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Brussels British Community Association

3 Mar 2020 11:35 AM | Tim Reynolds

The Belgian Federal Public Service (FPS) Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment has established a website on the #COVID19 virus that is available in English as well as Flemish, French and German.

Contact us if you want the BBCA to post a News Story or an Event that is strongly linked to the British Community in Brussels.  We reserve the right to select items for publication and to edit items as required for style and space.

Email    BBCA.NewsAndEvents@gmail.com

News and Events -----------

  • 7 Nov 2022 10:25 AM | Tim Reynolds (Administrator)

    The BBCA Council was shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of past BBCA President Stuart ‘Stu’ Dowsett over the weekend and we send our love, thoughts and prayers to the Dowsett family and his many friends.

    Stu Dowsett was a lovely, loving and selfless man who gave much to the BBCA and the wider community over many years. His company Eurocity has been a long-term patron of our association.

    Stu joined the BBCA Council in 2003, became Vice President in 2005 and was President of the BBCA from 2006 to 2010. Stu remained a valued member of the Council committee until he retired in 2018.

    Stu was also a formidable rugby player in his youth having played for Saracens in the late 70s (Stu is pictured above with son Craig - now a player coach with Saracens)  and he was President of Brussels Barbarians Rugby Club, based at BSB, for many years. He was well known and much liked and respected by many in the expat community over a long period and will be sorely missed.

    Stu passed away on Friday morning. He had been diagnosed with cancer at the end of the summer and was undergoing treatment, but his passing was unexpected.

    A man loved and cared for by so many, who loved and cared for so many. We will miss him. Stuart Dowsett RIP.

  • 3 Nov 2022 9:22 AM | Tim Reynolds (Administrator)

    On 26 November, the Brussels Choral Society will join forces with Arti Vocali from Antwerp and with the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of Eric Delson, to perform Mendelssohn’s ELIAS/ELIJAH in the Henry Le Boeuf Hall at the BOZAR, Rue Ravenstein 23, 1000 BRUSSELS.

    Felix Mendelssohn’s oratorio about the prophet Elias has been a favourite of choirs and audiences ever since the composer himself conducted the premiere (in English) at the Birmingham Festival in 1846.

    The oratorio is the vivid portrayal of Elias, who opens the piece with a curse bringing a drought upon the faithless Israelites. He urges them to renounce the idol worship of the god Baal, promoted by King Ahab, and to return to the Lord. Despair, cruelty, relief and mercy all play their part in the story until the turmoil is finally resolved.

    The performance starts at 20h00 and you can find out more on ticket pricing here. Discounts are available if you sign up to become a ‘Friend of BCS’. There will also be a performance on 18 December at deSingel in Antwerp.

    About BCS

    The Brussels Choral Society (BCS) is an amazing 100-strong symphony choir counting more than 20 nationalities amongst its members and represents the best of international cooperation on a musical level.

    Originally established by Brits in Brussels, there is still a strong backbone of British choral tradition in the choir and the society maintains links with London choirs and orchestras, the Albert Hall, and Ely and Guildford Cathedrals.

  • 14 Oct 2022 6:09 PM | Tim Reynolds (Administrator)

    Calling all book lovers! From Tuesday 8 November to Sunday 13 November 2022 the Belgian Red Cross will be holding its annual grand second-hand book sale in Brussels. In addition, there are stocks of games, vinyl, CDs, and DVDs – all at democratic prices.

    Francophones and Flemish speakers in the city are well aware of this annual Book Fest – the event raises tens of thousands of Euros for the Red Cross every year – but we are informed that there is also a “huge supply of books in English” and most of them will be available as bargains.

    So go grab your winter reading by heading down to Rue de Stalle 96, 1180 Uccle between 10am and 6pm during the sale period and pick up those bargain books.

    Entry is free, parking is available and access via public transport is easy via STIB Lines 4, 97, 43, 98 or 51 – alight at stops Wagon or Globe.

    Spread the work to friends, family and colleagues and help support the fantastic and vital work of the Red Cross in Belgium.

