Seaham Harbour U3A – Chair’s Annual Report

 1.4.19 to 31.3.20

It gives me great pleasure to once again report on our U3A over the past year.  As always, it has been a busy one.

The interest groups continue to flourish and organise an amazing number of meetings with all sorts of activities going on. However, we cannot sit on our laurels and, if possible, need to find new groups and leaders to keep our U3A vibrant.  This past year we had 2 new groups. One is knitting which is proving to be very popular.  There is also a current affairs group which attracts quite a few members and there are some lively discussions!  The coffee mornings have also proved popular. I would like to thank all those members who give up their time to organise the groups, not always an easy job.

Our monthly meetings have seen a wide variety of talks and entertainment which have always been well received. I would like to thank Mabel Hepplewhite for organising these.  It must be one of the most difficult jobs in any U3A and she does it with her usual enthusiasm and experience.

Members have also organised visits to various places.  This is not always easy either. Having to organise transport, collect money, make all the arrangements, this all takes time.  I am grateful to those who do this too so that we can all enjoy our visits.

The committee continues to work very hard and is well led by

Gordon Ayre.  It’s not always an easy task keeping them under control!!  The committee meets on the last Friday of the month at 10am in Dalton-le-Dale Community Centre.  All members are welcome to attend and listen to the discussions.  I also must thank Gwynneth Johnston who produces such detailed minutes of the meetings.  I also need to thank Kathleen Crabb for the very efficient way she looks after our finances and her reports to the committee.  Not an easy task but we receive detailed monthly financial reports and a clear explanation of our financial situation.

George and Carole Fairweather continue to look after our membership and the website and we must be grateful to them for that.  Don’t forget to let them know if you have items that might be of interest to go on the website.

As Chair for the past 4 years I think I have been very lucky to have the support of the members, especially those who have undertaken so many different responsibilities.

Sadly, the latter part of our year has been blighted with this terrible Covid 19 outbreak meaning we have not been able to have any meetings.  As yet, it has not been decided what to do about the AGM and the election of new officials.  Various events have also had to be postponed.  It was a great disappointment that the U3A national day had to be postponed until later in the year.  We were working with members of Seaham and District U3A to organise this event so that is something to look forward to.

Lastly, as your Chair, I would like to thank you all for your friendship and support and especially to those who have taken the time to contact me by phone or email during these difficult times.

As Dame Vera Lynn sang when our country was in great danger during the second world war, “We’ll meet again, don’t know when, don’t know where …………..”

Malcolm Wilkinson