One of the objectives I had when assuming the role of Chairman was to review and possibly try to increase the use of the website, so ably constructed and maintained by Colin Brown. We have made a start and this is my first contribution.
Where does all the time go? When I retired many years ago I was told that I would find that any work would expand to fill the time available. But, time flies by and there doesn’t seem to be enough of it! Perhaps it is just me that is slowing down
Talking about time, 2018 has been a very good year for our U3A. We have enjoyed a full programme of talks and social activities and that will continue into 2019.
But any thoughts of 2018 would be incomplete without a reference to our 20th Anniversary celebrations culminating in the buffet lunch in May, in the presence of the Mayor of Wirral and her Consort. Much of the organization of the lunch was down to Val Clark and her small team of helpers but at the end of the day there were too many to mention. I would be remiss if I did not congratulate Pat Coleman on her magnificent birthday cake which was such a work of art and truly representative of our U3A. But, at the end of the day, the person we must all thank is Anne Newbury. Not only has Anne led Bromborough U3A for many years but she was the inspiration behind our successful birthday celebrations.
It goes without saying that your Committee, as usual, worked hard throughout the year. As the then Treasurer I had the easiest job but everyone pulled their weight – Val, Sheila, Barbara, Colette, Carol, Roy and Irene. In particular I need to thank Colette and Carol for the work they undertook to ensure our compliance with the General Data Protection Regulations. We can only apologise for the amount of paper this has created but it is a one-off and I am assured that there are no similar items in the pipeline for 2019. Also, I must not forget Anne O’Connor’s contributions before her family reasons brought about her resignation from the Committee.
And big ‘thank you’ goes to all our voluntary Interest Group Leaders because without their ongoing support Bromborough U3A would just be an empty shell. I don’t know how they keep going and coming up with ideas to keep their Groups alive and functioning, so please keep up the good work.
Lastly but not least, I must thank Monday’s tea/coffee gang ably led by Ted, Helen, Roger, Maureen and others – we would die of thirst without you!
It is now time to look ahead and see what 2019 may hold in store for us. One thing I can promise you all is that there will be no mention of Brexit here – that is the final time you will hear the word from me! It may dominate our world for a long time yet, but as a group we have other objectives.
Bob Bowden has inherited the Programme Secretary role from Jan and will ensure that we enjoy yet another season of interesting and informative presentations.
On the social side I have looked back at the earlier years of Bromborough U3A and we appeared to be much more active then than we are now.
· I know that Anne O’C has a head full of ideas and we will start the year in February with a visit to the World of Glass in St. Helens.
· Thirty members enjoyed a trip on the Music Train in November and I think there is a good case for that to be repeated in the summer months.
· It is a few years since we went on the Mill Hotel canal cruiser for lunch, yet another idea.
· We could also organize a day out in Yorkshire, better known to some of us as Gods’ own country. If the ‘At the Movies’ group gets off the ground we could go to the Media Museum in Bradford and perhaps couple it with a visit to the land of ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ or the Royal Armouries in Leeds.
These are just some random thoughts - the list could go on forever but, rest assured, 2019 will be a socially active year. I am sure you all have your own ideas of outings and activities etc. so please let us hear from you!
Finally, another objective of mine is ‘Inclusion’. Val, Colette and I recently attended a seminar on ‘Keeping it Legal’ and we should ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that no one person should ever be excluded either from joining the U3A or any of our Interest Groups. I am hard-of-hearing and I know how easy it is to become totally detached when you don’t know what is going on. However, I also accept that we don’t live in a perfect world and there may be occasions when, for perfectly good reasons, we are not able to adhere to this standard but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. Anne Newbury has been an advocate of the need for inclusion and I would like to continue to keep this issue at the forefront of all our 2019 activities.
Congratulations to anyone who has had the patience to read this far!
Please remember that annual subs are due at the January meeting and it would be most helpful if could also remember to bring your completed Membership Application Forms as they will form the basis of our new membership recording system. Thank you.