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Busy and emotive day at the Convent Christmas Fair

Johnny Bugeja

People started queueing up early yesterday morning for this year’s Convent Christmas Fair, an emotive event for the Governor, Lieutenant General Edward Davis, and his wife Lorraine as they welcomed the community into their home for the last time.

The couple have built strong links across the community during their time in Gibraltar, but Lt Gen Davis’ term as Governor comes to an end early next year.

Yesterday, he admitted experiencing a mixed bag of emotions as he walked around The Convent chatting to visitors and stall holders alike.

“I am very sad and very happy,” Lt Gen Davis told the Chronicle as he was buying some homemade jam at the Cancer Relief stall.

“I am very sad that this is the last time we will be hosting the Christmas Fair and very happy because I like being here – jams, the people, and sausage rolls. For me that is Christmas heaven.”

“This is a great example of how the people of Gibraltar embrace events like this and raise money for charities.”

“This is just a great start to Christmas, and I love opening my home to everyone.”

The money raised will go towards five local cancer charities, namely Bosom Buddies, Breast Cancer Support Group, Bloodwise, Prostate Cancer Support Group Gibraltar and Cancer Relief.

Other local charities also ran their own stalls, with 40 stalls selling yummy Christmas treats and hand-crafted gift ideas for home and personal use.

Mince pies, mulled wine and tasty treats were on offer in the Cloisters with performances by Jazz Friends as people milled about in the sunshine.

In the afternoon, children were given early Christmas presents as they paid a visit to Santa in his grotto.

The Bishop Fitzgerald Middle School choir sang Christmas songs during a performance in the King’s Chapel for all in the afternoon.

This year a motorbike, donated by Bassadone, was once again raffled at the end of the day’s event.

“We had a great start to the day and the footfall has been excellent and lots of lovely people coming in to spend money,” Eleri Surrey, Chair of the Convent Christmas Fair Committee, said.

Yesterday’s event has been two months in the making, and Ms Surrey thanked the Convent staff and those participating for making the day a success.

“This year has been really lovely and I know Mr and Mrs Davis are anxious to make this special as it is their last year here, so we wanted to make it extra special for them,” Ms Surrey added.