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Dear Members,

Who would ever have believed that the famous Bill Gates, one of the richest people in the world, could be proved wrong by a group called the Cirencester u3a? Last year we did indeed, prove him wrong.

As we leave another unusual year behind us, we enter a new one with mixed feelings. With two years of dealing with change, disruption, do we don't we, zoom or live or both, we have the experience now to face 2022 with hope and enthusiasm.

For many u3a members, last year turned out to be much better than expected, but for some of our members, there was disappointment and great sadness. For members who have lost loved ones and friends, or found the restricted way of life difficult to manage, the committee hope that you might have found support from other u3a members.

So how did we prove Bill Gates wrong? Mr Gates once said, "Most people overestimate what they can do in one year." Not true.

The organisers of the December meeting, Cashy Smith, Ruth Kelly and Judy Lloyd did a wonderful job of giving members an entertaining and varied concert. Thank you, organisers, refreshment group (Birdwatchers, we loved your Stollen cakes) and the performers who entertained us with delightful songs, readings and cheer to end a successful year.

For me one of the highlights of 2021 was the celebration of our u3a with the Flashmob walk through town in the summer. Over 15 groups took part. It was a joy to be meeting up again with friends and feel the excitement of the first steps into a freedom we had not experienced for over a year.

The New Members' meeting at the Ashcroft Centre in November was a wonderful success. Thank you Group leaders for taking part in this and making it such a positive event.

With many u3as showing a drop in membership, we could not have predicted the rapid increase of over 80 members to Cirencester u3a in less than a year. We exceeded expectations. We were steady, determined and careful, and now we are thriving.

What were you doing in 1992? Cirencester u3a celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2022. We hope to have something of interest for all members to enjoy. There will be indoor and outdoor events and most of the groups will be able to take part in and contribute to the celebrations.

As a member of the u3a we can agree with Dr Seuss, "You'll never get bored, when you try something new. There's really no limit to what you can do."

My best wishes to you all for a safe and healthy 2022.

Anne Vardey – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We are delighted to welcome 20 new members this month.