U3A in London Update – 3 August 2020

This information was published on: August 03, 2020

The Summer programme

Click here to see Gilli’s timetable or use:
Meeting ID: 848 1256 9290 Password: 353889.

Her timetable contains the link to all the talks which take place at 10.30 in the Summer programme. Gilli is recording the talks and if you would like to listen to any you have missed email Gilli via the Office
Please note: your original Summer programme may be a little out of date. Gilli and Sue have managed to recruit some extra speakers, but don’t worry – your weekly update will include everything that is going on!
We look forward to the following talks this week:

Mon 3rd Aug
10:30 –11:30 Colin Lomas Myths, Legends and Romance in Art and Music: Mythology
in the art of Edward Burne-Jones Click here for his notes.

Tues 4th Aug
10:30 –11:30 Shafeeq Siddiqi Some thoughts on a Post Pandemic World

Wed 5th Aug No talk

Thurs 6th Aug
10:30 – 11:30 Amalia Michaels James Clerk Maxwell – Scotland’s Einstein

Fri 7th Aug
10:30 – 11:30 Mary Rossiter Sleep, perchance to dream

From Naomi
Our AGM will be held on Monday 7 September at 2.00 on Zoom. In the next few days you will be receiving the necessary documents for you to participate in the meeting, among them being a proxy vote. As our AGM is virtual, the only ways for us to be quorate is by counting proxy votes and polling that takes place during the course of the AGM. Counting the participants is not accepted as a valid way of determining whether or not a meeting is quorate as technically no one is present.
We hope that many of you will Zoom in and learn was has happened in the recent past and our plans for the future. If, however, you are unable to attend, I most sincerely encourage you to return your proxy to me, so the meeting becomes quorate. You can sign and return the actual form or you can simply send an email to the Office entrusting me with your vote. We will not be voting on anything contentious; the acceptance of last year’s minutes, the ratification of the financial statement and the appointment of Knox Cropper as our auditors. There will be no election as 12 candidates are standing for 12 places.
While you may not be voting for anything that appears to be crucial, I cannot stress enough that without these resolutions being voted on our AGM legally would be void and we would have to repeat the whole process again. If you are unsure whether you are going to attend, send in your proxy vote but don’t vote on the day. If partners will be watching together, only one of you will be able to vote on the one computer, therefore the other should use their proxy vote.
Please help us to run our U3A in the best interests of our members by supporting us either by participating and voting on Zoom or by entrusting your proxy vote to me.

From Gerta
Here is Quiz 17 with a bit of Underground puzzling included, click here. And here for the answers.

From Stanley Volk
The cast and I wish to postpone the Cable Street event to the 12th August as we need more space between performances at 3.15pm. There will be a PowerPoint presentation, a 10 minute film, followed by a excerpt of the play of a East End family on the day.

From Muriel Hirsch: A New Class
Laugh, breathe and relax. Give your body and your mind one hour of laughter (without any reason), deep breathing and relaxation. They will thank you for longer than you can imagine, The meeting will be on Mondays from 12.30 to 13.30. IMPORTANT: contact me via the Office before registering to be sure it is suitable for you. If you want more information, there are many videos about Laughter Yoga on YouTube. You will find the ID and password on Gilli’s Ttimetable.

Stan Clingman
If you missed his moving talk about Mozart last week with the wonderful musical illustrations (and even if you were lucky enough to be a part of the audience) you may like the experience now. Click here to read a transcript of the talk and here to see a list of the music. Remember that Gilli has recordings of the Summer Programme talks.

From Alan Unerman: Bridge Base Online
(BBO.com or Bridgebase.com) BBO gives you the opportunity to play bridge on line.

If you have never used the site it is simple to register – all you need to do is choose a sign-in name and password. During the set up procedure you can specify your bidding parameters. Once done you can then start playing. After logging in, the easiest way to start is to click on the Casual tab which gives you the choice of exploring the games that are being played or joining a table. If you would like to have a regular BBO partner, the best way to proceed is to start your own table and invite your partner to join. You will need their BBO name for this.

On the Right Hand side of the screen you will see a “People” Tab. If you click on this you can specify any friends you wish to play with. From the “add a friend” tab you can see if any are on line and if they are playing.

At the bottom of the screen there is provision for chat. You can choose the table that you are playing at, other kibitzers if you are watching or specify a user name.

If you ask to join a random table please be aware that the majority play a variance of Standard American with a 15-17 NT opener 5 card majors and an opening minor suit of 12+ if you have neither. A 12-14 NT hand should therefore be opened with your best minor followed by 1NT over partner’s bid. You can click on any players name to see their profile which may give you details of their playing level and bidding style.

I thought members who knew Nicole Peiris and Jennie Deco (or even those who did not know them) might like to read these entries. (Nicole and Jennie have both recently and sadly died)

A tribute to my sister, Nicole Peiris (from her twin sister, Colette Levy (co-ordinator of Spanish and French classes at U3A in London).

