July Main Meeting

A smaller number joined the meeting this month, possibly due to the lovely weather or that, perhaps, regular Zoom members were grabbing some long-awaited time with friends and family. However, with 30 screens including several couples, it was still good to catch-up with local u3a news and listen to our speaker.

The Chair, Chris Barwell began by expressing her hopes that the Zoom meeting planned for August might be the last and that from September monthly meetings could resume in St. Martin’s Hall.

She told the meeting that the Boules afternoon, held on July 13th, up at the Bowls Club, with beautiful weather, had been a very successful and enjoyable afternoon; the 21 participants commenting how lovely it was to chat to friends ‘in-the-flesh’. Plans for reviving the u3a Boules/Bowls Club that existed had been discussed – watch this space!

A selection of photos taken at the Boules afternoon this month

The next two events planned for members are the Welcome Back Picnic up at St. Martin’s Hall on Wednesday 18th August (the Wednesday following the August Main Meeting) and the very popular Fish ‘n’ Chip Quiz night on Saturday 25th September. Tickets for the latter will be on sale at the August picnic or can be obtained by contacting Carole Metcalfe. (Please refer to your printed Handbook for her contact details or look for any of the contact emails on this website).

Chris then handed over to Alison Currah (Committee member responsible for website and IT) for an update on this website and a virtual tour but unfortunately, even with the best laid plans, this was not possible on this occasion. It was hoped that this could happen next month.

In Groups news, the Chair explained that the Gorgeous Grub Group’s planned ‘Posh Picnic’ which had been postponed from June was now scheduled for July 20th. The two Walking Groups, would be out soon, one walking from Lostwithiel and the ‘Swallows’ from Duloe.

(For more information regarding joining any groups, please email groupsInfo@looeu3a.org)

The Speaker for August will be Sarah Slater who is a qualified guide lecturer for Historic Royal Palaces at Hampton Court Palace. Her talk promises to be interesting judging by the title: ‘Sex, Secrets, Scandal and Salacious Gossip of the Royal Court 1660 to 1830‘ (said to make Bridgerton look like a genteel garden party!).

The Chair then handed over to the speaker for this month, Anna Gurung with an update on the Nepal Earthquake Appeal which she began in 2015.

Anna greeted the members with the traditional ‘Namaste’ and then, by way of an introduction, informed them about the multi-ethnic and diverse cultures and religions of Nepal. Illustrating her talk throughout with a wonderful slideshow of photographs, she explained that the earthquake in 2015 had been devastating not only at the cost of 9,000 lives but also the loss of houses and infrastructure. The Appeal ‘Bring the Smile Back to Nepal‘ was making good progress in helping to rebuild houses and lives but this, of course, had been hampered considerably by the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Anna has visited Nepal on many occasions with friends and family (her husband is Nepalese) to keep her ‘hands-on’ involvement, having many meetings and discussions to plan the best way forward and make sure that every penny raised is accounted for. Some of the purchases include tin which, initially, provides rough shelters and then could be reused to roof more permanent structures. In 2016 when she visited, an entire village was helped to rebuild 21 houses, using the villagers as labourers and some of the appeal money to buy in specialists. She commented that it had struck her at the time that when seeing everyone working so cheerfully together she had realised that the Charity’s efforts were making a difference.

Not only have efforts been put into rebuilding houses but also addressing the extreme poverty that exists. One way to achieve this was by helping the women to develop new skills such as making school uniforms and bee keeping so that they could earn money. These projects had proved to be very successful.

Anna ended her update by explaining that no building had been done during the pandemic and that of course she had not been able to visit and that fundraising here had been severely curtailed. However, she was hopeful that she could return to Nepal soon and continue to help bring back the smile to Nepalese faces.

If you would like to donate to the appeal please use this link https://www.bringbackthesmiletonepal.org/