Minutes – Monthly Meeting 2nd June, 2014

University of the Third Age Moraira-Teulada

Minutes of the Meeting held on
2nd June 2014 at Salon de Banquettes, Teulada

It is confirmed that the President and the Secretary attended this Monthly Meeting as voted in at the AGM on 2nd December 2013.

The President, Jill Cole, welcomed everyone to this Meeting, especially the 24 new members.
Jill went on to remind the members about the Emergency Procedures and asked them to use the main stairs and those through the kitchen, and that the lift should not be used. Jill then asked everyone to make sure their mobile phone was switched off or put on silent, and also asked if everyone had their raffle ticket which was for a meal for two at Options Restaurant.

Jill introduced our Guest Speaker, Nikki Luxford, who, because of another appointment, would give the talk before the business part of the Meeting. Nikki had returned to give an update on her fundraising for the children of a small village in Malawi. Nikki outlined what the money had been spent on so far and accompanied her talk with photos of the children, school building and medical items one year on. A member asked exactly where in Malawi, another asked if second hand baby clothes would be of any use, and was told yes they would, if they can’t be taken there in the luggage, the clothes can be sold and the money taken instead. When asked how the members could help, Nikki replied that any donations can be used in numerous ways – e.g. €5 buys Malaria Tablets, €200 buys an “ambulance”, or money can be used to Sponsor a child to go to school. The members gave Nikki an enthusiastic round of applause and she was presented with a thank you gift.

Jill reminded members that we do not support any particular charities but felt that as Nikki had raised money and given a talk previously, it would be fair to receive an update as to where the money had gone. The only exception that is made is to allow the British Legion Poppy Appeal boxes at the Salon, but these are left to the members’ discretion as whether to support the appeal or not.

Don Roberts read out the Synopsis of the Minutes from the Monthly Meeting held on 5th May 2014, the full Minutes had been posted on the Website. These Minutes were proposed by Margaret Williamson and seconded by John Freeman. The Minutes were then approved by the members with a show of hands.

There were no Matters Arising from the Minutes

Jill reminded people that member Pauline McGough is well on her way to making the last part of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela accompanied by several other U3A members.

The saga of the stray hen has ended on a happy note in as much as she is now living on a farm with other hens and didn’t end up in the cooking pot.

The Treasurer, Titch Crossfield, said that since the Meeting on 5th May there have been expenses of €367.35 made up as follows:
Payment to Groups: 50.00
Committee Expenses: 42.90
Stationary & Printing:106.45
Room Hire: 90.00
Gift: 78.00

Income for May was €380.00, made up from 25 renewals and 13 new members, making the total membership 1409 members.

Therefore as at 30th April, 2014 the following amounts were held.
Contingency Fund: 4000.00
Current Account: 14566.22
Cash in Hand: 273.41
Total: €188839.63
Titch reminded the members that the Budget Forecast for 2014 has been set at €13645, and that €5431.54 has been spent so far.

Group Coordinator:
The details of all Groups are on the Website and the only extra items that Shirley Baehr added to her Report are recorded as follows:
There was one space available for the Group of Las Chicas que Comen at Restaurant Club Nautica.
A new Group for men to be run on similar lines as the previous one, and which will be called Los Chavales que Comen is still looking for a few more members.
Shirley offered congratulations to the Photography Group who organised an exhibition at La Senieta. It had been widely praised and congratulated all those who had worked so hard in staging it.
Once again Shirley said that she would like some help in setting up a workshop for Facebook and Twitter for those members who didn’t use or understand it. Shirley asked for volunteers to help her get this off the ground.
As always Shirley is looking for ideas for new Groups and reminded members that the Website contains a wealth of information and details of all the groups. She asked members to let her have any news and photos that can be added to the site.

Travel Group News:
Carol Mantle said that as full details could be found on the website, she would only give a brief outline of trips, and a little more where there were vacancies.
Segovia & Salamanca 22nd – 27th September for 6 days and 5 nights at a cost of €390 with a single supplement of €100.
Day Trip to Ayora Honey Festival 8th October. The cost for this was only €10.
Day trip to Ikea, Shopping Centre & Murcia Town Centre – 12th November at a cost of €10.
Barcelona 1st – 4th December. The cost of this includes a ticket to the show “Sister Act”, and will be €260 pp with a single supplement of €75.
Prague, Vienna & Budapest 17th May – 5th June 2015. The cost will be approximately €1600. The exact prices could not be determined until after the flight schedules and prices for hotel etc for 2015 have become available later this year. The travel group had received 38 bookings so far, and the trip would be offered to other U3A’s if the numbers are not reached.
As usual all details of all trips could be found on the website.

