2021 — Looking Forward

Lockdown has become a way of life for Stumperlowe Probus Club, whose com­mit­tee took the decision on Mon 16th March 2020 – a week ahead of gov­ern­ment imposed restric­tions – to sus­pend all meet­ings, out­side visits and other social gath­er­ings for the dur­a­tion of the Coronavirus pan­demic.

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

But things are look­ing up. UK Infection rates are fall­ing, and the Covid-19 vac­cin­a­tion pro­gramme has gone better than any­body could have hoped, with a stag­ger­ing 34 mil­lion people having received at least one dose of the vac­cine and vir­tu­ally every­body in our vul­ner­able age group having now received both doses.

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. The AGM will now be held as a vir­tual Zoom meet­ing, with all mem­bers entitled to par­ti­cip­ate, and the lunch­eon which we had hoped would be held imme­di­ately after the AGM will now revert to its more tra­di­tional early November slot.

While we have been denied phys­ical con­tact, our extremely pop­u­lar pro­gramme of  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!”

As for both the timing and the venue, it is a case of ‘watch this space.’ Proposed build­ing work at Fulwood Church Hall may delay our return there, but plans are in hand to relo­cate tem­por­ar­ily to the Hallam Community Hall.

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