Friday, 30 June 2023, 13:48
One of the coast's most well-known residents, Charles Betty, returned to Benalmádena on Wednesday, where he was received by the town's new mayor, Juan Antonio Lara, and the councillor for Foreign Residents, Presi Aguilera.
Charles, who celebrated his 100th birthday earlier this month, had lived in Benalmádena for almost four decades, before returning recently to the UK to live most of the time with his son.
During the meeting, Charles, an ex-Welsh Fusilier who participated in the D-Day Landings, was presented with a model of La Niña de Benalmádena, along with a bag of other souvenirs to remind him of the place he and his late wife, Eileen, had called home since first arriving in 1986.
The mayor congratulated Charles on his milestone birthday, and also thanked him for his vast contribution to "both Benalmádena society and to all the foreign residents, as he has been an example of coexistence, generosity and commitment to all citizens".
"His love for Benalmádena has been a maxim in his life and today everyone in Benalmádena wants to congratulate him: we hope that he will fulfil many more dreams in this town that unites us," Lara said.
Councillor Aguilera added, "We also thank Charles's relatives for continuing his legacy by helping foreign residents and working towards the full integration of their community into Benalmádena society."
Among his many achievements on the coast, Charles, who worked in collaboration with the British consul and the town halls, helped set up the first interpreter service in the Benalmádena health clinic, and he was instrumental in the inception of the Age Care Association on the Costa. He also became the oldest person to be awarded a PhD by a British university after completing a 48,000-word thesis on the experiences of older British migrants who live in Spain.
His selfless services to the Armed Forces and the British community in Spain were recognised in 2022, when Charles received an MBE from Prince William.
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