Meeting 2019 06

Notes taken at the General Meeting Tuesday 11th June 2019 held at The Lane Theatre, Newquay

Present at the Meeting: 72 (including 2 new members and 1 visitor)

1) Welcome: Shirley introduced herself as the new Vice-Chairman and explained that both the Chairman and Secretary were away on holiday. She gave an especial welcome to the two new members and one visitor, then pointed out the fire exits before asking people to make sure their handbags were tucked out of the way and their phones were switched off or on silent. Shirley then introduced the speaker, John Peter Santi, from Gweek Seal Sanctuary.

2) John Peter Santi from Gweek Seal Sanctuary: John Peter, known as JP, told us that the seal sanctuary started in 1958, all due to a man called Ken Jones who rescued a seal called Cindy. He went on to rescue more seals, keeping them in his back garden swimming pool, until the sanctuary opened in Gweek in 1975.

There are two types of seals: Grey Seals (Atlantic Seals) and Common Seals (Harbour Seals). Most of the seals we see around Cornwall are Grey Seals as Common Seals do not like rocky coastlines. Cornwall coast has about 40% of the UK population of Grey Seals, with their pups being born between September and March.

Gweek Seal Sanctuary is now owned by the Sealife Trust. They rescue seal pups suffering from malnourishment and dehydration after separation from their mothers, and seals suffering from plastic pollution, from entanglement in fishing nets and other objects, from propeller damage or even from a seal stampede due to humans getting too close. In 2018 they rescued 89 pups separated from their mothers, the largest number ever, probably due to the number of storms we had caused by climate change. During that time they reached their capacity twice. When at capacity seals can be moved on to other sanctuaries.

JP told us that some seals can never be released back into the wild due to blindness or other injuries. Gweek have several permanent residents, their oldest male being 40 and their oldest female being 44 years old. In the wild a seal’s life expectancy is about 30 years.

Shirley thanked JP for his extremely interesting talk, which had prompted more questions from our U3A audience than anyone else’s talk ever had, and said she hoped it would prompt people to visit Gweek Sanctuary.

3) Apologies: Christine Turner

4) Minutes of the General Meeting held on 14th May 2019 were approved and signed as a correct record by Shirley Scammell. Copies were available for perusal on the notice board.

5) Matters arising: No matters were raised.

6) Vice Chairman’s Report: Shirley said that she had nothing to report as she had not been doing the job long enough, and said there were no Chairman’s report or Secretary’s report because they were both on holiday.

7) Treasurer’s Report: Victor Williams introduced himself as the new Treasurer and thanked Dave Morey for all the help he had given him in the handover.


Current Income for Year £3,367
Estimated Expenditure for Year £3,500
Petty Cash £ 136
Refreshment Fund £ 227

8) Groups Coordinator’s Report: David Stevens introduced himself as the new Groups Coordinator and thanked Margaret Harris for all the work she had done while she was Groups Coordinator. Then he thanked Valerie Tams for producing the Events Sheet. David went on to say that he had been a U3A Member for 5 years although he had been away for a year, during which time he served on the committee as Website Coordinator and also was group leader of a couple of groups. He had also done “Stand up Bingo” at our December meetings.

David said that he was keen to develop the groups to give as wide an offering as possible to appeal to as many members as we can, so he welcomes suggestions for new groups and will give help to existing groups and find new venues to use. He intends to visit each group as well as hold a Group Leader’s meeting in September.

He went on to explain that, due to time constraints, there was not enough time for group leaders to talk about past events at General Meetings, but at future General Meetings he will produce a Powerpoint Presentation about recent group activities, which will be played continuously in the auditorium prior to the start of the General Meeting at 11am. He encouraged group leaders to send details and photos of their activities to him for inclusion in the presentation.

9) Interest Groups:
i. Garden Appreciation Group: Margaret L said that the coach for Rosemoor on Tuesday 25th June was nearly full, but that they had one seat left, if anyone else wants to come. The coach will leave Chester Road Market, St Anne’s Road side, at 9am returning between 5:30pm to 6:30pm. Entrance to Rosemoor is £7 which she will collect as we get on the coach, so please have the right money.

The 23rd July visit will be to Bonython Gardens, Helston to be signed up for at the July General Meeting.

The September Garden Party will be held in Janet Bailey’s large garden at 21 Chester Road, when everyone is welcome and should bring a plate of food to share. A raffle will be held on the day.

Hampton Court trip details can be obtained directly from Newells.

ii. Antiques and Collectables Group: Chris B said that there would be a speaker on Auctioneering coming at 10:30am on Monday 24th June, so it is best to come early at about 10:15am. Anyone wishing to come must get in touch with her first.

iii. Miscellaneous Events: “The Odd Couple” at the Lane Theatre is on every Tuesday and Wednesday at 8pm from 18th June to 24th July.

iv. Walking Group: Sheilah asked that if it is raining, or looks like it might, to ring her first before the walk, between 8:30am to 9:30am, to check if it is going ahead, to save her having to go to the meeting point to see if anyone turns up.

10) Any Other Business: Shirley reminded everyone that subscriptions were due in April and if anyone hadn’t renewed to please do so, either by giving the cheque to a group leader, or even see the Treasurer after the meeting. Shirley then thanked the Committee, Sheila and Josie for all their work at the meeting.

11) Next General Meeting: Tuesday 9th July 10:30am for 11:00am at the Lane Theatre. The speaker will be from Newquay Community Orchard.