Newsletter from the Chairman, January 2024

Christmas is over and we start a new year.  I hope that 2024 is going to be a good year for you all. 

In early January we visited Spain, where we joined the festival of ‘The 3 Kings arrival’ on the 5th January.  No camels here – the kings arrived by boat into the town’s harbour and then took their places on floats to go through the town as part of a procession.

No gold,frankinsense or myrrh but gifts were presented in church. During the procession enormous quantities of sweets were thrown out by the kings and their helpers to the many children who line the route.  Children come well prepared with their plastic bags to take home their gifts from the kings.  Later, back at home, they prepare to receive their personal gifts to be opened the following morning on Kings Day.  The parade is a great occasion to watch.

Now back to reality and news in the UK.  There are two wars ongoing with little prospect of either ending soon.  The possibility that these may escalate is really frightening.  2024 will also probably see a General Election and we may have a change of Government.  Covid is still out there and as fast as we think it is all over a new variant of the virus appears and more people go down with the illness!  At least with most of us now the recipients of the inoculations against the virus it does not seem so threatening!

We start our new year with John Field giving us a talk on Tommy Cooper.  He was a unique performer wearing a red fez and with his magic tricks that always seemed to go awry and probably one of the best comedians of the last century for his one-line style.  He passed away some 40 years ago but his legacy of humour still lingers on (Thomas F Cooper, 1921 – 1984)

I look forward to seeing you at Crockham Hill village hall on the 31st January at our usual start time of 2pm.  Please remember to bring your membership card so that we can speed up your entry to the hall.  Doors open at 1.45.

Are you in to recycling?  If you still have your Christmas cards, you received last month and are happy to pass them on for charity then please bring them to our meeting.  We have a contact through two of our u3a members who recycle used cards turning part of them into labels and raising money for the Marie Curie Foundation.  We will have a box on the door for any Christmas card donations.  Thank you to Marge Withers and Gloria Keens for suggesting this opportunity.

Finally – do you know any of your friends who might be interested in becoming a member of our u3a?  Membership for the next 6 months is just £10 – for the monthly meetings alone that equates to £1.67 per month and includes a cup of tea or coffee plus a biscuit.  Now that is real value for money!  Please see Diana, our membership secretary, at the January meeting where new members can sign up directly.

I look forward to seeing you on the 31st

Best wishes

Chairman                  Email ([email protected])

PS – trip to a beach started in an unusual way when we were checked out in our car by a cheeky sparrow


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