President’s Message

PRESIDENT’S REPORT NOVEMBER  2020

The AGM for 2019-2020  was held on 6th October. All Committee Members stood for re-election to their positions, with the exception of our Newsletter Editor, Annie. We welcomed two new members to the Management Committee – Shirley, our new Newsletter Editor , and Barbara as Committee member. The Committee now has  its full complement of 10 members all of whom are hard working and have been capable managers in their respective roles. We also are lucky to have two wonderful non-Committee members,  Minutes Secretary, Helen, and our Webmaster, Carol .

CORONAVIRUS

Staying connected to each other has been a challenge in 2020 . We welcomed the New Year and the new program in February, but we barely managed to get through Term 1 before lockdown began , and Term 2 was cancelled to everyone’s great disappointment. On re-opening in July 2020 for Term 3, we have tried to do the best we can to provide as much of our program as possible , while keeping us all safe by adhering to the restrictions put in place by NSW Health. We have instituted a COVID -safe Plan, working in consultation with the management of our beautiful venue, Cape Hawke Surf Club, and our members have been fantastic in coping with all the extra work that has entailed. Unfortunately the restrictions have resulted in the suspension of some of our regular activities, such as Puppet performances, Square Dancing , Games group, and Singing ( although the marvellous Geraldine has devised an alternative program so that her group can continue safely ).

NEWSLETTERS and PROGRAM

Our Course Coordinator, Trish , has worked tirelessly to provide a stimulating and enjoyable program , firstly for the latter part of 2019 and the very beginning of 2020 when things were normal and we could still enjoy our social activities. Since we recommenced in July, many of our tutors have been wonderful in providing presentations during Terms 3 and 4 , often to present more than one session. Easy Walking was commenced , and is proving very popular.

Our Newsletter editor, Annie, has continued to produce each issue, and many thanks are extended to her for her hard work and clever ideas over the past two and a half years.

We also have a Facebook page which kept some members entertained during lockdown by working on the puzzles posted by Margaret. Many thanks to all those who have used their considerable talents to help out during this time.

MEMBERSHIP

At the beginning of 2020, our membership had increased to 202 members. However, due to the concern around the pandemic, we have  noted that not all our members have returned to classes since Term 3, and since some groups could possibly be suspended for the medium term , we expect that enrolment numbers for 2021 may be less than 2020. If this happens it will mean that our income from fees will be reduced next year; however at present we continue to be in a healthy financial position.

PUBLICITY

Up until March this year our Publicity Officer, Judy, had been very active in distributing our brochure to appropriate community venues , such as retirement villages , the Library , the Information Centre, and other places she thought would be useful. Following an approach by John Healey at Great Lakes FM , on 29th August Noline and Trish participated in his Radio broadcast “Good Health” , promoting U3A as a way of keeping mentally active as we age.

OUR REGION

Forster/Tuncurry U3A is part of the Mid North Coast Region of the Network of U3A NSW, which consists of  8 separate U3As .. Coffs Harbour, Nambucca, Port Macquarie, Manning Valley, Gloucester, Dorrigo/Stroud, Kempsey and Forster/Tuncurry. Unfortunately we do not have an elected Regional Representative. Since March, the U3A NSW Network President, Laurene Mulcahy, has been holding Zoom meetings about every 6-8 weeks, with each of the Presidents of our regional’s U3As invited to attend. These meetings allow us to compare notes on what we are all doing to try to maintain our membership and preserve our U3A way of life.

On behalf of the Committee I would also like to thank all our members who have assisted this year, in the many tasks that have become necessary since this pandemic hit us, and also for everyone’s patience and cooperation which has allowed us to keep going safely.

I am confident we will eventually return to our present robust membership in the not too distant future, given the popularity of our programs and the friendly positive group that we have.

Jan, President, presftu3a@gmail.com