SUES Committee Meeting: 13/10/2020

Present – Hazel Fort (Chairman), Peter Firth, Roger Mitchell, Bob Neate, Alan Potter, John Sharp

The meeting took place via Zoom, which (thanks to Alan) proved straightforward and effective.

Minutes from previous Committee Meeting on Thursday 27th August were approved and signed

Matters Arising

Co-operation with Liverpool CE is being maintained. They were optimistic that their online courses would be successful.

Bob confirmed that there were no significant changes to our financial position.

Efforts to arrange ‘real’ meetings continued and for a time the prospects of doing so in the Autumn seemed good. However, rising rates of infection and greater restrictions means that reluctantly, we have had to postpone any resumption until the new year. Alan and Peter in particular have done a lot of work on this and they were thanked for their efforts.

Future Plans


John reported on past achievements (11 issues with a wide variety of subject matter) and the Committee thanked him for his work and discussed future plans. A satisfactory number of articles are in the pipeline. It was agreed to move to a more regular monthly publication. This would normally be in the middle of the month. The October edition would be delayed until after the next Committee Meeting (Mon 19th October) so that future plans could be included. There would also be an update on the Gresham College lectures.

There was general agreement that we should seek a wider audience for Forum both because its contents were of interest and because it might help to recruit more members. It was confirmed that new members would not pay a subscription until we moved to a new subscription year. Alan agreed to draw up a list of society contacts including U3A and Rotary. John would send out information about Forum (and SUES) to secretaries with the hope that this would be passed on to members. A Christmas or New Year edition might be particularly appropriate for wider circulation.

Resumption of Meetings and Courses in 2021

It is impossible to know when circumstances will permit this, but we want to be ready to move quickly. Initially we might limit meetings to single lectures and short courses with 2 or 3 sessions. It was agreed to maintain contacts (eg Liverpool Univ CE and All Saints church) and to check what lectures and courses current SUES members could offer. In addition we would start to draw up a list of recommended lecturers with their areas of interest. Our planned 2020 programme might well be delivered in 2021.

Wider Use of Zoom

Our own successful use of Zoom for this meeting encouraged us to plan for increasing use of this technology over the winter. Alan has been able to obtain an annual subscription to Zoom Pro at a discounted rate of c£90. This allows unlimited meetings including the use of Powerpoint for large or small groups with appropriate security safeguards. Initially Alan would act as host but the use of co-hosts and alternative hosts would be encouraged.

It was confirmed that SUES should sign up to Zoom and that we should make a donation of £100 to Southport Rotary. Alan explained how useful they had been and continued to be in providing support and technical help. Bob confirmed that SUES was able to make donations to charitable organisations.

Roger explained how he hoped that a version of his planned course on English Travellers might be made available on line. Members without computer access would be able to receive a paper version. Some use of Zoom as an optional extra might be possible. He agreed to report more fully at the next Committee Meeting.

Next Committee Meeting

It was agreed that we should meet again on Monday 19th October at 11am. This too will be a Zoom meeting and Alan, as host, will circulate details to committee members.

The Agenda will be:

  1. Apologies for absence
  2. Minutes of Committee Meeting of 13th October to be approved
  3. Matters Arising
  4. Update on Future Plans
    1. Forum (John)
    2. English Travellers (Roger)
    3. Wider Use of Zoom (Alan)

5. Any other business

Roger Mitchell

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