Chairs blog

Chairman’s Corner

Sue Knowles

The last Summer Blog from the Ex-chair 19th July 2019

We had a great turn out for the AGM well done Guernsey U3A. The talk by Judy Theobald kept us all entertained and she now tells us that was the largest audience she has given her talk to and was equally pleased with your response to her presentation.

At the AGM for those unable to attend; Ian Daish was elected at our Chairman with Alan Chubb remaining as Vice Chair and Garry Ward as Treasurer, Kathy Corbin was duly elected as Social Secretary, Di Tooley as Events Co-ordinator, Gill Slimm as Membership Secretary, Jane Pearson as Interest Group Co-ordinator. The changes are, Pat Child and Pauline Telford and Lesley Morris have stood down from the Exec Committee but will continue to support the Execs and Sub-Committees, I am taking on the role of Secretary and Judy has taken on the role of Assistant Treasurer.

So we start with a new Exec team, with 825 members and nearly 75+ groups and a busy Social calendar; Everything U3A at KGV was a big success, weather was kind, Convenors all did us proud, both with their showcases and entertainment, food was good and everyone has a sunny fun filled afternoon.
In July we had just Dip and Dine at Les Douvres Hotel on 16th July, when the weather once again shone down on us. and the pictures on the Website tell the story of Learn, Laugh and Live, unexpectedly in the pool with a Flamingo!

August after the Coffee morning on the 6th, we take a break, as many Groups are also having a break so seems a good time for the Execs too.
September is a visit to the Folk Museum at Saumarez Park, on Tuesday 17th September, then in October we have a lunch at the Royal Golf Club on 24th October, as well as a Special Guest Speaker, the Lieutenant Governor, Vice Admiral Sir Ian Corder and Lady Corder, on Wednesday 30th October 2.30pm at Les Beaucamp School.
I would like to give a Big Thank you to the Executive Committee, Convenors, Sub-groups, Volunteers and all the Members for their support over the last 4 years in making Guernsey U3A such an exciting and vibrant U3A.

Since our start-up we have planted a tree at Candie Gardens in our name, enjoyed our own Pantomime(s), introduced a regular Speakers event, with some inspired speakers, visited SEB, played Archery, Padel, done Quizzes, assisted in initiating and piloting the iDEA concept to the U3A, Mini Golf Challenge, Barn danced, Lunched at some excellent venues, introduced a Cinema session, Walking groups continue inventing new places to walk, Language and Literary groups finding innovative ways of helping us to retain knowledge, Creative and Craft groups challenging our imagination. iPAD group have help skill up our members Fitness has been introduced in many shapes and forms, and going strong, Bernie’s Boys Breakfasts now meet on a regular basis at Saumarez Tea Room on first Thursday of the month sometimes with an Outdoor Gym session for those wishing to earn their Breakfast.

Our Interest groups have done amazing things; donating via projects to many worthy causes, and supporting the Community with our volunteers; Wombles beach cleaning, Woodwork creating tables, flower and storage boxes for La Houguette, Le Rondin & PEH, Creative stitching and Crafts making amazing artworks and supporting the Little Chapel and Romanian Appeal, Singing & Ukulele groups performing for various events and charities, Woolly jumpers and their knitted Bird nests for GSPCA. Community Projects; Helping with Rotary Christmas Boxes and Knitted Poppy Appeal and assisting St Martin’s School with Maths initiative, and all in the name of Guernsey U3A.

One of the highlights of Guernsey U3A to us as a Committee, is that Members have had the opportunity develop skills and initiate new ones, to make new friends and be re-united to the friends from school or work after quite a large interim in time, many members saying that the U3A has enlightened their lives. Both mental and physical abilities have been given a new lease of life, and existing abilities challenged, as members have been introduced to ideas, opportunities and interests that may not have been possible without the U3A.

As a Committee we have enjoyed being part of your experiences and we have had a few learning experiences ourselves, appreciating the wide range of skills and expertise that all our Convenors, Volunteers and Members bring to a U3A, all while Learning, Laughing and Living.
On a personal note I have been very fortunate in having Pat Child as Co-Chairperson, together with Alan Chubb and Pauline Telford as joint Vice’s, without their support we would not be here today. Memories of sitting in Pat’s conservatory discussing and planning the Introductory meeting for up to 50 people only to be confronted both at Vale Douzaine room and later at the Grammar School with 4 times that number of potential Members for U3A Guernsey
At that official Introduction meeting we were very fortunate to have Judy Dyke, Kathy & Bernie Corbin, Di Tooley, Gloria Deanne and Michael and Diane Ward to volunteer their support to assist in getting us up and running and have given their upmost support to Guernsey U3A.
Equally big thank you to Ian, Gill, Garry and Jane for joining the Exec team as we have developed and required further expertise. I am confident they will take our U3A to even greater heights.

Not forgetting our Sub-Groups who support the Execs these are; Interest Groups: Margaret Lemon, Sheena Melrose and Lesley Morris and previously Sandra James, Social: Kathryn Evans, Mary Thompson, Sheila Leach Judy Wade, Pauline Telford, Margaret Lemon, Jenny Dunning, Media Group: Caroline Davey, Gavin Ryde, Karen Winter, Sue Le Feuvre, Eric Graham, Jenny Dunning, and recently enlisted Carol Elliston, Speakers: Pat Child, Pauline Telford and Pat Le Lacheur, along with all those supporting our Volunteer Pool. Big thank you too to Karen Winter, for setting up Beacon in record time with support from Alan and to Garry for doing a great job in the ongoing administration and support of Beacon, without which we would not be managing our increasing membership.
I am truly appreciative of the time and dedication you have all given over the past 3+ years to make Guernsey U3A such a lively, innovative and successful group, especially as 4 years ago most of us had not even heard of or had any understanding of what a U3A was, never mind how to organise one.
We would welcome anyone else who may wish to join any of our teams, Execs or Sub-Groups, just contact one of our Committee members for more information.
Every year we agreed for 2 of the Execs to stand down to ensure the vitality of the Committee. For Judy and I, our term as Officers has ended, though we are both happy to stand again for different roles within the Committee. We are though sadly saying adieu to Pat, Pauline and Lesley, from the Exec. They have all played a significant part in the organisation of Guernsey U3A over the last few years, fortunately they have agreed to help-out with our Sub-Groups as needed so we are not losing them altogether.

One thing I am sure about is that the Third Age is a great time to join in and to embrace your capabilities and develop skills you may not have known you had, or ones you had always wished you had more time to develop. Maybe passing on to others some of those skills and while discovering your hidden talents.
We look forward, with your continued support as members, to seeing Guernsey U3A continuing to be at the forefront of development and innovation of U3As.

By the Members for the Members, we all need to assist in all aspects of Your U3A and help each other.
Having thanked our Volunteers and Members whose time and efforts go to supporting Guernsey U3A, I would also like to recognise the support we get from our husbands, wives, partners and friends.

It is now time to move on and embrace the future. I am confident that with Ian as our new Chairman and the new Executive Team, we are going to achieve even greater heights and will develop further ways and means to enhance our role as a U3A.

I wish you all many more years of LLL with Guernsey U3A