Happy New Year to you all!
What will 2012 bring us? Well, hopefully more new members (new blood?). We had quite an influx during November and December bringing our current membership to just over 120 (at the last count anyway)!
You have all no doubt been keeping abreast with the current and new group activities on offer and indeed a new Table Tennis group starts on the 13th January. There is also a new Craft group which started in October (check out both on the Website group listings/Calendar for details). Remember, without the selfless efforts of our Group Leaders, we would not have our U3A.
Some of the existing group activities also require new blood, such as “Exploring Positive Psychology” and the Debating group. Gardening is currently suspended, although a temporary group leader could be appointed to this if someone out there is keen enough (please let me know)? We do however need a new Group Leader for the Computer group. Even if it is just for instruction to beginners (and improvers) and those who have never used “cut/copy and paste” or are unfamiliar with such functions as “Control A”, for example. Anyone willing to take this on? Also please let me know if you would like to start a new group activity not already listed/covered.
As far as the Debating group is concerned, if anyone would like to take this over, please also let me know. Group numbers have been dwindling over the past year (for various reasons) and maybe it is time to let someone else have a go (I also have other commitments). We have in the past dealt with formal debating formats such as proposal and rebuttal, examination and cross examination (in a couple of mock trials) and even producing our own election manifestos, campaigning and election (all in one morning).
For those new to the debating concept, one should be able to argue a point without losing one’s temper or get emotionally involved, using logical arguments, listening without interuption to the other person’s point and tackling those points and using any facts and figures which you find will aid your point (research is not cheating). Anecdotal evidence should be kept to a minimum. You will no doubt remember Voltaire’s famous quote “I disagree with what you say, but I shall defend to the death your right to say it”. The next Debating group meeting is scheduled for the 25th January, but we shall see if there are enough numbers to merit it.
I would also like to remind you of our next General Meeting on the 11th January and the Membership Renewal session starting at 11.30am. You should all have a copy of the 2012 Membership Form to print-off, complete and bring with you. Please do not try and copy the form on our Website. Only copies of the form sent on the 20th December with the emailed Notice of the General Meeting will be acceptable. That way they should all be in the same format and contain the same wording. The form shown on our website is for information only, so you can see what you are signing up to in advance.
However, for those of you who will not be here for our next meeting and have a problem in “paying your dues” within the two month “grace period” (January/February, see the “Home” page on our Website); to avoid letting your membership slip, you must email our Website by the last day of February at the latest (using the “Contact Us” page) to confirm when you will next be in the area and also to show your commitment by promising to pay your subscription of 12€ as soon as possible on your return (thereby avoiding the new additional Joining Fee of 8€). Some of you have already done this and I am complying a list.