The Christmas spirit embodies all that ROSL stands for – friendship, shared experiences, appreciation and sharing of the many gifts that life has given us. It is also a time to remember those who are less fortunate and those who are no longer with us. Festive lights at this darkest time of year are an essential part of Christmas. 

I had the great pleasure this year to be in India for Diwali in November – a time filled with light and rejoicing. Diwali is celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Newar Buddhists, although for each faith it marks different historical events and stories, but nonetheless the festival represents the same symbolic victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil. In the Jewish faith people celebrate Hanukkah by lighting candles on a menorah. Each night, one more candle is lit.

I hope that wherever you are, whatever your faith, your celebrations will be filled with light and laughter. Here at Over-Seas House we will be celebrating in the traditional way and with grateful thanks to everyone who is working over this festive period. It has been a great pleasure to meet many members and their families and friends over the past year; I look forward to meeting you again in 2019 and welcoming you to Over-Seas House in London.

With every best wish for a peaceful and happy Christmas and New Year.


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