Chairman’s report, March 2014

Speaker Geoff Carter, Chair Jean Pearson and Mayor of Hebden Royd Karl Boggis
Speaker Geoff Carter, Chair Jean Pearson and Mayor of Hebden Royd Karl Boggis

We now have 358 members and today 118 attended our meeting together with 5 visitors.

It was a great pleasure to welcome the Mayor of Hebden Royd Town Council – Mayor Councillor Karl Boggis.

We opened our meeting with a slideshow compiled by our U3A Tod official photographer – the late Philip Willis – who died so suddenly and so very recently. It provided us with a wonderful range of photographs of our U3A Tod events and activities and I think it was a fitting tribute to Philip’s contribution to our organization.

I reported how our AV equipment and team (led by Peter Gibson and ably supported by George Boyle) has been acclaimed as superb by visiting speakers. David Sutcliffe has now joined this team bringing with him his experience and expertise as a result of his involvement at the Hippodrome Theatre.

Three members observed our recent Committee meeting and it was a pleasure to welcome them. I’ve already received some extremely valuable feedback. I again asked for more members to come along to see what goes on at our meetings – please let me know if you do. Already we have one volunteer observer for our next merry Committee meeting.

The Publicity Group has been working hard on improving our website and other aspects of publicity. Nick Littlewood gave a presentation to our recent Committee meeting and I was able to show our members today the new design for our posters which go up around our region prior to our meetings.

I did remind members that at the AGM in June we will need a Chairperson, a leader of our speaker-finders team and three or four more Committee members. So I am appealing again for you to come forward.

Our Treasurer, Keith Coates, informed us that our fees for next year will remain the same (£15) and asked for members to use standing orders, if possible and also it helps with our finances if you can sign up for Gift Aid. Forms will be available from our Assistant Treasurer – Roger Howard – at the April meeting.

Gail Allaby – our Groups Co-ordinator – gave an update on developments associated with some of our special interest groups and I am attaching her full groups’ report with this letter.

It was a delight for us to welcome back Geoff Carter (Retired GP), our guest speaker, who gave us such an interesting talk entitled ‘The Galapagus, Darwin and the Theory of Evolution’. This was informative and entertaining and Geoff took questions at the end.

Mayor Karl Boggis gave the vote of thanks on our behalf – he almost walked off with our token of gratitude – but I reminded him to hand it over to Geoff!

Next month’s guest speaker will be Dave Wilson, Area Countryside Officer, Upper Valley with his presentation ‘The Protection of Our Rich and Natural Environment’ – the work of the Calderdale Countryside Service.

Ernie Rogan gave us information about the next Let’s Go trip to the Wedgwood Museum. This made a neat link with Geoff’s talk because Charles Darwin married a Wedgwood heiress! Contact Linda Cook if you wish your name to go on the list for this popular outing.

Thank you to all those who helped in returning the chairs to the edges of the Hall at the end of our meeting – we do appreciate this help.

Alison Greenwood needs volunteers to help with the refreshments at the June meeting. Please contact Alison on 01706 816870 or if you can help us.

Sincerely – Jean