East Antrim Ezine – 11th January 2022

Happy New Year to you all!  Let’s hope that 2022 is a better year for all!

Our hall in Nelson Street has re-opened from 10th January using the same criteria as before and the same timetable for group activities. Here is a reminder from the previous ezine:

We have followed the NIGOV regulations and the guidance provided by the Third Age Trust and the measures we introducing are for the safety and well-being of all members.

Before attending any activity, all members should:

  • Be double vaccinated before joining activities. Members will be required to show their vaccine card to the group convenor on first attendance.
  • Notify the activity convenor if they have travelled outside Northern Ireland in the last 14 days. 
  • Review their own personal health and circumstances and refer to the HSCNI website for further information if they are at higher risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus. 
  • Consider the health risk category of anyone else in their household. 
  • Review the risk check list for the activity in which they intend to take part. This will have been completed by the group organiser to enable members to consider if it is the right decision to participate without adverse risk to self or household members.
  • Not take part if they or someone else from their household have Covid-19 symptoms – these include a high temperature, a new continuous cough and the loss or change to sense of smell or taste.
  • Wear masks and maintain social distancing requirements while on the premises
  • Wipe down their own ‘station’ before and after activities (sprays and paper towels will be available) 
  • Access the building, go straight to the activity location, sign the register and at the end of the session, leave the building without congregating anywhere  
  • Not use the kitchen or any kitchen equipment but should bring a flask and cup if refreshments are required while at U3A 
  • Hand sanitise on entry and as appropriate during activities. Several wall mounted automatic (no touch) sanitiser units have been installed throughout the building. 

We are sorry if these requirements seem punitive but they are in line with government requirements, U3A recommendations and our own desire to keep everyone safe.   We also need you to be aware that requirements could change at any time, depending on how Covid 19 itself changes. We will attempt to always advise you of changes by email and notices displayed at Nelson Street. 

As the current variant of Covid19 is so infectious the Guidelines recommend that a person attending an indoor event should take a lateral flow test beforehand but this is not mandatory. For any member attending Nelson Street for the first time there is a form to be completed and proof of vaccination will be asked for.

The committee are keeping all measures under constant review. 

A lot of enquiries have been made about Karen Shaw.  She remains in Musgrave Park hospital and is receiving physiotherapy and speech therapy, which she is enjoying.  Her progress is slow so she has a long journey ahead of her.  I have passed on all good wishes that I received on her behalf.  Thank you. Teresa.


The Annual General Meeting for 2021 was held via Zoom on the 6th December 2021.

The meeting proceeded smoothly with reports from the outgoing Chair Moira Foster, the Secretary Teresa Connor, and Jennifer Baker gave the Treasurer’s report. The independently examined accounts were approved by the meeting.  The revised Constitution was passed.  The election of officers resulted in Christine Harpur elected as Chair, John Cunningham elected as Vice Chair and Jennifer Baker elected as Treasurer.  No other nominations were received for the committee. Christine Harpur thanked the previous Chair and she hoped to do as good a job.  She was looking forward to carrying out the duties and to a successful year for East Antrim u3a.

Some group information:

Art Practical – restarts 11th January. Tuesdays 1.30pm – 3.30pm tutored by local artist Steve Diamond.  You can learn to draw or learn to paint.  The cupboard has supplies of paint to try out for free.  There are spaces in the group.  One good thing to bring along is your choice of subject to paint from, eg a photo or a calendar picture.  Classes are run in 5-week sessions and cost £15 payable at the start.

Cryptic Crosswords – Fridays 2pm – 3pmYou may have noticed that Maki Kaji the Japanese ‘godfather of sudoku’ died last year. In general we concentrate on cryptic crosswords in our Friday afternoon class but we are a friendly, tolerant group and I think we have all learned a little from our word-crunching sessions.

If you have any unsolved puzzles at home please consider donating them at 12 Nelson Street, new members always welcome.

Ian Donaldson 

Italian Intermediate – this group is not currently running but if there is enough interest it may start again with the external tutor Annabella.  If interested please contact Teresa –  sec@eau3a.org.uk

German – Tuesdays 11.30 – 1.00 with Gundi.  New members will be very welcome to our friendly group.

Strollers – short leisurely walks, friendly company.  Walks are usually held once a week and last about an hour.  If you are interested, please contact Teresa – sec@eau3a.org.uk

Family History – This group meets on the 1st Monday of the month at 10.30am.  If you are interested, please contact David 028 9084 3920.

Crafts – This group meets on the 3rd Monday of the month (except that February’s meeting will be on Tuesday 1st February) If you are interested, please contact Jennifer- jenniferbt38@aol.com

Colour Pencil – Thursdays 10am – 12 noon.  If you are interested, please contact Jennifer- jenniferbt38@aol.com

Oil and Acrylics – Fridays 10.30am – 12.30pm Spaces are available for this group.  This group meets under the guidance of professional artist Ken Stewart. 

Needle Natters – This group is not currently meeting.  If there is enough interest and there is a volunteer for a convenor then the group can restart.  If you are interested in this group please contact Teresa sec@eau3a.org.uk

Proposed Geology group

A proposal has been received from Ian Enlander of Whitehead (some of you may know of him) to start up a Geology group for East Antrim u3a.  I have attached his proposal.  He has taken into account the current Covid regulations so there would be a maximum of 20 members.


I received the following invitation has been received from RSPB NI to share with East Antrim u3a members:

I think you are already a frequent attendee at our RSPB NI Local Group Zooms! As you are aware, the 6 RSPB NI Local Groups, – Antrim, Belfast, Coleraine, Fermanagh, Larne & Lisburn, – have come together during Covid to provide a series of excellent speakers via Zoom on topics that we thought might be relevant to your members and followers. In the spirit of togetherness, we would welcome your members to join these talks to share our joint interests in wildlife and the environment.

Our online series for 2022 commences on the evening of Monday January 10 and continues, mostly fortnightly, until the end of March.

The programme has 6 exciting speakers, including Stephen Moss, a previous producer of BAFTA award winning Springwatch and Edward Mayer, an internationally recognised Swift Conservationist. In addition, a staff member of RSPB will talk briefly about his/her work at the beginning of most meetings.

To find out more about the talks and how to sign up please read our full programme here:


Volunteers needed

In order that the activities in Nelson Street run smoothly we have a volunteer in the office while the building is occupied. We are a bit short of volunteers at present so if you could consider offering a few hours a week of your time, we would be grateful.  Please contact Teresa – sec@eau3a.org.uk

I think that’s all for now.  If anyone would like to contribute any articles for future ezines, please let me know.  Thank you.

Teresa (Honorary Secretary)