Today saw the first half of the Forum’s 38th season conclude with Christmas lunch at the Ascot House Hotel. A record 59 members and guests were welcomed by Chairman Michael Cochrane who also greeted our President Reverend Christine Gillespie attending her first Forum event.
It appeared that all those attending were fully appreciative of the excellent lunch, hospitality and ambience provided by the hotel and its staff and this also resulted in a record Forum charitable collection of £300. The proceeds are to split in an even fashion between the Harrogate Homeless Project, Solar Aid which will provide solar lamps for African children to study by and replace hazardous kerosene lamps and to help finance the studies of a Tanzanian girl in Africa whose current funding has been withdrawn.
Venerable Member His Honour Judge Derek Clarkson provided appropriately droll, amusing and as ever entertaining an after lunch sideways views of the English Language as interpreted by our foreign brethren.
Members and guests left the venue in good spirits with their Festive Season having been given a positive start and with many thanks being due to the Organisers Programme Secretary John Taylor and his wife Margaret.
The next Forum meeting is Tuesday January 6th 2015 at Harlow Hill Methodist Church.
NEIL RAMSHAW SECRETARY
Vice Chairman Neil Ramshaw started the last meeting before Christmas welcoming another good attendance of members. A new member Ron Colquitt was introduced and four apologies were offered. John Taylor gave details of three charities that had been suggested by members to benefit from the Christmas lunch collection , one being local the Harrogate Homeless Project and the other two international in nature being in Africa and one involving replacing kerosene lamps with solar lights.
Today’s Speaker was Mr Geoff Queen making his fifth visit to the Forum and whose topic was “Wild West Wanderings”. This was a fascinating account of his trip to Canada and more specifically British Columbia starting in Vancouver and via trains, boats and finally plane taking in places such as Victoria (state capital on Vancouver Island), Banff, Jasper, Prince Rupert and on into Alaska visiting Juneau and Skagway. His slide show shared some of the extraordinary scenery of the lakes, mountains including the Rockies and the fjord-like symmetry of the coast as well as the places visited and stopped at. An outstanding visit was to Butchart Gardens and his photograph captured it in all its glory. Travel particularly on the Rocky Mountaineer train appeared to be of high quality and vast distances were covered on this superb trip. The end of the talk drew some pertinent questions and comments from an obviously appreciative audience.
The Vote of Thanks was given by Tom Snelling on behalf of 38 attendees.
A reminder of the Christmas lunch nest Tuesday (16th) at Ascot House Hotel 12 for 1230 p.m. was given and the next formal meeting would be on Tuesday January 6th.
NEIL RAMSHAW SECRETARY
Chairman Michael Cochrane started the meeting on time with three apologies having being offered. With the Christmas lunch approaching he solicited views on which charitable cause to support with the collection that will be taken with suggestions to either himself at the end of the meeting or through John Taylor next week.
The Forum’s own General Secretary gave todays talk which was titled “The Richest Prize In Sport” which looked at the World Heavyweight Boxing Championship from the mid 1880’s and through the main part of the 20th century. Boxing was placed within the social mores of the times and how even the early champions like Sullivan, Corbett and Jeffries were able to make excellent earnings from tours, appearances, exhibitions and show business as well as from their ring purses. Great champions such as Fitzsimmons, Dempsey, Louis and Marciano were mentioned amongst others as well as the controversy created by the inimitable Jack Johnson or the pathetic story of Primo Carnera. An eye boggling examination of the ring earnings of champions over the years against other leading sports showed an enormous difference and reinforced the concept of boxing’s heavyweight champions owning “The Richest Prize In Sport”.
The Vote of Thanks was given by Roger Bancroft on behalf of the 39 attendees.
David Essam spoke of the rota for future votes of thanks and asked members to add their names if able for the second half of the season.
NEIL RAMSHAW SECRETARY