected the 10th  High Commissioner for Refugees, a mandate that was particularly demanding, with the 2010 Earthquake in Haiti, the consequences of the Arab Spring from 2011 onwards and the rising tensions between Russia and the United States of America.

    António Guterres addressing The United Nations as Secretary-General (2016)

    An experienced politician and diplomat, with leadership qualities that span not only driving a nation, but a collective of different and at times conflicting nations on the global stage, the Anglo-Portuguese Society invites its member & friends to attend this exclusive event on 10th May 2017. 

    Anglo-Portuguese members, friends & guests may use this exclusive promotional code FRIEND66 at the following link to obtain a discounted ticket:

    Andrew Harcourt, Bernardo da Mata and Sandra Carito

  • 4 May 2017 12:56 | Anonymous

    Events Sub-Committee

    Having a schedule of varied, informative, entertaining and well-planned events is the very lifeblood of the APS. The ExCo now have an events sub-committee and have introduced a process for events that includes a management account template to ensure that costs are fully understood in advance and that there are clear details of who is responsible for doing what & when. We are now looking for two volunteers from the membership to join the committee.

    The role will require you to meet up to once per month with other sub-committee members, identify event ideas, research interesting venues, seek sponsorship & when at events assist with event setup, welcoming of members and their guests and generally assisting with the smooth running of the occasion.

    You do not need to have any experience of being on a committee though this will of course be beneficial. You will need to be certain you can commit the time for meetings and are able to undertake some minimal email & phone administration. However, the most important requirement is that you have a strong desire to make The APS a success.

    If you are interested please email the event sub-committee at:

    Andrew Harcourt

  • 4 May 2017 12:49 | Anonymous

    Palace of Westminster Reception

    The Palace of Westminster Reception on the 14th of March, following the Extraordinary General Meeting, was a huge success with more than 100 members and their guests attending the event. Our new Chairman, Andrew Harcourt, gave a speech emphasising his desire that the APS do more charitable work particularly in helping to support those working with the homeless both in The UK & Portugal. The Chairman also spoke about his desire to grow both individual & corporate membership and to introduce an international membership level for those who live outside of the UK.


    Stephen Hammond MP, whose kind invitation made the event possible, spoke about the strength and continued importance of the Anglo-Portuguese relationship as well as his own personal love of Portugal and its people.


    His Excellency the Ambassador of Portugal and President of the Society was also present and in his speech emphasised the role of the alliance between UK and Portugal, the work done by the APS and its continued contribution to the education and culture of the peoples of both countries and relieve suffering.


    It is the desire of the ExCo that we hold a parliamentary reception once per year, a report on this and other events will be presented to the AGM in June.

    Laura Ferrer

  • 4 May 2017 12:45 | Anonymous

    The Anglo-Portuguese Ensemble


    Music is the recreation of the soul and this was, thus, the ExCo's strong motivation to support the Anglo-Portuguese Ensemble's Tour in Portugal with both administrative and marketing help. The Ensemble was founded in 2015 by a group of prodigious British and Portuguese young musicians aiming to promote the richness of both countries cultural contributions through the celebration of Music and Literature. The executive members are friends Lourenço Sampaio, Pedro Silva & Heloísa Ribeiro they had always talked about playing as a group with their Portuguese friends and thus organized a concert entitled "Strings from Portugal", featuring a string piece from the Portuguese repertoire alongside a fantastic chamber music work by Tchaikovsky. It had great attendance and the audience highlighted how fantastic it was to have something bringing them all together and how their friendship came across so beautifully on stage.

    With the help of the Portuguese Embassy in London, they started planning a series of performance opportunities at Our Lady of the Assumption & St Gregory on Warwick Street, which as many of you will know used to be the Portuguese Embassy back in the 18th century. As the idea developed, it only made sense to extend this opportunity to their fellow UK students to strengthen relations amongst musicians from both countries and leverage the heritage value of the centuries-old alliance between the two nations.

    After the inaugural concert in January 2015, which was exceptionally well received, the friends realised that they had an exciting concept and were ready to pursue more ambitious projects. Their vision is to grow the Ensemble into a symbol of cultural exchange between Portugal and the UK as well as to be a platform to provide its career-starting members visibility through paid high-profile performance opportunities.

