Chairman Roger Bancroft welcomed everyone to the first meeting of the Forum’s 37th season with a particular acknowledgement to the lady guests and presence of our two Honorary Life Members.
Two sad pieces of news were reported by the Chairman namely the deaths of former member Mr John Teasdale and member Mr Peter Jackson during the summer period — cards of sympathy from the Forum had been sent to their families.
Mr Roy Smith (Treasurer) announced that he had issued copies of the audited accounts for 2012/2013 and would be happy to take questions at a future meeting.
This first meeting was an Open Meeting in celebration of Mr Reg Jackson (Honorary Life Member who had achieved his 100th year on the 25th September making him the first to do this and the oldest member of the Forum ever!! The talk was given by Mr John Taylor (Programme Secretary) with the active participation of Mr Reg Jackson on the topic of Centenarians.
In the first part of the talk Mr John Taylor outlined some details about Mr Reg Jackson and his involvement with the Forum since joining as a founder member 36 years ago . He particularly highlighted his twice being Chairman and the 26 (official) talks given by him over the years —a record!! Some time was then spent discussing the myths and exaggerations of extreme age claims particularly before the advent of official records and how in the last two centuries the remarkable increases in life spans had taken place. This has also led to a massive increase in the number of existing centenarians which has reached 12750 currently in the United Kingdom with important factors including genetics and lifestyle choices. He touched upon some famous people who made the magical 100 years including St. Anthony, the Queen Mother, Emmanuel Shinwell, Bob Hope and Sir Thomas Sopwith amongst others.
In the second part of the talk a “Question and Answer” approach saw the involvement of Mr Reg Jackson which explored reminiscences from his childhood, early schooling, apprenticeship and qualification as a Pharmacist , his second World War service on to his life and eventual retirement in Harrogate— a series of fascinating and extraordinary memories from over many years!!
The Vote of Thanks was given by Mr Mike South and the Chairman closed the meeting by thanking members and guests for their attendance.
The meeting was attended by 34 members as well as a number of guests.
NEIL RAMSHAW SECRETARY