Valley Friends: AGM & 50th Anniversary Report

From Joan Steel

Our AGM and 50th Anniversary was on 7th October.  Jill welcomed everyone to the meeting, and following the general notices gave the Leaders Report, in which she recalled highlights of our busy and interesting year, sharing enjoyable evening meetings and occasions including Carnival Day.  We made masks and entered the parade as masked Venetian ladies with a gondola cleverly made by Doreen and helpers. Doreen gave the treasurers report, saying that the annual membership fee would remain at £30, and visitors at £3 per evening.  We are to still support the South Bucks Hospice and the HW Multiple Sclerosis Society as well as the charities of some speakers.  Members of the committee gave their reports and Jill thanked them for their loyalty and hard work.  Jill asked everyone to encourage friends and neighbours to join us and outlined our varied future programme. On our behalf, Heather presented Jill with a book of poems and a beautiful bouquet as special tokens of our gratitude to Jill for her 26 years of outstanding leadership, loyalty and friendship during fifty years.  This year was tinged with sadness at the recent death of our oldest member Marjory Jenkins who was aged 95; also of Mervyn Wallen the husband of Margaret, one of our founding members.  Margaret is now at Avondale care home in Aylesbury.

All the committee members were willing to serve and were voted in for another year.  A really beautiful bouquet was given to Joan in recognition of her being founder member.  A Tribute to Jill was read on behalf of us all to salute our fantastic leader, who is again willing to continue her good work for another year.

Having completed the AGM, we commenced our 50th year golden celebrations with a delicious dinner served handsomely on tables decorated in gold to match the other decor in the hall.  Jill had prepared an interesting Quiz for us that tested our memories of the correct dates of  VF talks or occasions in the past.  We all had a gift of gold-wrapped chocolates, and throughout the evening a quartet of brass instrument players, all ladies, played suitable music which brought back pleasant memories.  Finally we sang Happy Birthday and cut the pretty cake.  It was a really happy and memorable occasion, and we give  thanks all round to everyone who made it possible.

Membership subscriptions are due at the next meeting on November 4th.  The speaker will be Malcolm Nelson talking on “40 Years of Catching Smugglers”.  All welcome.

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