    Five concerts and one soiree in various locations including the prestigious CCB (Cultural Centre of Belem) in Lisbon, the equivalent of London’s Southbank complex and the equally famous Casa da Musica in Oporto brought them standing ovations on all occasions.  The audiences were electrified and wanted more.

    The group performed an exciting and varied range of compositions including Benjamin Brittan’s “Simple Symphony”, Henry Purcell’s “Suite Abdelazar”, Ralph Vaughan Williams, “Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis” and the sublime and difficult to perform, “Verklarte Nacht” by Arnold Schoenberg.  The overall concept of the concerts reflected the relationship between literature and music.

    At a more relaxed venue, the Oporto Cricket and Lawn Tennis Club, the APE gave and informal soiree for club members, during which various musicians and sections of the ensemble displayed their individual virtuosities.  It was a perfect programme that embraced everything from Beethovan to Bernstein’s “West Side Story”.

    This is a group of young, professional musicians who have gone from strength to strength since their debut concert at the Our Lady of the Assumption with St. Gregory Church in Soho, London and they will continue to soar in the future both from their Warwick Street, Soho base and with proposed future tours in Portugal and possibly other locations.  They are a pure joy to observe not just in terms of the music they produce but also in terms of the enthusiasm and team-manship that explodes from every member from the minute they pick up their bows. 

    Borrowing the words of the British Ambassador, Kirsty Hayes, who attended the Oporto performance – “simply wonderful!” 

    The support from APS to this initiative was part of the Executive Committees desire to enhance our cultural and partnership credentials by supporting young & upcoming musicians as well as bring new younger members into the society. 

    The APE can be heard again at 8pm on the 13th May where they are playing a Solemn Mass for Fatima at Westminster Cathedral, which is being organised by Missão Católica Portuguesa. They are also performing on the 4th July at The Hurlingham Club for The Anglo-Portuguese Society Summer Party.

    Andrew Harcourt & Bernardo da Mata

  • 4 May 2017 12:40 | Anonymous

    Paula Rego – Private View & Charity Benefit

    By kind invitation of Marlborough Fine Art member & guests of The Anglo-Portuguese Society were able to see a previously unseen series of eleven large pastel works on paper created by Paula Rego between 2006 and 2007. This completely unique opportunity was graced by a very informative talk by Times art critic Rachel Campbell-Johnston. 

    Rachel has spoke to us about the unique characteristics that Paula has put in her oeuvre from very strong and shadowed traces to the mysteriously beautiful and emancipated women. These were the central characters of the various paintings, drawings and drafts that were being exhibited at Marlborough Fine Art.

    As part of the new Chairman’s commitment to extend the charitable activities of The Anglo Portuguese Society and made possible because Marlborough Fine Art made their gallery available at no charge. The Executive Committee requested that those attending gave donations in lieu of a ticket fee.  As a result we were able to raise approximately €2000 in donations during the event, a very rewarding step forward in strengthening the Society’s charitable aims. In this particular instance to benefit those in Portugal who are affected by homelessness through “Comunidade Vida e Paz”.

    If you would like more information CVP please click here:

    Marlborough Fine Art whose generosity in making their gallery space available at no charge made the event possible can be visited here:

    Laura Ferrer 

  • 1 May 2017 19:29 | Anonymous

    Message from the Chairman

    This is my first newsletter as Chairman of The Anglo-Portuguese society and it is quite appropriate that I am writing it in Porto, overlooking the city as I prepare to attend two concerts by The Anglo-Portuguese Ensemble; one at The Oporto Cricket & Lawn Tennis Club and another at the legendary Casa da Música.

     It does however come after a period of difficulty for us. The EGM back in March was our opportunity as members, to clear the air and ratify the appointment of an Executive Committee to take the society forward. As difficult as the EGM was I believe it was a success, in that it has allowed a line to be drawn and for us all to move forwards. So we carry on as we have since 1938, holding events for our members, educating and informing our friends, colleagues and neighbours about the long friendship between The United Kingdom & Portugal and one of my own personal objectives to not only continue but increase the amount of charitable work we are doing.