    You can find out more about the work of the Red Cross in Belgium on their website and Facebook page

  • 13 Oct 2022 4:51 PM | Tim Reynolds (Administrator)

    Our friends at the Expat Welcome Desk at the Commissioner.Brussels office are pleased to invite you to a webinar (in English) on family law in Belgium on Thursday 20 October starting at 12 noon.

    As an expatriate living in Belgium, you may face different situations or issues throughout your life that may have an impact on your assets and those of your family. For example, entering into a legal relationship with a partner has certain consequences. It is sometimes useful to know how to protect yourself as a spouse, or to protect your children in the event of different life events (marriage, divorce, death etc.).

    This webinar will be given by Notary Lisbeth Michielsens and Notary Frederic Helsen. They will cover, amongst others, the following points:

    • Ways of living together: legal cohabitation and marriage
    • What happens if you do not arrange anything?
    • Things you can arrange: marriage contract, advance directive, donation, will
    • What to do in case of death?
    • Q&A

    The webinar will be moderated by Elsemiek Apers (Fednot) and Amélie BOVY, Senior legal advisor at the Expat Welcome Desk.

    How to register?

    Prior registration is mandatory by sending an email to inscription@commissioner.brussels before 5:00pm on Tuesday 18 October. Practical information concerning the link to access the meeting will be sent via e-mail to participants one day before the webinar. Remember to check your spam box !

  • 3 Oct 2022 11:55 AM | Tim Reynolds (Administrator)

    Are you a UK citizen living or working in the Brussels region? The Expat Welcome Desk (managed by the Commissioner.Brussels office) wants to hear from you! How has Brexit affected your life and what challenges have you faced interacting with local administration? Please take a few minutes to fill in this survey or read on to learn about the new EU-funded project to update the advice offered through the Expat Welcome Desk.

    UK citizens are an important part of the cosmopolitan tapestry of life in Brussels. The Brussels-Capital Region has for many decades had a large community of British “expats” - residents who are UK citizens. Like all of Brussels diverse communities, the British in Brussels contribute significantly to the economic prosperity and intellectual capital of the Region, as well as its cultural vibrancy. Brexit does nothing to change these facts, but it did have a major impact on both the Region’s long-term and newly arrived UK residents.

    During the post-referendum negotiations, UK nationals already living in Brussels were in a legal limbo. The Withdrawal Agreement now guarantees their residence and work rights, an achievement that Belgium has mainly implemented through the new M-Card.

    UK citizens who have settled in Brussels more recently, since the end of the transition period, or who are now thinking of coming to live in the country are subject to the same conditions applicable to all third-country nationals.

    Third-country national refers to an individual who does not have the citizenship of a state which is a member of the EU or the Schengen Zone, nor of an associated state (Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein or Switzerland). Nevertheless, despite the increasing clarity of their situation, UK citizens living in or moving to Brussels face ongoing challenges or confusion relating to their status and rights.

    As the one of the Region’s primary providers of advice to International Brusselers, especially through our Expat Welcome Desk, the Commissioner.Brussels office has supported UK citizens in these difficult times. The Expat Desk is a hub of expertise on the administrative difficulties which impact the British in Brussels. Now they have launched a new project, funded by the EU’s Brexit Adjustment Reserve, to update the information and advice and support their offer to UK citizens in the post-Brexit era.

    The Brexit Impact Scan – the Survey

    The first step in this project is a Brexit Impact Scan to understand the reality of post-Brexit life for UK citizens in Brussels. One aspect of this is a short survey where you can tell the Office which administrative challenges you have or have not been facing since the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020.

    Whether you moved to the Brussels region before or after the transition period, your experiences matter! They are also interested in the opinions of UK citizens who are considering a move to Brussels, so feel free to share this survey around to friends and colleagues. Participants will not be identifiable from their responses, and the unprocessed data will not be shared outside of the Commissioner.Brussels office.


    Other actions and next steps

    This survey is only the beginning of the Expat Welcome Desk's Brexit Adjustment Reserve project, but the responses will shape everything that is done later. The Expat Welcome Desk is also engaging legal experts to work on some of the trickiest questions facing UK citizens in Brussels. This knowledge and advice will be shared through the Expat Welcome Desk’s website and other online channels. A series of events are also planned where UK citizens can learn and discuss these issues. The BBCA hope to support these events and encourage participation from the community. More news soon!

