Letter from the President

Welcome to 2018

I am pleased we were able to negotiate a good deal with the Embassy to continue our lectures there for 2018. We were also able to sign a two-year contract and although the rental is a little more than the Paramount we will still be able to cover that cost with our present annual subscription. The Embassy have welcomed U3A and enjoy our presence. Both Caleb, the manager and Darryl, the technician have gone out of their way to help us. Caleb has assured us that the Embassy does meet the current earthquake standards.

We have planned 53 lectures for the year but because of the French Film Festival and the International Film Festival we have had to start earlier (Tuesday 20th February) and make small changes to our holiday breaks. The lecture programme which has been completed for the first half of the year looks very interesting and I, who for the last 4 years has always felt that the current programme will be never able to compete with the last year have always been proved wrong. If you know a very good speaker or an interesting topic, please let a committee member know as there are a few vacant spots in the second half of the year.

It did take us many weeks experimenting with the sound system to meet the requirements of our discerning audience. Next, we are going to try repositioning our guest speaker down to centre stage so that we do not all have to twist our necks and look left. This will only be possible if the speaker’s microphone in the new position does not interfere with the loudspeakers behind the screen.

Jim Thomson will be sending out the reception roster soon. We are still trying to find the best option to stop members using the southern stairway and missing the chance to scan-in when they arrive. The suggestions range from positioning a member at the bottom of the stairs to redirect arrivals, using a ‘’Stair Closed’’ sign or resorting to a rope.

The U3A Writing Group has been disbanded as John Bonallack who ran the very successful group has retired. We would welcome a new leader or a suggestion for a replacement. Thank you, John for 6 years of inspiring leadership.

Aidan Kay, who runs the U3A visits and events programme has made us aware that some members regret the lack of opportunities for social interaction. This particularly applies to members who just attend lectures rather than those participating in the special interest group activities. The committee therefore has agreed to try an informal meeting, perhaps called, the discussion and coffee club held one Tuesday and one Friday each month after the lecture in the public space in the Embassy’s splendid upstairs lounge. Those attending could buy refreshments at the café. Notice would be given in the weekly lecture emails.

Enjoy U3A.

Peter Hatfield