My twin sister Nicole Peiris died peacefully on 11 July 2020, having been in a coma after a long illness; she was 84 years old. Nicole had a very interesting life. She was 8 ½ years old when she and I were taken away and almost killed by a Nazi battalion that had invaded the village where we had been in hiding for two years, since the summer of 1942. This was in Sanxay-Sur-Vienne, a village in France, near Piotiers, known for it’s Gallo-Roman ruins. My father was in Auschwitz in November, 1942; he never returned.

At the end of August, 1944, the Nazis occupied the village. The men were gathered on the cattle field, in front of the primary school for the girls and boys. They were going to be shot; and the women, children and elderly people were going to be set on fire inside the Church. The resistance forces of the region had found a cache where the Nazis had hidden the gold they has taken from the teeth of people they had killed; their jewellery etc. The Nazis had already destroyed Oradour-sur-Glane, a town in the same province two months earlier and only two people out of a population of 642 had survived. Finally, after a six hour debate, our primary school teachers managed to persuade the Nazis in charge that they would be killed by the advancing resistance forces. Our teachers spoke fluent Germain as they had come from Alsace-Lorraine, which was then occupied by the Nazis. Paris had already been liberated and in the end, the Nazis left the village and we survived. The German commandant had been well treated by the French when he had been a prisoner in World War 1……. He finally remembered that! The person who looked after us at that time was a distant relative of my maternal grand-father. She was a Protestant called Leone Grousset. My sister and I placed a plaque on her tomb to honour her and to thank her for saving us.

Nicole worked as a trilingual secretary in embassies based in Paris and abroad. She met and married Denzil Periris, a journalist, in Sri Lanka (Ceylon). He was working as a chief editor of the then Ceylon Observer. They lived together in several countries in Asia and they spent six years in Hong Kong where Denzil was the Indian correspondent for a newspaper (The Asian). Later, Denzil launched a monthly magazine, in London entitled South, which covered the ‘so called’ developing countries in South East Asia and Nicole worked with him.

In the 80’s they came to live in Hampstead. Nicole, then in her late 50’s, studied psychology, as well as Mandarin Chinese. After Denzil’s death in 1985, Nicole moved to a small house in Tottenham where she lived for over 30 years. Four years ago, she became ill and came to live with me in my flat in Belsize Park. For a short time she gave a few lectures on psychology at U3A and later on, a class on Chinese history. Nicole had so many fascinating stories to tell about her time in Asia.

We had spent many difficult times together since we were 6½ and we had a very strong bond between us; I miss her a lot.

How the Second World War appeared from “Down Under” by Jennie Deco – a “Kiwi”
When Britain declared war on Germany in September 1939, New Zealand did too – I was seven years old. Maps of the world quickly sold out – we had one pinned on our kitchen wall dominated by the colour pink, designating the British Empire of which we were a proud member. We children did our bit for the war effort by making camouflage nets and knitting “peggy squares”. Farmers decided that their priority was sending food to Britain although the shipping had to undergo a perilous journey, dodging the German U-boats as they crossed the Atlantic which was the quickest route for getting to Britain (through the Panama Canal).
My father was a dentist and considered to be in a reserved occupation but many New Zealanders helped the “Mother Country” by fighting on land on sea and in the air. By mid-1940 some 20,000 men had embarked for overseas service with the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force. They went to the Middle East, Greece, North Africa and Italy. After war was declared against Japan in December 1941, many more troops were sent into the Pacific, though some were later transferred to Italy.
New Zealand was a country that closed down every Friday afternoon at 5pm and didn’t re-open until Monday mornings at 9am. Every weekend my father would go into Wellington and collect a group of soldiers on leave wondering what they could do with themselves. New Zealand was a resting place for exhausted troops before they went back to fight. They came to our house and we all played card games – they told us some fascinating stories. One British Merchant Seaman Captain told us the story of how he went through the Suez Canal and along the North African Coast between the shore and the minefields. All lights were out and the engines muffled.
My uncle was also a dentist but he enlisted and became a captain in the Maori Battalion. He travelled through the Suez Canal and served in North Africa – it was no fun being a dentist in all that sand. Then he was sent to Italy to fight the Germans until they surrendered.
I hardly remember VE day. Too many of our troops were still fighting the Japanese and the war didn’t end for us until VJ day in August 1945. On VJ day itself I was 13 years old and in strict lockdown in boarding school in Nelson – we were in strict lockdown as our teachers were too nervous to allow us out to celebrate in the streets, so no parties or celebrations for me. I celebrated on rugs on the grass of the school grounds with my fellow boarders.

