October update

Dear Members,

Recently, you will have received the membership renewal for 2021, together with notice of the AGM on Thursday 8th October. The AGM is a vital part of our year, and probably the one true time that you actually have an input into the Society’s activities. We are all facing challenges outside our normal comfort zone, as the impact of the virus continues to impinge on all our lives. However, I am hopeful that most of us will now have settled into routines that enable us to cope with the problems that we are all facing. To this end, and on behalf of the Committee, I sincerely hope that all of you are well and safe, particularly as we almost certainly face a second spike of the virus.

The Annual General Meeting.

As I mentioned, we have our AGM this next week, and it is now possible to vote on the Society’s website (theartssocietywalton.org – AGM Voting 2020), but also to return voting papers before next Thursday 8th October. If you haven’t yet voted, can I please ask that you do so before the deadline, to re-elect the Committee for another year.

Membership Renewal and Lectures.

In the Chairman’s report, which accompanied the renewal papers, I wrote about the decision the Committee had taken with regard to cancelling lectures for the remainder of this year. Quite obviously there are many opportunities for viewing arts events and lectures on-line both from You Tube, but also from the Arts Society. One thing is certain, viewing a lecture on a computer screen is in no way a substitute for “being there”, and meeting friends. The problem is that there is nothing we can do at the moment that would enable us to meet in person. Even the Committee has had to ‘meet’ via Zoom. This certainly concentrates the mind in the 40 minutes available.

However, it has become apparent to me that the Society has been somewhat remiss in their duty to members in this area. A number have contacted me about this. Whilst I have been able to explain the decision we took, in all good faith, in pointing members towards the available lectures on-line, this decision has obviously affected members’ opinions of the Society. For this I apologise to you all on the Committee’s part. It has, therefore, been decided that we need to resume lectures from January. But they will have to be via Zoom. These will, hopefully, follow the programme shown on our website. It may be that some lecturers will be unable to give their talks via Zoom, and if this occurs, then we will make alternative lecture arrangements. Many societies are now undertaking lectures on-line, and it certainly appears that there is now much greater scope for such events to take place.

Obviously, we will let you know nearer the time what the arrangements will be for the lectures and how you can see them. I sincerely hope that if you delayed your membership renewal, in the quite reasonable expectation that the Society would offer you what we promised, then you will now take this opportunity to renew your membership of The Arts Society Walton.

Again, may I wish everyone all the best. Keep well, and, as winter approaches, keep warm.

John Smith – Chairman – The Arts Society Walton

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