“People are actually queuing to get in here?” was the almost disbelieving questioning of a member of the public recently, as he watched members of Newry U3A arriving for their AGM in the Canal Court Hotel. The loyalty of our members is no surprise to us. Over 150 people were present. Those attending were members who attend the classes, the tutors and the executive committee.
Adding to the interest in the afternoon was an exhibition of the work of the Craft, Art, and Photographic classes. Members were able to browse and marvel at the beautiful Carricmacross Lace, Faberge Eggs, Patchwork Quilts, Crochet, Art work, and Nature Photography.
Our Chairman Chris Roberts warmly welcomed everyone. He spoke of our aspiration to grow, in terms of new members, new innovative classes and hopefully new premises. Chris saya “We aspire to do these things and achieve our goals whilst maintaining strong management structures and accountability, consulting our members, using their money wisely and with probity as we expand and develop in the years ahead.”
Currently we have 761 members, some of whom travel from the South, including two members who come from Dublin for the Party Pieces class. Chris spoke of the huge debt of gratitude we owe to our tutors, without whom, the U3A could not function. He included in his thanks the Management Committee and all others involved in the smooth, efficient running of the U3A.
Our Treasurer Paul Pollard gave a clear outline of our financial situation explaining where our money comes from and how it is spent.
Then followed the election of the Management Committee. Chris thanked retiring member, Thomas Molacca for his commitment during his time in the office of Vice Chairperson. Two new members were elected, Catherine Donnelly and David Crozier.
The AGM concluded with refreshments served by the friendly staff of the Canal Court.
Recently we highlighted, on this website, the importance of expressing gratitude to family, friends and those who touch our lives. To reinforce this concept, members of the U3A were each invited to fill in a large speech bubble with a note of gratitude for what they receive as members.
The response has been inspiring. It is difficult to sum up the responses but many members were grateful for the friends they had made, the skills they had acquired, the new confidence they experience and the welcoming aspect of the U3A. They highlighted the tremendous generosity and helpfulness of the tutors.
One person wrote ”A whole new lease of life” Cultivating an attitude of gratitude reminds us all of our interdependence on each other and that surely is the core, the heart of U3A.