To make you smile
These are sentences exactly as typed by medical secretaries in the National Health Service, Greater Glasgow

  1. The patient has no previous history of suicide.
  2. Patient has left her white blood cells at another hospital.
  3. Patient’s medical history has been remarkably insignificant with only a 40 pound weight gain in the past three days.
  4. She has no rigors or shaking chills, but her husband states she was very hot in bed last night.
  5. Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.
  6. On the second day the knee was better and on the third day it disappeared.
  7. The patient is tearful and crying constantly. She also appears to be depressed. The patient has been depressed since she began seeing me in 1993.
  8. Discharge status: Alive, but without my permission.
  9. She is numb from her toes down.
  10. The skin was moist and dry.
  11. Occasional, constant infrequent headaches.
  12. Patient was alert and unresponsive.
  13. She stated that she had been constipated for most of her life until she got a divorce.
  14. The lab test indicated abnormal lover function.
  15. Skin: somewhat pale, but present.
  16. Patient has two teenage children, but no other abnormalities.
  17. The patient was in his usual state of good health until his airplane ran out of fuel and crashed.
  18. Between you and me, we ought to be able to get this lady pregnant.
  19. She slipped on the ice and apparently her legs went in separate directions in early December.
  20. By the time he was admitted, his rapid heart had stopped, and he was feeling better.

London Region of U3As
Zoom in for the series of fortnightly Summer Talks on Monday afternoons from 17.00-18.00
10th August: Alan Freeland – ‘The Art and Architecture of Islamic Spain’ Click here
24th August: Dick and Lisa Robinson – ‘Edith Appleton: The Nurse at the Front’ Click here
7th September: Alistair Griffiths – ‘Gardening in a Changing Climate’ Click here
21st September: Jo Livingston – ‘Do you Want to Write your Life Story?’ Click here

London Region website: The above information is also available via the Events page of our website. All recordings will be found in the Talks Archive which is accessible via the Events page.

Kind regards
Catherine Ware
Chair – London Region of U3As

Warning from the Third Age Trust: Phishing email

We are aware of a phishing email which appears to have been distributed among U3A contacts.

The email will appear to have been sent by someone in your email address list – someone you probably know.  The email contains a blue box with the word ‘Preview’ in it and wants you to click on it. 


If you have tried to open it or clicked on it then please let us know so we can help you sort this out email national.office@u3a.org.uk or call one of our team on 0208 466 6139.  Our staff team will note your details and help you accordingly.  The email should be deleted from your inbox and from your deleted folder and you should change your password.

From John Bent, Third Age Trustee London
Peter Cox, from North London U3A. (Peter Cox coxpetern@gmail.com) is a member of the U3A Research Committee and has been asked by Ian McCannah, Trust Chair, to seek the help of Regional Trustees, Network and individual U3A chairs, etc to launch this national research project, to which the Covid-19 pandemic has given a sudden urgency. This summer it has become very clear that Lockdown will lead to profound changes in shopping habits. As a consequence, every shopping area seems certain to look very different, very soon, which will fundamentally affect local communities in ways nobody can yet anticipate. The project is being managed by the Trust’s Research Committee. The plan is to produce a landmark report for publication by the Trust in 2022, so helping to raise the U3A’s profile in our 40th anniversary year. He writes:

This Autumn. I would be very grateful for your help, as soon as possible, in encouraging U3As to participate in a simple survey during September. We aim to produce a report for the Board by the end of December 2020 that describes the pre-Pandemic state of Britain’s shopping locations. In early 2022 we will then be able to construct a final report that looks in depth at the impact of the Pandemic, as part of wider research.

The U3A Volunteers’ Task We would ask participants to choose a small number of shopping streets in their locality. That may mean for example a main street, a local parade, and a small centre. They would walk along them, noting down three items of data about each property: street number, name, and type (e.g. 171-5, Budgens, supermarket), and photographing the shopfront. They do the next stage at home. We’ll provide a list of ‘property type’ codes, and a simple form on which they will enter their data and the matching code. We would like the majority of volunteers to complete and submit their data by the end of September. From our own trials we calculate that a pair of U3A members can survey a street of 100 shops in two hours and do the data entry at home in half a day.

What we’re asking you to do We appreciate that there are variations between regions in the country, so you will know how best to achieve what is required in yours. That is: to identify a minimum of a dozen U3As, each with around 5-10 volunteers, willing to participate in the data recording exercise during September. Please ask each U3A to send me a Project Leader’s contact name and email. We will send them a link to an online volunteer registration form to be completed, ideally by the end of August, so that we can send out the information packs in time for volunteers to complete the recording by the end of September. All personal data will of course be subject to standard U3A Data Protection regulations. This has the potential to prove a really influential study, one that will eventually allow every U3A the opportunity to contribute. We do hope you agree and can find the time, in your already busy schedule, to encourage U3As in your area to contribute to this vital preliminary survey in September – and help us to get it right.