All About Me @ Jimsky's Emporium

Nicola, Jim and Andrew

Nicola, Me, Mum, Andrew (July 2003)

Jim and Lyn's Wedding Day (Oct 9th 2004)


In March 1999 I went to Belarus with the Jim Conway Foundation as a 'guest' tutor'. The role of the Jim Conway foundation was to run a series of courses (funded by the 'Know How' fund in Westminster) on Negotiating Skills. This was aimed at helping the developing 'Free Democratic Trade Unions' to ensure they had the most up to date knowledge and expertise to allow them to negotiate effectively with the employers of the workers they represented.

During the week I was there I was most impressed by the commitment and search for knowledge of all the students. I made a number of friends and finished up inviting a number of them to England to the CWU's Annual Conference so they could see for themselves how an established Trade Union conducted its business.

In May 1999, a total of 5 people were invited to the CWU Conference (4 delegates plus an interpreter) and the delegation had a most enlightening time. The visit was funded by donations from supportive CWU Branches and many thanks go to them for their help.

While in the UK, the delegation also took the opportunity of visiting the House of Commons, the House of Lords and the TUC. The most telling point of all these 3 visits was when one of the visiting delegation said as she watched all the visitors pouring in and out of the House of Commons:-

"Why does your government let the people get so close to the leaders (MP's) ???".

In Belarus it seems that President Lukashenko doesn't appreciate anyone getting to close to him at all - well, that's the downside of being a tyrant I suppose !!!!

In July 1999, I went to Belarus for my 2 weeks summer holidays (a bit different from my normal pilgrimage to Spain). I met Gennady Bykov (Chair of the BFTU) and my good friend Nicolai Kanah and his family. I also met again with many other representatives of the Belarusian Free Trade Union.

One of the most memorable visits was when I was taken to see a local BFTU Branch representative (Dimitri) in the town of Velaka and finished up on an overnight barbecue on a lakeside, deep in a forest in heart of the Belarusian countryside. The lake (lake Naroch), the scenery, the vodka, the companionship (not to mention the mosquitoes) were all most memorable.

In December/January 1999/2000, I again went to Belarus for 2 weeks. I met with many old friends again and some new ones as well, notably 'Sergey Kukushkin' from an organisation called 'Zabota' (the International Foundation for social support of children and youth).

Sergey explained at the outset that he wasn't after hand outs or money, but the 'Zabota' organisation merely wanted to forge links with other organisations and people outside of Belarus who wanted to help the children of Belarus expand their knowledge of the 'world outside' by organising exchange visits.

I have dedicated a bit of my web site to all my Belarusian friends, so please have a look at the BELARUS section.
With President Lukashenko being quite a Tyrant and certainly being hostile towards any form of democratic bodies, my friends are struggling to survive in quite atrocious conditions.
They are merely fighting for a better life! A better life for themselves, for their families, for their friends, and for their Country.

I will continue to do all I can to assist them - and I'd be grateful if you could read through all my site pages, and maybe when you have finished, you would like to help too.

If you have any questions then please contact me on the e-mail address at the top of the page.

Hranie tebya Gospod (God keep you)

If you are interested in BELARUS, its people and culture then visit the site below.

Belarus - The Country, its People and its Culture

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