U3A Oliva

September 2021

The Newsletter of the U3A in Oliva

Issue 65

In This Issue

If you have anything for inclusion in next month’s Newsletter please email it to webmaster@u3aoliva.org

From our President

Dear All

Welcome to the new 2021-22 u3a New Year! I think we must all be looking forward to a return to normal group activity in line with restrictions which might be in place.

Hasn’t it been a very hot, humid summer here in the Oliva area? It might be an age thing (heaven forbid!) but I think it has been the hottest summer I’ve experienced since moving here. Unusually, the sea has been temperamental also and there have been more days of not being able to swim due to there being a Yellow or Red Flag in place at the beach.

As it might be some time before we have a traditional Monthly Meeting for Members I wonder whether any of you would be interested in meeting up for a Members’ Coffee Morning outdoors on the Paseo in Oliva? If there was enough interest, I could organise a Coffee Morning for no more than 10 members. If you are interested, then please email me

Barry
U3A Oliva President

Groups for the 2021/22 U3A year

Many of our groups have already re-started this month, with several others getting ready to start in the next few weeks. If you haven’t already done so, do check on the individual groups’ pages for any that you’d like to attend, to find out where and when they are due to start.
Most importantly, for each group you want to join please contact the relevant Group Leader by email to check whether they currently have spaces available – due to continuing restrictions on use of buildings, we are limited in the sizes of some groups. This means some groups may need to have a Waiting List for spaces.
Please be assured that all of our Group Leaders are kept informed on the Ajuntament d’Oliva’s latest Covid-19 restrictions and we have everyone’s continued safety as a priority.
If you have any queries for attending any group, contact the Group Leader for information.
 
 
Are you interested in any of our potential groups?
We have a list of potential groups that could be run in the future, but we can’t run a group without at least a few members and a Group Leader – so we need to know from anyone interested in any of the following please:
  • Dance – Latin American
  • Dance – Modern Jive
  • Dominos
  • Dressmaking / Sewing
  • Metal detecting
  • Padel
  • Pilates
  • Poetry (reading for pleasure, not scholarly review)
  • Social Cycling
  • Stand-up Paddle Boarding
  • Walking
Please contact Angela, Group Co-ordinator, via groups@u3aoliva.org to register your interest.

Membership Secretary's Report

When I took over the task of re-establishing a membership register independent of the old website a spreadsheet was downloaded to me plus some paper lists from previous years containing names only of previous members.

The spreadsheet had obviously been corrupted as several of the columns for Name and Surname contained only numbers.

I have done my best to sort it out but inevitably I have had to ask approximately one hundred members to re-apply and re-submit their details either because they missed the payment deadline or because their records had been corrupted or lost.

I am still concerned that some information, particularly the columns for emergency contact details may not be accurate for those members that I didn’t ask to resubmit. Recently there has been a lot of discusion on our FB page re the problem of people living alone and falling ill. I was contacted by a member regarding someone for whom they were concerned as they lived alone to ask for their emergency contact but no person or telephone number was recorded. Although not compulsory, it may be a benefit to make sure your emergency contact is accurate on our database if you choose to submit one. To do this simply fill in the Change of Information form on the website (NOT the new member application) or, if you prefer, just email me with your update.

As of Saturday 25th September, 331 membership cards have been distributed i.e. all members who paid during the subscription period and most of those who were late or were lost from the records. Two membership cards have not yet been distributed as I’m waiting for waiting for contact information from one and the other I have only a name and no other information so, if you know of a member who has paid and not received a membership card please ask them to contact me.I still have several new and previous members to process but the bulk of subscriptions is done. It has been a daunting and exhausting task.

Thank you to everyone who has been so patient and helpful to both myself and the webmaster as we sought to re-organise these administrative structures. I hope next year will be easier. An area we want to explore is how we can facilitate cash payments for those who find online payments daunting. One idea is to be available over the two week subscription period at a venue in Oliva for a couple of mornings where we can take cash subs and issue receipts, but if we are able to restore the monthly meetings then, of course, we could take cash payments then. We’ll let you know the procedure in plenty of time.

I must stress that I cannot start to register anyone until I have confirmed receipt of their payment. Can I also stress the importance of paying at the time of filling in an application form online. If you advise anyone to join could you please emphasise this point. Failure to do this involves a lot of time, making notes to check the payments have come in and if not then I begin a process of emailing the applicants to politely find out if they have not paid inadvertently and then advising them how to do this. It takes a lot of time.

We have also welcomed several new members as well although I can’t be absolutey certain who is new and who is re-applying but several have told me that they are new to the U3A and I know one of them has already joined a group and is delighted with the activity and the friendly greeting received from the group leader and the members.

I hope you all have a safe and enjoyable year ahead,

Regards,

Beryl

Webmaster Notes

A few points to help with accessing the website and update on changes.

