“The 24th November 1991 is a date that many people will remember, where they were and what they were doing.
It was the day that Freddie Mercury, showman and front man of Queen died of an AIDS related illness. The announcement shocked the music world, Queen was one of the biggest Rock Bands of that time. I know where I was, and how I felt, an extraordinary feeling of sadness. My thoughts extended to Freddie’s family and the remaining members of the band.
Soon after I learnt that the members of the band and their manager had decided to organise a Tribute to Freddie in the form of a concert at Wembley. They also formed the Mercury Phoenix Trust to control the monies raised from this event. This gave me the inspiration that I needed to do what I have been doing since 1994. Street Collections, Queen Nights, Benefit Concerts, and sponsored events, have been organised all over the UK. We also have a merchandise stall at the annual Queen Convention along with a raffle and auction.
The wonderful “We Will Rock You” opened in London in 2002, and we have reached well over £100,000 by collecting at weekends after the performance. “Schools Will Rock You” is an amazing project and another opportunity to increase awareness and has raised to date £43,500.
We have to strive to continue to raise awareness, and of course to raise money to enable organisations worldwide to continue with their very important work.
If you would like to support the Mercury Phoenix Trust, and would like more information about how to fundraise, I can help. My details are:
Mercury Phoenix Trust
13 The Furlongs
Cambs PE27 4TX
Regarding street Collections this year:- People tend to collect in other ways these days as it is very difficult to obtain permits due to Council regulations unless like myself have had a permit for some time.
So here are my dates for 2009 :-
15th August collection in Huntingdon
16th October collection at Canary Wharf London
27th November at London Euston Station.
We are also doing the London Street Collection on Saturday 28th November; invitations have gone out to London HIV/AIDS Charities as always. On 1st December World AIDS Day, there will be a street collection in Cambridge. I am in the process of securing collections on other major main line rail stations in London also inside shopping areas.
There are people doing various sponsored activities which continue throughout the year. An example, there were three girls at the Queen Convention who had contacted me wanting to do a sponsored marathon walk and in addition they had produced four paintings of Queen members which both Brian and Roger had signed and they were auctioned and raised £400.”