  • 21 Sep 2022 12:05 PM | Tim Reynolds (Administrator)

    The next event of the Art Society Brussels will take place on the evening of Wednesday 12 October 2022 from 19h30 with a talk by Georgina Bexon: "Land of the Monkey God - The Art and Architecture of Sri Lanka".

    This talk examines the fascinating story of Sri Lankan art and the original minds, talents and spirits that inspired it.

    Doors open at 19h30 with refreshments available and teh talk will start at 20h00 and teh venue is the Conference Room in the Maison Communale of Woluwe St. Lambert, 2 avenue Paul Hymans, 1200 Woluwe St. Lambert. Easy parking is available in the vicinity and it is well served by public transport (Metro Line 1 at  Tomberg and Bus 28).

    The event is free for members of the Society and guests are welcome with an entry fee of Eur 15 payable at the door.

    Early bird annual membership for the 2022-2023 is available at Eur 85 until the end of September (reduced from the normal Eur 100).

    More information at: https://theartssociety.org/events/land-monkey-god-art-and-architecture-sri-lanka

  • 20 Sep 2022 9:41 AM | Tim Reynolds (Administrator)

    In 2021, the Community Health Service (CHS) celebrated its 50th birthday with a 50-kilometre walking challenge. This proved so popular and successful that they are repeating the exercise in 2022 – and you can be part of it by volunteering to walk or by sponsoring someone who is!

    For 2022 the format is the same, CHS are asking people to walk (and be sponsored to walk) 40 or45 kilometres in the period up to Sunday 16th October. Then on the Sunday from 14h00 you can join a group to walk either a five kilometre or a ten-kilometre circuit in the Bois de la Cambre, to complete your fifty. Then it’s back to CHS offices just across Franklin Roosevelt for some reviving tea and cakes.

    To find out more visit the CHS website or scan the QR code above.

    If you don’t fancy the walk yourself Tim Reynolds of BBCA will be taking part, and if you want to sponsor his efforts email ‘BBCA News& Events’ to get in touch. All monies raised will go direct to support CHS.

    What does CHS do?

    CHS has been supporting the international community in Belgium since 1971, regardless of nationality or circumstances . No-one should feel that they are alone – and help from CHS is only a telephone call away.

    CHS operates a Mental Health Services Centre in Brussels, hosting an international team of professional therapists who provide support for a comprehensive range of mental health issues. All the CHS therapists speak English and many also work in other languages. The therapists are supported by a team of volunteers who also manage the administrative aspects of CHS, a non-profit organisation.

    CHS also operates a 24/7 Helpline in English, for children, adolescents and adults. Calls are free of charge, anonymous and confidential. The Helpline is staffed by a team of volunteers that is recruited, trained, supervised and supported by the mental health professionals working with CHS.

    You can always donate direct to CHS yourself via this web page and the service also relies on a small army of volunteers.

  • 12 Sep 2022 3:29 PM | Tim Reynolds (Administrator)

    A Thanksgiving and Memorial Service for Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will take place at Holy Trinity Brussels, rue Capitaine Crespel 29, on Saturday 17 September from 18h30. The service will also be live streamed on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qM9-WYLaoSo

    People of all nations have been touched by the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and a book of condolence has been opened and will be available to be signed in the church from Monday 12 September to Friday 16 September between 11h00 and 15h00.

  • 9 Sep 2022 9:27 AM | Tim Reynolds (Administrator)

    The UK Embassy in Belgium has opened a book of condolences at the UK Residence in Brussels for all those who wish to pay their respects on the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

    The condolence book will be open between 09h00-18h00 from today (Friday 9 September) and over this coming weekend, and then every working day up to and including the day of Her Majesty's funeral.

    The UK Residence is at Rue Ducale 17 Hertogsstraat - 1000 Brussels.

    It is also possible to send a message of condolence online via The Royal Family website.

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