Ems Valley

Message from the Chairman

This is my first Chairman’s message following the AGM in May. Firstly I want to pay tribute
to the strong leadership of Hazel Willard our past chairman for guiding us through a period
of change and handing over such a vibrant organisation.
We have had two monthly meetings in June and July with our traditional summer break in
August. In June we had Nigel and Sharon Taylor telling us about their amazing trip by
motorcycle from the southern tip of Argentina to the Alaska region of USA through South
and Central America. A quite extraordinary tale of two pensioners living a dream. In July we
had John Geden talking about his passion for beekeeping. He gave us a fascinating talk and
told us he now manages over 200 hives in the South Hants area.
We have a full list of speakers for the rest of this U3A year and Vice Chairman Anne Powell
has taken over the Speaker Organiser role from me.
Our next monthly meeting will be 27th September with guest speaker Colin Chambers who
will talk about his time as Chaplain on Robben Island when Nelson Mandela was a prisoner
there so this promises to be a very interesting talk. I will be away on the Ancient Greece
Group trip to Sicily so will miss it. Vice Chairman Anne Powell will be chairing the meeting.
In the April newsletter I wrote a personal view on one or two issues that as Chairman I
wanted to raise. In April I was concerned at the amount of accounting changes being
imposed on us by the Charity Commission and The Third Age Trust. I am pleased to say that
thanks to strong guidance from our Treasurer John Blaber and hard work by our committee
and group leaders we have overcome these challenges. I hope we can now look forward to
a period of relative calm.

I also mentioned the fact that we have grown substantially over the past few years which is
most encouraging but that with this growth comes management pressure. I am delighted to
report all positions on our management committee are filled and I am indeed fortunate to
have the support of a strong team in taking our wonderful organisation forwards.
I particularly want to open a dialogue with members who have joined us in recent years as
to what they think of us and any suggestions as to how we might improve our activities.
Richard Galloway Chairman