Wester Ross

AGM Minutes

Meeting of Wester Ross U3A AGM
Held on Wednesday 29 April 2015 at 2pm at Gairloch Community Hall, Gairloch.

Present Mike Powley, Shirley Powley, Peter Highe, Linda Howarth, Beryl Seaman, Guy Seaman, Alan Perris, Nancy MacLeod, Anne Harnden, Kirsty Adams, Jeremy Fenton, Alan Templeton, Beryl Leslie, Serena Mason, Sylvia Foster, Fiona Hutchinson, George Milne, Anne Gray, Bruce Skivington and Ian Blake.

Apologies Alex Gray, John Beck, Eileen Beck, Jane Edwards, Dave Thomas, Janet Whittington, Marylynn Burbridge, Elizabeth Grotch, Dorothy Malone, Katherine Vine, Ian and Sheila Percy, Jim Henderson and Anne MacInnis.

Chair’s Report
Michael Powley (MP) welcomed everyone to the first AGM of Wester Ross U3A and thanked all for attending. A round of introductions was made.
MP was delighted at how the U3A had taken off with 11 groups now active and 3 interesting speaker meetings. He thanked everyone for their enthusiasm and their contribution.

Treasurer’s Report
Guy Seaman (GS) reported on the financial position at the year end of 31 March 2015. At this stage we have subscriptions from 48 members giving £864, grants from Scottish U3A and Third Age Trust totalling £300 and compensation from Bank of Scotland for poor service of £325. Outgoings to date in room hire and publicity are about £100. There is now the capitation fee to pay to Scottish U3A of £5.60 per member. After this has been paid the bank balance will be about £1100.
Outgoings for the next financial year are expected to be modest so a reduction in the membership fee post 31 March 2016 may be possible.
Wester Ross U3A now has an account with the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Secretary’s report
Beryl Seaman (BS) reported that we will be applying for full membership of the Scottish U3A following the AGM. Members will then be able to receive the publication “U3A matters” 3 times per year.
BS suggested that we may wish to start the new U3A season in Gairloch in Sept/Oct with a social cheese and wine party or something similar.

Report on Group Activities
The Group Coordinator, Alan Perris (AP), reported that 11 groups are now formed although the natural sciences, Shakespeare, film and renewables groups have not yet met. Shakespeare and film group will start in September/October.
AP has visited most of the groups and reminded all that anyone can join any group or go to any group meeting, although it would be best to let the group convenor know in advance (because of possible space issues).
Information about the various groups can be seen on the Wester Ross U3A website and all group leaders are encouraged to provide information about the group activities for the website.
Ian Blake gave a brief synopsis of what he is proposing for the Shakespeare group, at which Macbeth will be discussed. He asked that anyone interested to state a preference for a time, date and frequency of meetings so he can prepare a timetable of meetings. A leaflet is available from BS.
Linda Howarth, convenor of the Travel and Theatre Group, reported that there is a theatre visit in October to Pitlochry and she has some spare tickets (£35 for the two performances) if anyone is interested. Possible travel trips to Amsterdam or Prague are being looked at.

Highlands and Islands Network
Report by Linda Howarth (LH) is as follows:
We attended a meeting in Inverness on 4 March to explore setting up a Highlands and Islands network. The network will include the following U3As:
Easter Ross & Sutherland
Grantown on Spey
Inverness & Black Isle
Moray Coast
Wester Ross
Isle of Mull (launching spring 2015)
Initial actions
To set up informal email networks amongst interest group leaders - details have been submitted for Wester Ross.
To hold an event on 21 September for interest group co-ordinators whose activities involve being ‘out and about’. This will be held in Inverness and we are on the planning group.
To hold an annual network meeting for representatives of U3A committees.
To establish a database of good speakers.
U3A Scotland meetings
We attended meetings in Inverness in November and Eyemouth in March. These meetings focussed mainly on issues for treasurers and issues around developing and sustaining interest groups.
There are 44 U3As in Scotland and information about U3A in Scotland can be found through www.u3ascotland.org.uk or via our own website (google: U3A Wester Ross).
U3A Scotland diary dates:
Zoo study day - Thursday 4 June at the Highland Wildlife Park.
U3A Scotland AGM - Friday 25 June in Oban.
Philosophy study day - Tuesday 25th August in Perth.
Details of the above are on the U3A Scotland website.
This network opens the opportunity for groups to visit other parts of the network. Eg Orkneys are keen to visit our and other areas.

Peter Highe (PH) is in charge of our website. Please send anything you want putting on the website to Peter (peter.highe@live.co.uk). He is hoping to put together a calendar of Wester Ross U3A activities shortly.

BS explained that MP was standing down as Chair. On behalf of all she thanked MP for getting the U3A started in Wester Ross last September and for being its interim Chair. She proposed that Mike be elected as Honorary President of Wester Ross U3A. This was seconded by LH and all present agreed.
BS reported that she had received no new nominations for the Committee up to now and asked if there were any nominations from the meeting. That being the case the following was suggested.
LH to be Chair. Proposed JB, seconded SP.
GS to be Treasurer. Proposed JB, seconded PH
BS to be Secretary. Proposed LH, seconded MP.
The meeting agreed to the above.
JB has stepped down as Vice Chair ( we do not constitutionally need to have a Vice Chair)
AP happy to continue as Group Coordinator and PH as Website Coordinator.
BS asked if there were any more volunteers for the committee as these would be welcome. (to contact BS).

Future Meetings/Dates, Time and Locations, Catering, Speakers
After discussion it was agreed that the Committee would look at varying the above to allow all members to attend some meetings.
BS also asked if other members would be prepared to help with catering at speaker meetings. All present agreed to this suggestion and BS would call for volunteers when dates are known.
Suggestions for speakers from next October to March may include someone from Inverewe Gardens ( at Inverewe), a book illustrator who lives in Laide, local Vet?, Andy Nesbitt (mountaineer from Aviemore). BS asked for any other suggestions to be forwarded to her.

Any Other Business
Fiona Hutchinson, a member of Bridlington U3A, presently based in this area is happy to help anyone with French speaking. Please contact Fiona direct on 07530 253520.
There being no other business the meeting closed and was followed by informal chats and refreshments.

Beryl Seaman
10 May 2015