Overseas Service Pensioners' Association OSPA

Lord Goodlad

We are grateful to our President for making a public connplinnentary reference to OSPA and its members in the House of Lords. Speaking in a debate on 16 March about the Commonwealth, Lord Goodlad said:

"I declare an interest as President of the Overseas Service Pensioners Association, which represents the surviving members of what was Her Majesty's Overseas Civil Service, who were responsible for the administration and development of the former colonial territories that now constitute the great majority of the member countries of the Commonwealth. I inherited that interest some years ago from the late Lord Waddington, to whom your Lordships recently paid tribute and who is remembered by the Overseas Service Pensioners Association with affection, respect and gratitude.

Her Majesty's Overseas Civil Service came to an end in 1997 with the transfer of the sovereignty of Hong Kong to China, but the pensioner members are living out their lifespans remembering, I believe with justifiable pride, the achievements of their lifetime's service. Their dwindling numbers have led to the planned ending of the association later this year. The records of the service—and of the origins, therefore, of the Commonwealth—are being carefully safeguarded and enhanced by academic institutions here for posterity. Several hundred members of the association from all over the world will converge for a final event in London in June. They and their predecessors have made an immense contribution not only to the administration and development of the former colonial territories but to the very ethos of the Commonwealth as we know it today. I believe that we owe them all a debt of gratitude."


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