MORE than 150 people gathered in the Trio Restaurant in Puerto Pollensa Tuesday lunchtime for a very special birthday party. The English-Speaking Residents Associations Northern branch was celebrating the 18th anniversary of its very first meeting. That first meeting was held in 1985 at the Illa d'Or hotel in the port and several of the district's earliest members were on hand to toast the continuing success of the organisation. ESRA North's first chairman, Leslie Waite spoke about the group's early days, remembering all the clubs that were started. They included ladies fitness sessions and cooking classes for men. He paid tribute to all involved in ESRA, noting their willingness to help others and promote the organisation's guidelines of good fellowship.
Current chairman Ann Lilley also thanked everyone who had worked so hard in ESRA North over the years particularly founder member Yvonne Parker.
Yvonne, with her late husband John, has overseen the important help provided by ESRA Care in assisting members with health problems.
ESRA President Dorothy Loeffler also spoke at the birthday lunch, welcoming all the past chairmen who had been invited to attend.
ESRA North was the first area to branch out from the original ESRA organisation that was mainly based in the south of Majorca, but there are now separate district offices for every corner of the island. ESRA North has thriving clubs for fans of petanca, scrabble, Mah-jong and cycling, organises regular lunches, dinners and excursions for its members and has a library of books and tapes housed in Pollensa town. The district also takes an active part in all-island ESRA activities such as quizzes, car rallies and golf tournaments.
Over the years ESRA North has also made a valuable contribution to local charities with its donations, the forthcoming Christmas bazaar in the area, for instance, (Sunday November 30 at 10.30am in the Santo Domingo Cloisters, Pollensa) is raising money for an Inca workshop that helps handicapped adults. A coming of age, therefore, that could be celebrated with the satisfaction of knowing that the 500-plus members of ESRA North are doing worthwhile work for others while having a jolly good time themselves.
Happy birthday!

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