March 2019

Once again, spring seems to have sprung upon us somewhat early this year.  Already there are reports of wonderful displays of snowdrops and other winter flowers undeterred by spells of inclement and severe weather. Why are we always so surprised, when it occurs on the mark every year?

Once again, our Association seems to have had a most enjoyable and interesting Autumn/Winter season, with a programme of interesting talks, and other Association organised events which have been well supported and attended.

Your committee has been very busy organising and planning summer season events, including coach outings, car outings, walks and a variety of social events.  Our annual lunch occurs soon, and we hope to be able to repeat a similar day next year. Work continues throughout the year on the lecture programmes which are scheduled for about 2 seasons ahead.

Many thanks to Margaret Wood, who has led the speaker management team for the last 8 years.  She informed us last year that she would want to relinquish this role, but would continue until September 2019 to enable a smooth handover.

Pauline Heydon, who has been a member of the committee for over 20 years, in various roles, and finally managed the outings committee, has resigned from this position.  When asked how she achieved such a widespread and interesting series of days out and holidays she would simply say she based them on the things she liked doing.  And a jolly good job she made of it too!!  Thank you, Pauline.  We have had a bit of a shuffle on the outings committee to ensure continuity.

Liz Yates leads the social committee which provides very welcome refreshments for our meetings, and organises social events.  Liz also arranges theatre visits.  What a versatile bunch we have!

Thanks to Kathy and John who do a really professional job on the website and newsletter, which are very successful, and admired by other organisations.  Thanks to all members of the committee and all who help in any way throughout the year.  Without this and our loyal members our Association could not survive.

Finally, I deeply appreciate all of the help and support that has been given to me from the committee and Association members during my years in office, which I have genuinely enjoyed.  I know that you would all wish to continue to contribute in this way for the general good of the Association.

I have been involved with the committee for 8 years, one as vice-chairman and seven as chairman.  I announced last year that I planned to step down from this role at this year’s AGM.  Sadly, the response to our request for new members and volunteers for the committee has been very limited.  There is a very real risk of vacant positions on the committee, leaving the Association vulnerable.  We shall keep trying.  Please speak to Vivian or myself if you feel you wish to help, or would like further information.

Malcolm Taylor

Chairman