The Florida Page – April 2012

UNLESS YOU’VE been isolated by Somali pirates, you’ll have heard of the latest British eruption since Susan Boyle stumbled into our life in that yellow dress and bad hair: One Direction, the British boy band created by Simon Cowell, is Florida-bound. They are the only UK band ever to debut at Number one with their first album. “It’s humbling” said 18-year-old bandmember Harry Styles. “We’re just five normal British boys who’ve been given this opportunity, so we’re making a point of working very hard.” And learning to shave. Cowell declared himself proud and excited. I declare him richer. So tell the teenagers in your life their hearthrobs play Tampa June 29, Orlando June 30 and Ft Lauderdale on July 1, 2012. Details on their official website www.onedirectionmusic.com

BRITISH CLUBS CORNER …new members welcome:

1) SPRING HILL newly formed British-American Ladies Club. Call Maria Elena (352) 678-8138.

2) TAMPA area British Commonwealth Society established many years. Call fellow Brits President Pearl Royer on (813) 401-5711 or membership director Dorothy Derrick (813) 886-3437.

ST PETERSBURG: A Queen’s Birthday Celebration on Saturday, April 21 organised by the flourishing Brits MeetUp group there. (That’s St George’s Day but maybe they don’t want to celebrate him). Anyway, they emailed me a photo of Her Majesty with: “Please join us for one heck of a party to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s Birthday, drink and food specials and entertainment in the best possible taste. We ask that you dress appropriately for this special event in red and white. BYOC – Bring your own crown.” Phone British organiser John Crapper on (727) 644-6094 if you wish to attend.

ST GEORGE’S DAY celebratory elegant event on Sunday April 22. Presented by the Royal Society of St George, whose patron is the Queen. She’s a tad busy this year so don’t expect to see Her Maj at this. Join fellow RSSG members and guests at the beautiful waterfront Lighthouse Point Yacht Club for a sumptuous brunch starting at 1:30pm. Costs $28.95 including one Mimosa. The next 10 are on you. To book call President Roy Yates (954) 942-7330. Note: Lighthouse Point is a few miles northeast of Ft Lauderdale.

FT LAUDERDALE (Davie ): The British Marketplace (954) 584-8888 with its attached English tearoom has announced innovative events for local Brits and seeks your input. Says genial expat owner David Williams: “April 15, 2012 is the 100 year anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. Since there will be a lot of hype with the release of a 3D movie, TV documentaries and the opening of the museum in Ireland, our shop has a range of Titanic memorabilia like teapots, mugs, jigsaw puzzles, books, games and more – maybe the only place in South Florida with this merchandise. Also we now have LIVE British TV with 15 channels and plan tea parties to enjoy live UK events like Royal Ascot (with all the hats), Wimbledon, the Queen’s Jubilee, London Olympics and so on. We’re also introducing High Tea theme evenings where Brits can gather to watch episodes of Coronation Street, Emmerdale and EastEnders – separate evenings for each programme. If your readers have other event ideas we’d love to hear them. Because, as you always say Patricia, “A room full of Brits is never dull.” See British Marketplace ad this issue.

 RUGBY PALM BEACH: Touch Rugby Club welcomes experienced players and new supporters. Call fellow Brit Dwight Gray on (561) 644-2718 for latest info.

 POLO: The sport of English princes. April 26-29 – Miami’s Annual International Polo On The Beach. The Title sponsor this year is Maserati, which will display its marvellous motors alongside the thoroughbred horses and uber-glamorous guests. Oceanside on South Beach you can enjoy three days of international polo, with male and female players from England, Argentina, USA and elsewhere playing right on the sands. The MC is a seasoned professional English announcer. This event started in 2002 and is the world’s largest and most prestigious Beach Polo tournament. After the chukkers have been played and the sun goes down, the action continues all around South Beach with sophisticated parties/dinners and a VIP tent. I’ve been a few times, albeit as mere press, and recommend it for top people-ogling. Info and tickets on www.miamipolo.com or call (305) 538-3809.

 NEW BRITISH BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: In DUNEDIN, home of the famous Scottish Games, the Celtic Shop of Dunedin (727) 733-2200 has recently opened. Phone British owner Lynn to find out what they offer.

 TAMPA BRITISH-AMERICAN Chamber of Commerce. (813) 221-7250 is the number they gave me to publish last month but readers tell me they just get a Mailbox Full error message. So instead try (813) 221-7243 and ask for Joanne.

 RICH BRITS: The economic situation back home isn’t gloomy for all. The Miami Herald reported that UK resident Jason Kennedy bought an entire private island just off Miami for $2.3m. Jason – please invite me over.

 SCOTTISH FESTIVALS … always a great day out. Dust off your sporrans, wear something tartan and go. DUNEDIN Highland Games on Saturday, April 21. Call (727) 733-3197.

 APRIL 20-22. MASTER CHORALE of South Florida Presents Royal Flush a Concert Series of music by, for and about Royalty. This is South Florida’s premier classical chorale ensemble. Henry VIII was a prolific composer and his music will be featured. The diverse program includes: Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Handel’s The King Shall Rejoice and Zadok the Priest, two of four anthems composed for the coronation of George II of Great Britain in 1727, which have been sung at every subsequent British coronation, King Henry VIII’s Pastyme with Good Companye, known as The King’s Ballad, written shortly after he was crowned and regarded as his most famous composition, Benjamin Britten’s Gloriana – a popular name for Queen Elizabeth I first performed in 1953, Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music, with lyrics adapted from Shakespeare and John Rutter’s This is the Day that the Lord Has Made, commissioned for Prince William’s 2011 wedding. The Chorale will be accompanied by members of the Boca Raton Symphonia and soloists. Venues in Ft Lauderdale, Boca Raton and Coral Gables Miami. Tickets cost $30-$35, phone (954) 418-6232 to book.

 JACKSONVILLE Footie fans! Watch SCOTLAND vs USA at Everbank Field Jacksonville. Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 8pm Info on www.ussoccer.com

COLUMN SUBMISSIONS: Just opened a British business in the last three months? Have a future British event? Just launched a new British club? Send details (by email only) for possible publication on this page to britishflorida@aol.com Your name, city and daytime phone necessary. On subject line put: UJ Florida column.

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