April’s monthly meeting

Members meeting 19 April 2018.

Greetings to all members.

A sweltering day and the committee expected a smaller than usual attendance. However 132 members and visitors gave up gardening duties to attend. Of these 103 paid their subscriptions by cash or cheque and another 27 paid by post or internet banking. We also had 5 new members, so welcome to them. This means we now have almost 25% of subscriptions already paid. Thanks to all members who have paid to date. On 1 May 2018 subscriptions paid by standing order will be due, and this puts U3A Todmorden in a very healthy financial position. It benefits all members for subscriptions to be paid on time; reminders cost time and money.

Gail, our Groups Coordinator had a hospital appointment, so her report was given by Gill Radford, our Vice Chair, who told us that there are 5 more groups about to be formed; details can found shortly on the website. Gill also gave us a progress report about the Banner being produced for our 10th Anniversary, and reminded convenors to contact Mary Findon, with their ideas.

We now have 524 members and are, by far, the largest in our “cluster” group of neighbouring U3A’s.

All this progress and growth is astounding, in so short a time. In my youth, job adverts often stated: “do you want to join a vigorous, growing, dynamic organisation?”

We have a vacancy for Vice Chair !! Who wants to join ??

Sue Nightingale showcased the Opera Appreciation Group. Her love of this art form was obvious to all. Full details of the group can be found on the website.

Peter Gibson originally suggested that we showcase groups, and he has undertaken the bookings and administration. He has now handed that responsibility to me. I will be writing shortly to all convenors asking if they wished to make booking, and giving contact details.

Our History project has finally had the last of the proof reading and is winging its way to the printers. The first meeting to put ideas together, was in January 2017. So it’s been a long time consuming project. All thanks must go to Keith Coates, our former Chairman, who has led a hardworking team. I did comment “War and Peace would have been easier.”

You will hear shortly about an EU directive; GDPR; which is a sort of update for Privacy and Data Protection. The committee have worked hard to ensure we will meet the criteria required and last week agreed a policy we will adopt. This will be published on our website prior to 25 May, the date the directive takes effect. All members will be informed by email, or post for those who do not have web facilities.

Our guest speaker, making a welcome return was Granville Dobson. This time he turned his attention to his 15 years as a Magistrate. While his presentation was, in the main humorous, he spoke about the serious decisions which have to be taken. Magistrates are drawn from all aspects of society and must represent the population. All Court cases start initially at Magistrates Court, before, perhaps, moving on to Criminal Court. There were, at one time, 300 Magistrates in the Bradford Courts, all unpaid. 97% of all cases are dealt with by Magistrates. There are usually 3 sitting together so a decision can be reached.

Granville gave an instance of an accused being rude to the Bench, was told he was in Contempt of Court, and every further outburst would result in an additional month’s sentence being applied. Asked several times if he understood, the accused eventually replied that he had been told, by Granville, not to speak again !!

We hope Granville can return for another talk.

Our next meeting will be Thursday 17 May, our 10th Anniversary meeting, commencing at 2:00pm. It will be an enjoyable afternoon, with probably some cake, a quiz, a humorous questionnaire and entertainment from various groups.

Your committee look forward to seeing you.

Ernie Rogan.