AGM 2020 Report from Retiring Chairman

Last year I said that I felt very privileged to be the fourth Chairman in the twelve-year history of Newquay u3a and I was very happy to continue and take us into the thirteenth year as no-one was available to replace me. Looking back, it has been a strange year, not only with Covid-19 but with some delicate, difficult situations to manage, however, we have survived. Because of Covid our AGM has been delayed from May to October, so I am still Chairman but now I am very happy to be standing down. My thanks to the Secretary, John Woodason, and the Committee for all their support and help prior to and including lockdown and especially for arranging this Zoom AGM.

We went into lockdown in March 2020 with a full committee but then Valerie Tams, responsible for the Website and social media, stepped down from committee as did David Stevens, Group Co-ordinator. So, Newquay u3a urgently need two members to come onto committee to fulfil these roles. My thanks go to Valerie and David for all the work they have done.

Apart from myself, three other committee members are due to step down from committee at the AGM. Dave Morey who has served six years up to May 2020, the first five as Treasurer and as Dave said, the final one as 'dogsbody'. Dave is continuing to do all the printing because he hosts the printer, paper and all that is required for u3a printing needs. Shirley Scammell served three years up to last May 2020, two years as Membership Secretary and one year plus as Vice Chairman. Chris Bramhall served three years as Secretary from 2012 – 2015 and then three as Assistant Treasurer from 2017 until May 2020.

My thanks go to them for all they have done and for their support and encouragement to me. Victor Williams, our Treasurer has informed us that he will not be continuing into his third year of office in May 2021 so again, we urgently need an Assistant Treasurer to work alongside Victor to be ready to take over as Treasurer. Thanks to Victor for all he has done since being in that role.

My thanks also, to Judith Holroyd and June Colwill, who remain on committee, for their support and all they do and last but certainly not least, John Woodason, current Secretary, who has fulfilled his role so well with all things National, and with our Constitution and Guidelines keeping us on an even keel. Thank you too for his support, honesty, and advice, which has usually been right (but sometimes not!!) However, I have appreciated him and the committee so much especially during this extended final year.

Meanwhile, Caroline Birkby offered to come on to committee a few months ago and so was co-opted on and has been active in doing minutes and other various admin things to help us. She is up for election on to committee at the AGM, as is John Mankelow, who looked into committee a few times and subsequently has offered to come onto committee with a view to being Membership Secretary. Grateful thanks to them both.
On a sad note, four of our members died this year and we remember them all fondly. Anne Shinner, Jim Dale, Veronica Woodhouse (a founder member in 2007) and Wendy Cannon. I have included them in the last two Newsletters.

As usual, we had some excellent speakers before lockdown. They were John Peter Santi from the Gweek Seal Sanctuary and Jenny Hindson from the Newquay Community Orchard, Brian Freeland, Playwright and Author, entertained us for the second time, Richard Peirce, a Lion, Shark and Elephant Conservationist, Sean Sweeney who gave us a brilliant Hall for Cornwall Presentation – Past, Present and Future, Lynn Bartrip-kay from Newquay Purple Angels, who presented us with a certificate and finally, Howard Curnow from Cornwall Wildlife Trust.

Three newspapers, Newquay Voice, Cornish Guardian, and Mid Cornwall Advertiser were faithful in printing our monthly reports and our own Newquay u3a Newsletter gave opportunity for members to contribute. Thank you to Dave Morey for printing it.

Sincere thanks to Lane Theatre volunteer staff, Roger and Anne Allen for their help with lighting and sound and Ann Masters, (also a U3A member) who opens and prepares the theatre for us, and a huge thank you to all the Group Leaders who are so important and do such a great work. A sincere thank you to Sheilah and the ladies who serve the refreshments for us each month and lastly, a sincere thank you to you, the members, for all your smiles and encouragement, suggestions and support. I have thoroughly enjoyed my four plus years as your Chairman.

Thank you!


Gret Woodason