READING RETIREMENT CENTRE    (registered charity No. 281830)


(Friends in retirement taking relaxation, exercise and education)

Firtree Newsletter                         June 2019                            Issue 483

Didn’t we have some nice weather this month especially on our trip to Kew Gardens. Now we look forward to flaming June as the spring flowers fade and the summer blooms lighten up our gardens and bushes. Also our AGM is done for another year and our new constitution in place for a few more years. We will have copies of the new constitution available or on order if we run out!

Tuesdays are back to normal except for this week the 4th June when the carpet in the chapel is being replaced and we have no meeting. For the rest:-

11th June             Serenade come to sing to us.

18th June             Katherine Sampson takes us to the Royal Weddings

25th June             Matthew White  talks to us about Mary’s Meals – how one boys dream has fed hundreds of children in body and mind.(charity)

2nd July               Welcome to Matt Taylor of Age UK Reading

8th – 12th July Firtree visits the Lakes – there are still double rooms available.

Our final date before the August break is on the 30th July when we will celebrate our Founders day with an open invitation and shared meal.

Now booking for Turkey and Tinsel in Torquay from Monday 9th December to 13th  – Enjoy Christmas before anyone else and enjoy the real thing two weeks later.

Also of course we have already planned next years Summer break at Cliftonville in Kent. Fuller details will be out after we return from the August break

Now for the AGM and what happened. Well the constitution was passed, thank goodness!! The accounts were presented and approved with many thanks to Monica and to Jim Wooldridge our auditor. Due to my printer dying a week before, reports from our activities and committee had to be read. The core of those is that Olive has sent 19 cards this year to those who were ill or bereaved. Our numbers are already over 100 and slowly climbing. All our activities could do with more support especially table tennis and bowls; our craft people are busy knitting and preparing a quilt which will be sold to raise money for the homeless in Reading as well as little hats for a well-known drinks group. I think they look more like the old egg cosies, you can choose!

Most important is that very little change has taken place this year on the committee apart from Terry Pine being added to the committee. One of the new clauses in the constitution makes all our committee appointments for only three years with a maximum of five. I have agreed to stay for one more year to give Mark the chance to unload some of his other work load, Michael would like to have someone else take on the booking of speakers – volunteers will be welcome.

One of our aims this year is to try to work in a supportive role to each other so that committee time is less time consuming and the pressure of some jobs is shared more. The constitution is a bench mark for what we do – what we now need is a good practice guideline for both committee work and finance management.

Outside Firtree the Reading Older People’s Partnership meets at the Civic Centre on the 21st June at 2.00. This is open to everyone as a direct communication between us (older people) and the local authority representatives. Cup of tea provided.

Of considerable interest to our age group is of being a carer. Several of us have had the joy and pain of caring for someone we love and the Reading and West Berkshire Carers Hub is there to support carers. The 10th to 16th June is Carers Week and various activities are planned especially in the Whitley area but also at the Broad Street Mall on Wednesday 12th June when there is a ‘market place’ of organisations/services available. I hope that we might have a presence there as a place friendly to carers and those they care for.

As a child in the war I sometimes went to see my god-mother in Dundee. Even in the war she always had a big pile of cakes. One of them looked really good. It was the biggest cake there and it had cream and chocolate on the top. It was full of promise. But it was a choux bun and absolutely empty. We called it the cheat-me-guts cake. I thought of it as being similar to the present political situation, especially of one group. They want to come out but I have no idea at all about what they then mean to do. Full of promise but empty of substance. I feel rather sorry for Theresa May. She never had a chance with the cheat-me-guts people. Any way it was a Cabinet decision so what about the others.

This come from a Christmas present on worldly wit and wisdom.

Abraham Lincoln – In the end it is not the years in your life that matter but the life in your years. Later to be amended by Mae West to ‘it’s not the men in my life that matter but the life in my men!’

If you want to know more about  Firtree, contact Colin Ferguson ( or Liz Prior on 0118 942 2958

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