Suffolk: RABI seeks support for Jubilee beacon campaign

THE Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) is asking its supporters to light a beacon on the Bank Holiday Monday of June 4 as part of HM 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 Bruno Peek welcomed the charity’s involvement. “I am delighted that RABI has once again accepted my invitation to be the official farming partner in this historic celebration,” he said.

“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”.

Bob Archibald, RABI regional officer for East Anglia, said: “Those registering a beacon or bonfire with RABI 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.

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“In 2002, when 650 beacons and bonfires were registered with RABI to celebrate yhe Queen’s Golden Jubilee, there were 10 organised by farmers or local communities in Suffolk This time we’re aiming higher – our target is for people to light 40 RABI beacons in the county.”

Mr Archibald added: “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.

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“The aim is to have fun and put RABI 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 April 30.

Mr Archibald added: “In 60 years of the Queen’s reign RABI has given �40million 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 the occasion, contact RABI on 01865 724931, email or visit .

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