The roll for the North-East Scotland Gurkhas has shrunk to five, with families. Uniquely formed by ranks for authority and hard workers, there are two former Gurkha Majors and two former Riflemen. In the middle sits the Chairman, Honorary Lieutenant Menbahadur Gurung, who tactfully provides the organizational skills and personal drive, which have benefitted all, as activities of the last year show.
On a personal level Menbahadur is now employed by IBM in the field of cyber security, having completed their skills build course, accessed through the Salute My Job programme for ex Servicemen and women. After a short-term post with Woods in Aberdeen, he was offered a permanent position with IBM, the downside being a commute down to Winchester from Aberdeen. He was also a finalist in the Service Leavers of the Year Award for Scotland and met the then Duke of Rothesay and the Duchess of Cornwall, now The King and Queen Consort.
Continuing in Aberdeen society, Menbahadur was elected to become a Burgess of Guild, an organization of worthy citizens which dates to the reign of King David, who died in 1153. Being a friend of the Dean of the Guild and the Lord Provost led to a lavish Gurkha reception for over 70 at the magnificent Town House in March. As well as guests already well known to the Gurkha Community, we were honoured to welcome Flight Lieutenant John Cruickshank, now 102, the only surviving WW2 Victoria Cross holder in UK. He was in good form on the day, cheerful, chatty and sprightly, an inspirational friend to all. We were well entertained during the sumptuous lunch by the pipers from the Robert Gordon’s College Combined Cadet Force. We owe a debt of gratitude to Aberdeen City Council for their generosity and to Menbahadur for his hard work in many spheres to bring it all together.
We held a Jubilee Lunch in Kingussie which had to coincide with Menbahadur making the long trip home from Winchester for a few days. Due to work commitments others could not attend but those who did cross over the majestic Grampians had a great scenic day out with a very relaxed curry lunch.
By John Patchett