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Help light up the land for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee

The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (R.A.B.I) is asking its supporters to light a beacon on Bank Holiday Monday 4th June as part of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Beacon campaign.

The farming charity, of which The Queen is patron, hopes landowners, farmers, and rural residents will light 1,000 of the 2,012 beacons and bonfires which will be lit across the UK and Commonwealth to mark this historic year.

Beacon campaign organiser, Pageantmaster Bruno Peek OBE MVO OPR, welcomed the charity’s involvement. “I am delighted that R.A.B.I has once again accepted my invitation to be the official farming partner in this historic celebration. With farming and the countryside playing such a leading role in our country’s history, especially over the past 60 years, and with many of the beacons and bonfires marking this very special occasion being lit on farmland, the support of rural communities is especially relevant”, said Mr Peek.

Milly Wastie , R.A.B.I. regional officer for East Midlands explained: “Those registering a beacon or bonfire with R.A.B.I will become part of the nationwide chain of light that will link up with the national beacon to be lit by The Queen in London.

“In 2002, when 650 beacons and bonfires were registered with R.A.B.I to celebrate The Queen’s Golden Jubilee, there were 21 organised by farmers or local communities in Leicestershire. This time we’re aiming higher – our target is for people to light 50 R.A.B.I beacons in the county.

Leicestershire RABI committee chairman Ken Grimsdell commented that ‘It would be great to get as many local groups and organisations involved to make the jubilee weekend a celebration to remember. ‘If we can promote the work of RABI in the process and help to raise funds too then that would be great’.

Milly Wastie said: “Beacon events can be large, embracing whole communities, or small family gatherings but as long as they are registered they will be included in a special book to be given to HM The Queen after the event. The aim is to have fun and put R.A.B.I dots on the national beacon map to raise awareness of our work, but if people can also raise funds, for example by asking for donations for additional entertainment, refreshments, or parking, so much the better.”

Guidelines are available for different types of beacons, for example traditional bonfire beacons, brazier beacons, and beacons fuelled by bottle gas. The guidelines also explain legal and safety essentials, as well as information about whether insurance is required. Events need to be registered by 30th April.

Milly Wastie added: “In 60 years of The Queen’s reign R.A.B.I has given £40 million to help 60,000 farming families who faced hardship through retirement, disability, sickness, injury, or misfortune beyond their control.

“We hope members of the agricultural and rural community will help us make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to raise awareness of the help we can give.”

To register a beacon/bonfire or to find out more about how you can be part of this momentous occasion, contact R.A.B.I on 01865 724931; e-mail – hayley.paintin@rabi.org.uk or visit the RABI website – www.rabi.org.uk

Event date: 
Monday, June 4, 2012 - 09:00 to 17:00
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