Great Glen U3A 2020

Great Glen U3A

A monthly update on the events of Great Glen Branch is published in the monthly Newsletter. A copy is available to all members through email and the monthly meeting and from Great Glen library. See link below to view a copy.

Chair’s Chat - June 2020

Hello everyone

From my perspective the virtual AGM process worked very well.  There was a big increase in the number of members taking part, with very few reporting difficulty in completing and returning the voting form.  Most difficulties seemed to arise from a lack of familiarity with equipment and were readily solved.  So my thanks to all those who took part and, in particular, to the Committee members and Group Leaders who helped us to trial and debug the process before ‘going live’.

The results were overwhelmingly, and mostly unanimously, in favour of all the resolutions.  Draft minutes of the AGM will be posted shortly on our website

The AGM brought to an end the distinguished service as a Trustee of Stella Orbell.  I am most grateful to Toni Smith for stepping in to present Stella with a token of our appreciation and for writing a tribute to her (see later in this edition).  We shall all miss her as a wise, efficient and compassionate colleague, though of course Stella remains an active Group Leader and member.  We welcome Elaine Batchelor as Business Secretary in succession to Stella.

We continue to receive advice from the Third Age Trust about coping with Covid-19 and, as many of you can read in Third Age Matters, lots of U3As are doing all sorts of imaginative things to keep their members interested and involved.  Some Groups are managing to sustain their activities and interests using Zoom to set up virtual meetings; others are focusing more on just keeping in touch to keep alive the social dimension which is such an important reason for belonging.  Of course, Great Glen U3A is playing an active part in all this, but we could no doubt do more.  There are some new ideas in this newsletter, and I should be pleased to hear more from members.  While there seems little prospect in the short term of many of our groups being able to restart traditional meetings, the latest news indicates that social distancing rules are being cautiously relaxed and the virus appears to be in retreat.  It may not be too long before our actions are determined more by personal choice and personal assessment of risk, and less by government diktat.

In the meantime, your Committee is doing what it can to support and encourage the active involvement of as many members as possible.  The most promising way forward appears to be to extend the use of Zoom.  As many members already know, this an app that can be downloaded (for free in its basic form) on to a mobile phone, computer or tablet, that allows you to hold conversations with several people at once, all of whom can be seen, and to share images and text at the same time, if desired.  It is simple to use and we certainly have enough members with considerable expertise to help anyone get started.  Please contact me if you are interested.

One of the things I have most missed during the last few months has been our monthly meetings.  We are going to explore whether it might be feasible to set up virtual monthly (or maybe every other month) speaker meetings.  It is worth doing this only if there is significant potential interest from members in joining in, so I should be very interested to hear from everyone who is:

(a) interested in principle and Zoom-proficient


(b) interested in principle and looking for a helping hand with Zoom.

Please contact me – if we hear nothing, we will have to assume there is no support for this.  

However, I hope the true U3A spirit comes into action and that we can make it happen together.

Robert Mansfield  chairman/at/   270 8284

(Change /at/ to @ for email)

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Computer Group Learners and Helpers enjoying their first lesson