2021 — Looking Forward

This week marks the first anniversary of Stumperlowe Probus Club’s decision to sus­pend all meet­ings, out­side visits and other gath­er­ings for the dur­a­tion of the Coronavirus pan­demic. We held our last face-to-face meet­ing at Fulwood Church lounge on Mon 16th March 2020, a week ahead of the Government-imposed first national lock­down.

Most people assumed that things would be back to normal after, per­haps, 12 weeks. Nobody could have ima­gined that we would still be in this unpre­ced­en­ted situ­ation after 12 months.

But things are look­ing up. Infection rates are fall­ing, and the Covid-19 vac­cin­a­tion pro­gramme has gone better than any­body could have hoped, with a stag­ger­ing 24 mil­lion people having received at least one dose of the vac­cine.

We are now look­ing for­ward to the remainder of 2021 with renewed optim­ism.  As the year unfolds, we will hope­fully be able to get back to normal club activ­it­ies such as our reg­u­lar Monday morn­ing present­a­tions, out­side visits (our last was to the Sheffield Assay Office just days before the March 2020 lock­down) and social occa­sions such as our annual lunch­eon and more informal get-togethers.

However, the rel­ev­ant easing of restric­tions will come just too late to allow our planned AGM and lunch­eon to be held on 10th May, as ori­gin­ally hoped. An announce­ment will be made shortly regard­ing the AGM, and the lunch­eon is expec­ted to revert to its more tra­di­tional November slot.

While we have been denied phys­ical con­tact, our pro­gramme of vir­tual Zoom meet­ings and present­a­tions, nor­mally on the first and third Monday of each month, will con­tinue until such time as restric­tions are lifted and our com­mit­tee believes that it is safe to resume normal gath­er­ings.

Thanks to the mir­acle of modern tech­no­logy our mem­bers have had the oppor­tun­ity to listen to a vari­ety of inter­est­ing speak­ers who have given us hour-long talks on an eclectic range of sub­jects. These Zoom meet­ings have been more pop­u­lar than we dared hope, with a record ‘attend­ance’ for one recent talk of 51 mem­bers and four guests from a total mem­ber­ship of 66 people.

But we are, of course, look­ing for­ward to get­ting our entire mem­ber­ship back together under one roof for our weekly meet­ings, when our chair­man will once again be able to declare: “If it’s Monday morn­ing, it must be PROBUS!”

Graham Snowdon (Hon Sec), on behalf of your com­mit­tee.