It’s onwards and upwards for Stumperlowe Probus Club as we return to something like normality following two years of disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Onwards, in that we are gradually making the move back to face-to-face meetings after being restricted to virtual Zoom presentations since March 2020. Upwards, in that we have (temporarily at least, and probably permanently) moved slightly uphill to our new venue at Fulwood Sports Club.
The pandemic and resultant lockdowns coincided with major construction and refurbishment work at Christ Church Fulwood and we have, very sadly from our point of view, been told that there is no longer space for us in the Church Lounge which we have regarded as our spiritual home since the club was formed 45 years ago.
Various alternative venues were considered, and we held what turned out to be a successful and well-attended AGM on 9th May in the comfortable surroundings of the clubhouse at Fulwood Sports Club, enabling the committee and membership to assess its suitability as a permanent base for our meetings. General opinion was very favourable.
Our Zoom presentations over the past two years have been far more successful than we had hoped, but it will be good to get back to real meetings with ‘live’ speakers and the chance to socialise with fellow members on a regular basis. In the 12 months prior to the AGM, all but ten of our 65 members ‘tuned in’ to at least some of the Zoom presentations, usually held on the first and third Mondays of each month, and around half the membership were almost ever-present.
Because the timing of our return to a normal weekly programme was uncertain, there will be a lag before this is fully achieved and our hard-working team of three speaker finders can fill all the available dates. Zoom has taught us much, and we do not intend to close the door on it. It has enabled us to welcome speakers from as far afield as America, and it is almost certain that we will retain an element of this new (to us) technology, allowing expert speakers from far afield to be Zoomed on to the big screen television in the clubhouse, when the occasion demands, and still talk to a live audience.
These are exciting times as Stumperlowe Probus Club moves into a new era.
Graham Snowdon (Hon Sec), on behalf of the committee.