The Year Past
Report on the year 2020-2021
The Covid lockdown in March 2020 meant that all of the Glens and Dalriada u3a activities came to an abrupt halt. This was a great blow to the branch as we had been adding new activities such as French Conversation, Scrabble, Tai Chi and Family History Research to our programme. A Dancing class was in the process of being organised.
We had hopes that the shut-down would be short but, as the summer progressed, it became clear that this was a longer-term problem and there was even news of a predicted surge in the autumn/winter. It was obvious that if we wanted to resume activities it would have to be done through the internet.
Most of our Committee and members had never heard of ‘ZOOM’ but we took a few courses and embraced it. The Committee found that meetings worked very well on the Internet and no travel was involved. Many thanks to all our hard-working Committee Members for their enthusiasm and hard-work in making these ‘virtual’ groups work so smoothly and successfully.
At the end of September we went ‘live’ with two sets of French classes. Our tutors were able to link with us from their home in France and it was a brilliant success. We also initiated a weekly Afternoon Tea session where members could link in for a chat and get-together.
The Poems, Plays and Palaver Group decided they could meet through Zoom and began preparing for a Christmas Production which was very well attended and received. Immediately after Christmas they began preparing for a St. Patrick’s Day entertainment, which again was greatly appreciated by all.
In November a monthly Current Affairs Discussion group was inaugurated and some lively discussions have ensued.
January 2021 saw the Monthly Meetings for members reinstated. Our excellent speakers included Dr David Latimer, Ann Donnelly from Northern Ireland Screen, Professor John Barry , Tom McDonnell a local photographer and Canon John McKegney. In July we will have a talk from Steve Dyer who will give us some advice on Genealogy. As a result of Professor Barry’s talk on pollution a new and enthusiastic Environmental Group was formed which meets monthly.
We have also formed a fruitful liaison with Ballymoney u3a and we have attended some of each other’s meetings.
Our very popular and well attended monthly History Lectures were also able to resume in January 2021 via Zoom and have been enjoyed by many of our members.
Other courses have followed including Pilates, Keep Fit, Spanish and Irish.
We are very aware that not everyone has embraced the internet and therefore cannot participate in activities and we will seek to find ways to communicate with them. Wonderful as technology is, we all miss the face to face interaction of our regular meetings and we look forward to the time when these can safely resume. It is to be hoped that the vaccination programme will help us find a way out of this pandemic and a return to ‘normality’.
As usual The Glens and Dalriada will take a summer break during July and August 2021 and we hope that September will find us in a more promising situation.
Lurig and Tivaragh
"U3A gave me a chance to expand my interests and learning"
Charity No. NIC. 100643
© Glens and Dalriada U3A (2014)