Dear SHTA Friends,
Things are looking up: the daylight hours are becoming longer; there’s a plethora of international sport to look forward to over the next few weeks; vaccinations are now in excess of ten million; and the time when we might justifiably think something resembling normal service for SHTA members grows ever closer. Obviously, we don’t know how long the current lockdown will prevail and we should remain vigilant in our abiding by the regulations for everyone’s safety; however, as Captain Sir Tom Moore showed us, it’s probably better for our general wellbeing if we have the attitude that “tomorrow will be a good day.
With that in mind, I’d like to remind you of some of the provisional plans for 2021:
- A resumption of our monthly film nights at the Empire Cinema as soon as clearance for cinemas and theatres is given. The first will be ‘Les Petits Mouchoirs’.
- An Easter version of the SHTA Christmas Dinner at The King’s Arms to show our continued support for Richard Beard and his staff.
- A second outing for ‘Bangers & Boules’ at the Anchor Pub in Wingham, ideally in late Spring/early Summer, and possibly an opportunity for a social gathering of more than just the 24 players.
- Following the informal picnic on the Quay Green at the start of last September, we would like to offer, if possible, either a Spring equivalent or barbecue, or a get-together in the Summer.
- ‘Chez Nous’ afternoons or evenings at members’ houses or in their gardens, which can be announced at short notice and can attract as many members as the hosts can accommodate.
- SHTA Quiz, with questions devised by Rick and Christine Ratcliffe, who hope to hold the quiz in the Guildhall as soon as it is practicable to do so. Whether you’re a quizzer or not, you may feel inclined to have a go at the picture quiz, entitled ‘Bookshop Shelf Authors’. Send your set of answers to me and you may find yourself, as Steve Thomson did in January, receiving a bottle of fizz as the winner.
- SHTA Annual General Meeting has been postponed a couple of times already and the Committee has decided that, rather than hold this remotely, it should be delayed until such time as we’re able to meet face-to-face, when elections for the 2021-2022 Committee will take place. An exact date, the venue and necessary documents will be sent to you prior to the meeting. By way of information, I should let you know that Hazel Martinelli has decided to step down as Secretary; current Committee member, Christine Ratcliffe, has kindly volunteered to assume the position until the AGM is held. I’d like to extend my thanks to Hazel on behalf of SHTA members for her diligent and conscientious work and valuable contributions over the past two years.
- The visit by the Honfleur group to Sandwich had been scheduled for 13th-16th May of this year. However, the Honfleur Committee agreed at their January meeting that they would not go ahead with visits to any of their five international twin towns in 2021 and would make provisional plans to visit Sandwich in 2022. Whilst this is clearly very disappointing, we fully understand their reasoning and look forward to finally meeting face-to-face as soon as we can next year.
By way of some form of replacement, the Honfleur Twinning President, Pierre Jan, has compiled a bulletin which he has asked be sent to members of all five of Honfleur’s twin towns. For those of you not aware of these, they are: Wörth am Main in Germany; Sandwich in the UK; Burlington in the USA; Visé in Belgium; and Ivanovo in Russia. Together they make the name HOWÖSABUVIV, although I’ve no idea how you might pronounce it! The bulletin contains articles from each of the six associations. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy finding out a little more about each nation; Pierre promises that there will another bulletin in June/July of this year.
Finally, some very sad news about one of our longstanding members, Marian Youngman. I mentioned in the January newsletter that Marian was seriously ill; she had cancer and had been admitted to hospital on Boxing Day. She was subsequently transferred to Canterbury Hospice where she, unfortunately, died on 22nd January. Her son, Anthony, explains that Marian’s funeral will be on 26th February and he is hoping that a commemoration service can be held sometime in the summer. We remember Marian as a stalwart supporter of SHTA who attended Association events on a regular basis, especially films at the Empire Cinema. She will be missed and remembered by SHTA members.
That’s all the news for now. The Committee hopes that you continue to look after yourselves and we again express the wish that we will see you in person as soon as we can sometime soon.
Very best wishes, Stuart and the Committee.