Our unsung heroes a fortnight negotiating a 45% share deal in Luz which would be the beginning of his exciting entrepreneurial life, filled with the usual twists and turns, ups and downs. Barry ran the LBC for five years before taking up a position as managing director of the Vale do Lobo Club which, in those days, was a complex of 410 units; that was of course until the revolution! In 1969, following 36 years of Salazar’s authoritarian regime, Portugal still remained in the firm grip of the Estado Novo. Describing the Algarve as definitely third world, Barry recalls that milk was delivered by donkey, telephones were like gold dust and electricity hit and miss! The foreign population was thin on the ground but did exist.
Every now and again we like to focus the spotlight on some of the unsung heroes in our community. Let’s face it where would we be without them? This month Alison Blair, the president of the palliative care charity, Madrugada, tells us about two of their key supporters, Barry and Michelle Sadler. “This month Madrugada celebrates its seventh anniversary and has provided end of life care and bereavement support to 80 families. The Support Centre in Luz welcomes anyone affected by a life limiting illness, including nearest and dearest, right from diagnosis and offers a number of supportive therapies. Our home in Luz has seen us grow and evolve into an association to be proud of; the worthwhile nature of our service attracts many volunteers to whom we will be eternally grateful. Our patients and their families regularly express their gratitude for the loving care we provide but I want to share with you a snapshot of our unsung heroes beavering away in the background, enabling our clinical team to deliver the care it does. The very first people to make a substantial contribution to our progress were Barry and Michelle Sadler and my attempt at a potted history may offer our community some insight into how important benefactors are to any organisation especially in its infancy. In 1969 Barry and Michelle Sadler made a radical decision to leave the UK amidst a backdrop of the devaluation of the pound, rising prices and hard economic times. Barry answered a recruitment advertisement in a national newspaper, placed by Luz Bay Club in Praia da Luz, for an investor/ manager. With Michelle and little Claire enjoying a relaxing holiday in Albufeira, Barry spent the best part of
The Carnation Revolution (Revolução dos Cravos), also referred to as the 25 April, had a marked effect on foreigners living in Portugal. Barry was just one of many gainfully employed foreigners sacked at the ‘behest of the workers’ but he managed to return to the Luz Bay Club where he eventually became a joint owner. Later he and his Portuguese business partner parted company, dividing the assets which remain the main stay of the Sadler family enterprises to this day. My husband and I met Barry and Michelle in Lagos Marina 2002, having neighbouring births on the same pontoon. We enjoyed lively discussions and reminiscences about sailing, jollied along by great wine and local delicacies. In 2009, when I explained to Barry what I was attempting to create with our Madrugada Association, he had no hesitation in offering us one of his properties as a base for a rent free period. I find it hard to imagine where we would be today if it hadn’t been for Barry’s generosity. It gave us an immediate opportunity to open a charity shop and generate an income with which to operate; it also gave us office space in which to get ourselves organised relieving the pressure from my dining room table! I asked Barry why he and Michelle chose to support our charity right from the start and he responded by saying that he thought Madrugada was a marvellous charity that, if properly supported, could meet the obvious needs of the community who are so often concerned about what would happen if they become seriously ill and in need of nursing care at home.
Barry remembered how hard it could be to get potentially successful enterprises off the ground in the Algarve. He said there was a lack of suitable schools in the early 70s so he and his wife got involved in the embryonic stages of The English Barlavento School, Michelle being one of the three founding governors. In the early days the schools struggled for a home of its own on more than one occasion. Its saving grace came in the form of Col. Angus and Mrs Phyllis Vickers (Vickers Aircraft) who made a generous donation of land just north of Luz on which to establish a school. Barry believes this early boost gave the school a lifeline enabling it to grow and flourish. The Sadler family absolutely recognise the importance of giving and that is why they are one of Madrugada’s most generous benefactors to date. Of course it’s not just a roof over our head that we are sincerely grateful for. Over the years Barry has drawn on his business experience and local knowledge to offer advice and imaginative fundraising ideas. With this in mind he now offers a week’s holiday accommodation in one of his seafront properties as a stunning prize to the lucky person entering and successfully winning the “Moneytree Matters” competition which closes 31st August (see poster). The holiday apartments can be viewed at www.luzbeachapartments.com and their delightful location offers a visit to Praia da Luz to remember. The Algarve is full of retired, successful people, all of whom have a great deal to offer to charities like Madrugada. Don’t be shy, we need you. Because you care, we can.” Don’t forget if you want to tell us about an unsung hero in our community please email our editor: firstname.lastname@example.org