Letter from the President



We have been very welcome at the Embassy. Recently I was talking to The Wellington Film Society who followed us from the Paramount to the Embassy. They commented that since their shift to the Embassy their membership has increased.

At last after trying different combinations of microphones and sound speakers we have finally succeeded in producing a good sound. The combination of our head-microphone and the large behind-the-screen speaker is working well. To trial each system, we needed people on seats and were therefore dependant on feedback from our audience. We are going to buy a new head microphone which is lighter, less visible and more comfortable for the speaker.

Most of our members said they would be happier with the speaker in centre stage in front of the screen rather than on the balcony to one side. This is possible as the Embassy have an extension cord that reaches centre stage. In this position the speaker does not obscure any of his slides projected onto the main screen but is not able to be seen by all the audience. This would require a platform to elevate the speaker and focused lighting to illuminate the speaker. We are negotiating with the Embassy to do this.

The scanner which reads our membership cards when we arrive is now reliably working well. A new set of instructions has simplified the set-up procedure. As the scanner searches our membership list we are conscious that security is an issue which means upgrading our software and installing an anti-virus programme.

Lecture Programme
The lectures this year have been varied and interesting and will continue until November. All the slots in the 2018 lecture programme are now full and new lectures are being reserved for 2019.

For the first time we used an interview format which Doug Helps arranged with our guest, Gareth Farr. This was very successful and the member feedback very positive. We are therefore, encouraged to use this format again and it may be particularly useful when we have writers or artists as speakers.

The committee has decided to have “technology operators” on Tuesdays and Fridays to help the speaker set-up the computer and the sound system. Alan Wright and Ian Goodwin have volunteered to do this on Tuesdays and Bruce Medcalf on Fridays. So Bruce doesn’t have to do this every Friday we would like another volunteer to help. This would require only a basic computer knowledge and a short teaching session. Volunteers please.

Arranging the Tuesday and Friday lecture programmes requires quite a bit of work. Phone calls, emails to check speaker availability, arranging presenter biographs and synopses of their talks and checking a week beforehand that they are still available. Robin Halliday and Doug Helps do this for Tuesdays and Bruce Medcalf for Fridays. This is too much for Bruce to do by himself and he needs some help. Again, volunteers please. Bruce is also retiring in September and we will need to find a replacement. Ideally a member could work with Bruce until September and then be joined by another volunteer when Bruce leaves. (See Page 10 for Co-ordinator’s responsibilities).

A reminder that Sharon Crosbie will be our guest speaker at our mid-winter lunch at the James Cook on Tuesday 19th June. Her subject is, “Lord Reith and his ideals”.

At this stage Tony Thomson, our treasurer is forecasting a small surplus for our financial year. This means our subscription will remain unchanged at $35.00/year.


Peter Hatfield