Despite a few Covid related withdrawals, there was an attendance of 42 members and friends who joined together to celebrate the past year and the onset of Christmas. Ascot House once again provided an excellent luncheon with plenty of choice – all delivered with their usual impeccable service.
The gathering commenced with a quiet reflection for the 9 members who had sadly passed away during the previous 2 years and followed with the Grace said by Forum President Moses John.
During the meal, it was announced that the Committee had granted Life Membership to Neil Ramshaw in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the Forum as Secretary from 2012, as our Speaker Finder from 2019 and for his annual forays into our lectures. All these efforts were warmly applauded by an appreciative audience who were happy to see Neil back and looking in good shape after his recent illnesses.
The Christmas Charity Collection this year was for Share Africa Zambia whose operations had been described to us in an inspiring talk by the Charity’s founder and Forum member, Jim McPhail. The amount collected was well over £300 which will increase later with donations pledged by some absentees and, finally, be enhanced by 25% with Gift Aid.
Malcolm Wood offered his two-pennyworth with a story about a motorist and the police where “caught and short” was the gist of the story line. The Master of Ceremonies, Richard Wright, described how he had attended reunion lunches for the past 50 years. Over the decades, the demands of the participants had moved on from “Waitresses in mini-skirts please” to “I will need wheelchair access and disabled toilets” He moved on to offer a grateful vote of thanks to Roger and Lindsay Bancroft for taking on our Christmas Event and navigating it through some of these obstacles into a very successful party.
Recorded by: RICHARD WRIGHT SECRETARY