PAKISTAN 1–15 July 2014
Our organisation in Pakistan, the Commonwealth Ex-Services Trust (CEST), formerly known as the Commonwealth Ex-Services Association of Pakistan (CESAP), is a voluntary committee. The Chairman, Brigadier Rustom Darrah is very well supported by a committee of 5, who in turn are well supported by Sqn Ldr Varris Hasan, the General Secretary, a Welfare Officer and an Office Assistant. There are now 2 Field Officers who cover the areas of Gujrat and Chakwal. Previously there had been 8 Field Officers but these had been reduced in order to cut costs. The Pakistan Armed Services Board (PASB) now covers the areas where CEST no longer have a Field Officer but the bulk of our beneficiaries are in Gujrat and Chakwal. The CEST office moved last year in order to reduce costs and re-locate to a safer part of Karachi. They do not have a sign outside the office as there are often large demonstrations in the area and they do not wish to attract attention. CEST currently have over 3,600 identified and eligible veterans and widows.
BANGLADESH 1–15 July 2014
KENYA 10–20 November 2014
During the visit to DEFOCA a meeting was held with three World War 2 veterans who receive grants from RCEL.
The visit to the Kenya Legion included a home call to Mr and Mrs Jordan Hoareau in a suburb of Nairobi. He lives in a small shack which he rents from a Somali. His parents were originally from the Seychelles but moved to Nairobi when he was a child. He served between 1950 and 1953 in 2040 Company of The Royal Pioneer Corps in Egypt and Suez Canal. He has no income and is supported by the Legion Kenya with RCEL grants. Subsequent to this visit, an application was submitted to the Royal Logistic Corps Regimental Association who generously provided a general needs grant in addition to that provided by RCEL.
SEYCHELLES 10–20 November 2014
MAURITIUS 10–20 November 2014
MALAYSIA 10–19 July 2014
SRI LANKA 10–19 July 2014
ST LUCIA 12 – 22 JANUARY 2014
The veterans also receive a Legion ‘membership card’ which entitles them to free Government prescriptions. As is the case with most Caribbean countries, the drugs available through Government pharmacies are very limited and frequently the Veterans have to source the necessary drugs from private chemists at a significant cost; the Royal Canadian Legion do assist with the purchase of these drugs.
The increasing cost of living was also highlighted by many of the veterans and widows, and the cost of diapers which a number of members require. Diapers are imported and are very expensive in comparative terms.