  • Some Members are saying their virus checkers are reporting a virus when trying to access the ‘Groups’ page.  The virus checker is stating a diversion to ….clicksold.co./….
    This is not a problem with the U3A website but is caused by an extension inadvertently downloaded to your machine which is trying to divert you to another site. Google ‘clipsold.com extension‘ for more information and instructions as to how to remove it.
  • The Website User List and Newsletter List have been updated to mirror the membership register. So if you are aware of anyone that is not receiving a newsletter or cannot log in to the website – and wants to – ask them to email me at webmaster@u3aoliva.org  I can reset their password and confirm their login details.  If they didn’t pay their subscription during the two week renewal period then they would have been removed from the user list. To reinstate themselves they need to rejoin using the application form.
  • Many access the website on a mobile phone. If you are not aware, the norm for menus on a mobile is three horizontal bars, rather than listing the menu in full, to save screen space. On our site this is on the top right, below the login button.
  • Logging into the site is now by clicking the ‘login’ button rather than the member login that used to be on the old menu.
  • Most of the information that is relevant only to members is now accessed from the members home page – so please visit.
  • Instructions as to how to download your Membership Card to your mobile phone are on the Members Home Page
  • If you change your phone number or email please tell us as these are our only forms of communicating with you. the form to do so is accessed via the members home page.

Covid Reporting Requirement

The important information about U3A Oliva covid reporting that was sent on an email recently is all on this page

The Beginning of Oliva U3A

In September 2002 we were in l’Escala, in Cataluña. We had come through the French canals on our little boat and we had rented a bungalow to try out the Spanish lifestyle before deciding where to retire permanently. The town was lovely, the bungalow was immaculate, and it all seemed too good to be true.

It was. After about a month we were so bored. There was nothing to do to the bungalow, we knew nobody, and we had both left behind demanding and busy jobs so we were not used to sitting around. Suddenly we were waking up in the morning wondering how to spend the rest of the day. The dream was becoming a nightmare.

One day we went to a rastro and met a charming Englishman selling second hand books. I asked him ‘What do you do for company and occupation when you are not selling books?’ and his reply was life-changing. ‘I belong to the U3A’. Like many people, I had never heard of this organisation and over coffee he explained all about it and gave us details of the next General Meeting.

Of course we went, and within a couple of weeks we were on the Committee and had joined some groups. It changed everything. We met many lovely people; we were busy, involved and very happy.

After two years it was obvious that we loved the lifestyle but were not so keen on the Catalan culture nor the winters. So, after a few months in the UK to sell our house and tidy up loose ends we decided to move further south in Spain, but not beyond the border of Valencia. Eventually we chose Oliva, it ticked all the boxes, and we bought a house and moved there in August 2005.

The only negative was that there was no U3A in Oliva. The nearest was in Javea. We attended a meeting in Javea and found out that a new association was proposed for Denia. As we had U3A experience, we were asked to join the Steering Committee. It was a bit far away, but better than nothing. With the help of Mary Anderton, who started Calpe U3A, which was thriving, the new association was soon launched and we found ourselves driving up and down the N332 many times a week for Committee, Group and General Meetings.

By spring 2007, it was obvious that this was not sustainable. We had to make a decision, sell up in Oliva and move to Denia or start our own U3A in Oliva. The rest, as they say, is history.

The initial Meeting to form a Steering Committee was held on our roof terrace with 8 people on 11th June 2007 and the first Minutes can be read HERE. All those early Minutes are on the website and they make interesting reading, showing some of the problems and decision-making of those early days. We were lucky to have a very supportive Town Hall, who offered us premises and assistance all the way along.

The first Committee Meeting was held on the 10th September 2007 and the inaugural Meeting on the 26th September. We advertised the inaugural Meeting in all the relevant bars, and put signs up at road junctions pointing to the CPC, which had just been opened. We were the first association to make use of the new premises. By the end of October there were 147 members and 16 groups – a much more rapid growth

that we had anticipated. By the end of the first year there were 308 members. Obviously there was a huge need waiting to be filled.

The Constitution, which had to comply with Spanish law, was ‘borrowed’ from Calpe, amended slightly and has survived with very few amendments to the present day. The Committee structure, the way the Groups are run, the Group Leaders’ Conference, the General Meetings, the Quizzes, the Travel Group, the Christmas Dinner Dance, were all established in those early days. (Sadly absent during the pandemic but soon to be revived).

There was no website at the start, just Members’ data kept initially on Hotmail, then on an Excel spreadsheet, but the website was set up quite soon, being considered essential. In those days IT was quite in its infancy and many members did not have email addresses nor could use a computer so communication was a big problem.

Joe and I remained on the Committee in various roles, Joe as President for the first four years, then Groups’ Co-ordinator, and myself as Treasurer then Secretary. After leaving the Committee we have stayed closely connected, participating in and leading various Groups.

Founding Oliva U3A has been one of the greatest satisfactions of our lives. Seeing the Members joining Groups, making friends, living their ‘Third Age’ to the full has given us enormous pleasure and made every minute of the work involved worthwhile.