Cultural Arts News:
As Hugh and Beverly Stewart were away, Shirley Baehr briefly outlined some of the many events on offer.
4th June. 150th anniversary concert of Richard Strauss at Valencia Opera House.
5th June. La Forza Del Destino at Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia.
11th & 12th June. Iolanthe by Gilbert & Sullivan at Casa de Cultura in Calpe.
14th June. Costa Blanca Male Voice Choir with guests Orihuela Male Voice Choir at El Vergel Casa de Cultura.
15th June. Turandot at the Valencia Opera House.
19th & 20th June. Janice Harrington at the Javea Parador
30th June & 1st-5th July. Javea Players performing “Happy Days Are Here Again” with alfresco dining included.
2nd July. Footlights Youth Theatre at Casa de Cultura in Calpe.

Member/Committee Liaison:
Brian Nicholls told members that he had received a considerable response last month to ideas and comments mentioned at the last Monthly Meeting.
Brian referred to the matter of a possible mailing service of the Newsletter to members without computers, he informed them that the committee had arranged that for a week after each Monthly Meeting,  Newsletters could be picked up at the Reception Desk in La Senieta where members should show an up to date membership card.
Emergency Spanish Language Reference Sheet: This is still in progress, and various solutions are being studied.
Dinner Dance: The overwhelming response from members was that no event should be subsidised. The majority were in favour of a Dinner/Dance at Christmas time and Brian said that Jill would update the members later on what as to what had been found out.
Dress Code: The committee had looked at replies and suggestions and felt that to insist on formal attire was not in line with modern day trends. Smart/casual would be the requirement (with no Jeans or Shorts). Some men however would still wear black tie but this would be optional.
Refreshments: A request had been received that biscuits be provided at the Salon instead of buns, but this was out of the committee’s hands as we were reliant on what the owner of the Salon cared to provide.
Speakers: A lot of members complained that the Speakers talk for too long. However the committee always requests that speakers stick to a tight schedule, and although the subject matter may not be to everyone’s taste it was difficult to control the situation. Brian asked that the members show a little tolerance and patience with the Speakers.
Reports.:A few members said that the monthly reports were too long, and Brian said that the committee had discussed this issue and would try to take steps to shorten them wherever possible.
Subscriptions: Brian pointed out to any new members that the current annual fee was voted for at the last AGM by the members present, and that each year a recommendation is made to the members before a vote is taken.
Expenditure on Group Leaders and Committee: One member commented on this and has received a reply. Most of the meetings between the Group Leaders, and the Committee are conducted over coffee. A very small percentage of the budget may include a meal as a thank you to the people who give up a lot of time voluntarily to make our U3A so successful.
Charity Collections: Brian pointed out that Jill had already commented on this issue earlier in the Meeting and confirmed that we do not have the mandate to distribute members’ subscriptions to charities. Even if this were possible there would be very diverse opinions as to which charities to support.
WW1 Commemoration: This has been a very emotive topic and was still under discussion, the result of which would be reported back next month.
Brian said that it had been pleasing to receive so many comments from the members and asked that they continue to be sent in via the President or the Suggestion Box. He assured the members that all comments were placed before the committee anonymously.

Matters Arising from the Reports:
Jill said that she had been to El Canor to ask for dates and prices for a Dinner/Dance this year. She had been told that they could cater for around 300 people between the dates of 8th – 14th December, and that the menu offered would be €27 each, and was very similar to last year.
Jill asked that the members who were present to vote on:
a) Would they like the committee to organise an event during that week in December. The vast majority of members indicated that they would be in favour.
b) It had been stated that no subsidy should be provided, therefore would members be happy to pay €27 per person? Again the vast majority of those present agreed with this amount. Jill added that if the numbers attending were nearer to 400 (as last year) then probably a discount could be requested.
Jill said that as the representation at the Meeting was only a small proportion of the total membership, the other 1200 members would be canvassed by Enews.

Any Other Business: There was none.

The raffle which was for a restaurant voucher for Options in Moraira was drawn by Don Roberts, and the lucky winner was Anne Cattle.
The Meeting closed at 11.40.

The next Monthly Meeting will be held on 7th July 2014.