AGM Chair’s Report for 14th June 2023

As this is my final Chair report I thought it pertinent to reflect on Anton u3a since 2019, the year I took office.  Quite frankly it is disquieting that so much has happened in such a short time.  Covid started showing itself late 2019 and escalated quickly, we went into lockdown, we Zoomed and took lessons on how to wear a face mask and wash our hands or use hand gel.  Through all of this the Group Leaders and the Committee continued to operate where possible or a least keep in touch but eventually we returned to business as usual.  Of course after all the anguish of Covid we had to contend with the financial backlash.  But that is not all, we have been horrified by the war in Ukraine, concerned about the finalisation of Brexit, all of which has contributed to the Cost of Living crisis!  Perhaps it is wise that I am standing down as Chair or my title may change to The Jinx!  My reason for rambling on is to say that Anton u3a has been steadfast throughout all the above and although we struggle for volunteers to become officers I would like to think that we are going to carry on being a happy, friendly, supportive and fun u3a!

Now on to this fiscal year.  We have had engaging, informative, lively and fun speakers this year, a big thank you to Wilson who has done an admirable job in sourcing such a varied selection of subjects and people.  As 2022 was the 40th anniversary of u3a and the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, Barbie volunteered to organise a themed picnic.  With the aid of her trusty band of helpers the picnic was a great success.  Barbie has again kindly offered to run the August picnic, tickets have been printed and will be on sale soon – thank you Barbie.  In order to part fund the picnic Barbie and Jan have been running a monthly raffle, many thanks to them both for their hard work.

As usual our Christmas lunch was amazing and expertly run by Norma so another big thank you – next year Robert Kemp will take the helm with support from Di and Tessa, it’s a little early for Christmas thoughts so I will move on.

Not everything has been plain sailing this year.  We have lost the AHA (Art and History Appreciation), MOTO (Members On Their Own) groups and we no longer have a Newsletter Editor.  This should not be seen as final.  I would like to emphasise that the ethos of u3a is that every member should be doing something, so, if you feel you could restart a group, a new group or produce a Newsletter let the Committee know, remember the u3a mantra of “learn, laugh and live” and have a go!

Many Anton u3a members have now visited the new u3a website.  We have been so lucky that when our old website provider decided to charge fees for using their services Keith Saunders stepped in and created a website that will be run at a nominal cost and one that is easily understandable and straightforward.  If you haven’t used the site yet give it a try, there’s information on the groups, legislation, photos etc.  plenty to whet the appetite.  Thank you once again Keith.

Finally it is time to say thank you to all of the Group Leaders, The Committee,  people who help put out the chairs and put them back again, tea and coffee makers and last but not least Michael (my husband) who has given me so much support.

Before I finish I will make an appeal to keep Anton u3a going.   If you think taking on a post will be too arduous perhaps you could share the post with a friend.  Don’t forget the vacancies are for Chair, Vice Chair and Treasurer.  We all have a mixture of skills so let’s share what we have and be proud members of Anton u3a.