How time flies! Or ‘Tempus fugit’ as they used to say somewhere south east of Seaham.  My 2 years as Chair have flown by and it is now time for someone else to take the helm and steer the good ship Seaham Harbour U3A to even greater success.  I have enjoyed the challenge over the 2 years and I believe we have charted a smooth passage through some choppy waters.  We are now 6 years old.  My successor will inherit a robust and well tried and proven system of running our U3A.  I hope he or she will have the vision to carry us forward.

After 6 years, I think it is fair to say that we are still thriving.  We currently have 129 members and a waiting list of 28 people.  Our monthly meetings continue to be extremely well attended and the groups are still active and flourishing.  The new Seaham & District U3A has alleviated some of the pressure on our Waiting List and we wish them well as they approach their 1st birthday. There is even some crossing over between members to take part in activities of the other U3A.  I would like to see this continue, and grow, which can only benefit both of us.

Again, my thanks are due to all the group leaders who work extremely hard to organise activities to interest you.  This is no easy task – a fact of which I am only too well aware.  It is difficult to repeatedly find venues and subject matter that will continue to attract the members to attend.

Also, my thanks are due to the steering committee.  This group work tirelessly to make this U3A work efficiently.  Much of their work is done unseen and they ask for no reward other than that the members enjoy the offerings they come up with.  But they do it so well that everything happens apparently without effort and nothing is too much trouble.  I believe this is the highest compliment to any committee member.  Several of them intend to stand down this year and I thank them sincerely for their efforts on your behalf.

Well, that’s it.  Another year older (as of tomorrow).  From now on, the State will pay me to be alive! Isn’t life good?  I hope you will continue to support your new Chair, as you have supported me over the last 2 years.  And I wish Seaham Harbour U3A continued success in the future.  And, to finish as I began: Vivat et floreat Seaham Harbour U3A!

Allan Gurney

12th May 2016