Aubrey Bowles is the principal organist in St Andrew’s Chaplaincy Costa del Sol East but in a previous life he was a police officer in Bedford where he served the local community from 1974 until his retirement in 1995. This was in those halcyon days when policemen were ‘bobbies’ and patrolled their beat on foot and bicycle
On New Year’s Day in 1996 Aubrey and his wife, Ann, arrived in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol for a relaxing retirement.
But Aubrey soon felt the tug of his professional roots when he was asked to be a volunteer helper at the Foreigners Department of the National Police in Fuengirola helping bewildered expats with their paperwork. 15 years later he is still there, every morning Monday to Friday.
This dedication was recognised on 2nd October, Dia de Los Santos Angeles Custodios, the day of the patron saint of Spanish National Police, when, along with several serving Spanish police officers, Aubrey was presented with the Cross of the Order of Merit by the Chief of the National Police in Fuengirola, Don Victor Olmo Barrios, on behalf of the Minister for the Interior.
When asked how he felt Aubrey said, “As a volunteer I was very honoured and proud to receive the award as it is usually only presented to serving Spanish police officers.”
As can be seen from the photo, despite the passing years Aubrey’s old uniform still fits.
Information and pictures provided by Peter Hammond