The English Speaking Residents Association (ESRA) is celebrating its 35th birthday, an important milestone for an association which does such great work. My involvement with ESRA goes back almost over 35 years; I attended my first event when I was 15. If I remember correctly it was a dinner at a restaurant in Genova and to be very honest I would have done anything to get out of studying for my O Levels, so I jumped at the opportunity to attend alongside my parents. It was a fine event attended by scores of people from across the island.

Over the years I have attended a wide range of ESRA events and they are always great fun. I also know how important these events are for people who are alone on the island; when my father died ESRA proved to be a real lifeline for my mother. They even provided her with a wheelchair following a fall. Bringing together people who share a common language is so important when you live in a so-called foreign land and this is what ESRA does so well. The fact that the association remains so strong after 35 years is a credit to its membership who work long and hard to ensure that it continues to go from strength to strength.

My favourite ESRA event has got to be the flower show at the Cloisters in Pollensa but the lunches and dinners continue to be great fun. My first experience of ESRA may have been an excuse to escape my studies, but I still enjoyed myself and that is what ESRA is all about.