    The reception at The Palace of Westminster, in the presence of His Excellency Manuel Lobo Antunes The Ambassador of Portugal & Stephen Hammond MP was the perfect event to move forward from.  If we believed that things could not get any better our charity event, “Paula Rego Private View & Charity Benefit with Rachel Campbell-Johnston” at Marlborough Fine Art was quite the fund raising triumph.


    It has not all been plain sailing though and since becoming chairman I have had to manage a number of issues relating to both the quality & the accuracy of the data we hold on our members, 95% of the records inherited had an erroneous letter or detail. One of the consequences of this has been that communications from the ExCo have been less than I would have liked. Due to the hard work of ExCo the process of recovering the data is very nearly complete. But moving forwards we needed to change how our IT was structured to prevent this from being happening in future. The executive committee have now approved an IT plan that has consolidated the eight separate IT systems previously introduced down to two. One for membership management & one Microsoft Office 365 platform for everything else, which now The APS is registered with The technology Trust, is completely free under Microsoft’s “Not For Profit” pricing.


    Consequently I can now introduce you to the new membership platform “Wild Apricot”. This integrates our membership, event, email marketing, website & accounting in one very handy application and will not only greatly reduce the amount of work it takes to manage the membership but also provide much better governance and oversight of society records. You will all shortly be receiving an email from Sandra Carito our honorary secretary introducing this system to you in more detail as well as providing you with information on how you can log in and manage your membership, donations & event booking. In case you are concerned about costs the migration to the new platform was undertaken for free under an IT programme for charities called “Pro Bono Friday” where IT professionals give one Friday per month to charities for free.


    I do however appreciate though that some of our members choose not to operate online. Please do not worry as all the old paper processes are still there for those members who want to use them and this newsletter will be going out by post to those members who wish to receive it.


    With the uncertainty in the society, the ExCo did not believe it prudent to commence planning the 2017 Treaty of Windsor dinner until after the EGM in March. However, once that was completed and access to membership data restored I did not believe that there was enough time to plan such a considerable event without placing the society at great financial risk. We as an ExCo reluctantly made the decision to not hold the Treaty of Windsor Dinner in 2017. Instead we will hold a Summer garden party with music by The Anglo-Portuguese Ensemble at The Hurlingham club on the 4th July.


    As I have already stated the EGM marked a new chapter. We have an active and committed Executive Committee. We are busy planning a new and diverse events calendar for the year ahead, with a greater emphasis on raising money for charitable causes. We welcome and encourage members to come forward and make any suggestions, or if you are interested in actively participating in our Events Sub Committee feel free to reach out to us. We are also in the process of reviewing the current rules that shall be presented at the AGM on 29th June. So it is very much business as usual.


    I do believe it is important for me to be available to ALL members and if any member wishes to reach me then please do not hesitate to call the society phone number or reach out by email and I will be happy to talk. I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible at the AGM and the summer concert & garden party at The Hurlingham Club.

    Andrew Harcourt

  • 23 Apr 2017 17:30 | Anonymous

    RULES OF THE SOCIETY - 2017 Review

    On 14th March 2017, at the Extraordinary General Meeting, members recognised the need to review the current rules of the Society. It was agreed to form a temporary Sub Committee with the sole purpose of making necessary changes, that adapt to our current reality, new ways of working and remove any ambiguous or gaps that currently exist in our Rules. The review shall not in any way change the object nor organisational structure of the Society.

    How does the review process work?

    As we have reported on many occasions, the APS has become a more inclusive and open Society, calling upon our members to take an active role in the running and activities of the Society.

    The Rule Review Sub Committee is formed of 3, with a maximum of 5 members, from within the membership.

    The Sub Committee is being led by the Sandra Carito, Honorary Secretary, and reporting to the Executive Committee.

    What are the timings?

    The review period runs until formal notice of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 24th May 2017.

    From the 24th March through to the AGM, to be held on 29th June 2017, members shall have the opportunity to analyse and comment on the same.

    On 29thJune 2017 the Rules will be discussed by the membership and a vote to adopt the new Rules to follow.

    How can I get involved?

    If you have an interest in the running of the Society and have experience with Charities or other experience through your professional activity, please contact:

    Sandra Carito – Honorary Secretary

    0203 377 8767

    The Executive Committee

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