Minutes of Porthmadog U3A Annual General Meeting

held Wednesday 27th February 2019 in Porthmadog Ganolfan


Apologies for absence: G. Tompkins


Welcome given by Carroll Stanton

Minutes of last AGM meeting proposed as accurate record by Grace Brown, seconded by Christine Henbrow and Val Hayes


1. Chairman's Report 2019

This is my 4th AGM as Chairman and as many of you are aware, it is my last, I have found my tenure interesting in many different ways and I will miss it nbut my time is spread too thinly at the moment so some things have to go.

I would like to attend some of the groups I am in which I have not been able to do this year,

I am confident that the committee we have will run just as competently without me and I am leaving it in good hands. AS you are aware we have a new treasurer to continue the good work of Pat MacDonald who is happy to assist him for another year.

Terry I am you all agree is doing a sterling job on your Newsletter. I am sure he would like more contributions from all of you. Anything that you may feel will be interesting to our members; it does not have to be about the U3A.

We thank Myra who runs our U3A website and I would encourage you all to look at it;

it has a community page with interesting ventures going on in our area.


All of us on the committee do our jobs willingly and to the best of our ability. While everyone does not have to be officers there is plenty of other things to get done.I am sure you do not wish me to name them as I have asked many times for volunteers, mainly falling on deaf ears, I have to say.

Everyone extols the good work of the U3A, how it caters for societies needs, for people who are lonely it offers an outlet to meet people and enjoy things that they like. People moving into the area who would like to make bew friends, People depressed because they get stuck in a rut and not sure how to get out of it, social isolation. We offer new friends, old interests renewed or new ones to learn by using the principle of sharing the U3A's principles, AS more state opportunities close their doors the U3A has taken up the challenge of filling this gap.

AS you are probably aware the U3A is a charity and as such we have to abide by their rules and regulations. They have tightened some of these since the bigger charities have fallen foul of them and unfortunately it just means more work for us smaller ones. The national office sorts most of these out for us and we try and abide by them.

The National Office is not a “Head Office”, but is there to guide us and answer our queries. To them we pay a fee per member, which includes delivery of the TAM magazine. You may toss this to one side but I advise you to read it, it is interesting especially to find out what is going on in the rest of the country, indeed in the world because the U3A is a worldwide organisation. I have found these meetings extremely helpful finding out what gors on in other U3As. Picking up ideas and sometimes interesting speakers they can recommend. We can also share outings with them as last year some of us went to the MurderMystery at Llanfairfechan.

Right from the beginning of my position as chairman it was discussed as to what would happen if one of us suddenly were unable to be contacted for whatever reason. Tricia who has our grateful thanks for doing a very diffivcult job as mambership secretary, has sole control of the membership, the treasurer of the mony and Polly Litchfield our secretary the workings of the organisation. To this end we have discussed and looked into widening our horizons by going into web management Some of the other U3As are already using this. We have looked at the two main ones available and at last come to a decision I have passed this job on to Nick Keane, who with your blessing, wiall be taking over from me. I will leave him to explain it to you and hopefully by the next AGM it will be up and running and make life easier for everyone especially the membership secretary.

As groups coordinators , I wish to thank Carol Brown and Pat Cooke. This is a position that now needs filling with Carol giving up and Pat has been suffering ill health for some time feels she should also.

As I have done every year, I have to thank all group leaders because without them there would be no U3A especially the groups who today have taken the time and trouble to display their years work. Always interesting as it shows our new members what is going on in the groups. For all new members would the group leaders like to stand please.

Our special thanks to all the organisers of our special trips. Christine Sharp for last years trip to Isle of Man, and this coming trip to the Cairngorms. Which will be a return visit to our favourite Hotel. Christine Bird for the trip to the Lalngollen eisteddfod and especially ordering the wonderful weather, a trip to see Cinderalla and the fish and chip supper.

Thanks to Anita Hartley for organising the Art trips to different venues throughout the yearwhich many of you I know have enjoyed. To the TT team for making the journey to the Welsh competition in Cardiff yet again. And the many performances of the Ukeleleand singing for fun groupfor playing in different venues including their performance today, and to anyone I have inadvertentlyu missed off my list. Last but not least oour grateful thanks to Angus McKay who has retired this year. For as long as I can remember he has been collecting and sending out all your postal NLs.

Another of my committee commitments is Programme Secretary. I had this job before I became chairman and was unable to shed it so I have been doing the two jobs side by side. I hope you enjoyed the spaekers over the last years. I have tried to be versatile but obvioulsy cannot please everyone. I have organised the next four months but would like someone to tak over this job please.

March: we have Roger Browne speaking on 100 years of Jazz in the UK. Roger is coming from Stockport so I hope you will support him with a good show of attendees.

April: Gwean Williams telling us about the “Ospreys at Glaslyn Wildlife Centre” and as a charity the work they do there.

May: Rob Booth from the Wildlife Trust telling us about “Gwaith Powdwr” which many of us remember as the old Cookes factory. There will be a walk in the morning prior to this talk at the site for which there will be a small charge and numbers are limited. I will advertise it in the May NL, but if you are interested let me know,

June: is our rescheduled MurderMystery which I am sure will have been worth waiting for,


At last years AGM we had 287 members at the end of our financial year, This year it was 302. It has always been my hope to reach the 300 mark on my watch this is 50 more than when I took over as chairman. So mission accomplished.

Nick Keane, with your blessing, will be taking over as your new chairman and Ken Hickmott as your new Treasurer. I wish them all the best and to all my door is always open for any advise or questions you may have.


2. Treasurer's report

Pat MacDonald reported that she has made up the accounts to Dec 2018 as had been done in previous years by Jen Edgar and her own watch. The funds have been maintained steadily. She has altered the way in which the accounts are maintained to make them more accessible and easier for all to understand and is willing to stay on for a year in order to assist Ken Hickmott who is taking over her role. Accounts approval proposed by Mike Bird Seconded by Clive Goodier. Ken who actually spoke a little later in the meeting has stepped up to be our new Treasurer suggested that it makes more sense for the accounts, in future, to be made up to co-incide with the financial year cycle 1st April-31stMarch; he also suggested that we should consider the option of claiming gift aid on the subscription fees. This would, however, require the membership to register. The extra funds raised would depend on whether members pay basic rate or the higher rate of tax. Mike Bird queried whether this would incur and upfront payment possibly to the Home Office. Ken did not think that this was the case. He encouraged the group leaders to keep in touch with him whenever they felt it necessary rather than waiting for the meetings in order to keep things moving.

Insert copy of accounts here


3. Groups

Two new groups have been brought into existence -

'Learn to play Bridge' to be held on Tuesdays at 7pm-9pm  

'Play Reading' also on a Tuesday but in the morning 10am 


It was suggested that the group leaders should if at all possible find within their groups someone who is willing to act as a 2nd in command so that there can be continuity of group meetings if the leader cannot host the event due to illness or other calamities

Iain Spey has had to postpone the Maths group for a while – will announce in due course when it may be resumed.

Another chance for folk wanting to “Learn to Play the Ukelele” contact Myra for further info on Fridays at 2.30pm.


Committee members

Two members – Pat King and Ken Humphries have volunteered to join the committee. The re-election of remaining committee members was proposed by Mike Bird, seconded by Jon Snow and approved by the members present


Nick Keane announced the committee had made the decision to adopt the U3A web system in the anticipation that it will enable a more flexible and transparent means of communicating with the membership and will be linked with the current site.


Nick presented a bouquet to Carroll.


The Ukelele group accompanied by a gaggle singists struck up and tea was served.

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